The Panel Moderator’s Role During a Panel Discussion: The Tough Truth

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You just finished moderating a lively and informative panel discussion.  The audience is clearly appreciative of the conversation with abundant applause and additional conversation amongst themselves and with the panelists.

And you?  The moderator?  Not so much.  You quietly pack up your stuff and observe the energy that remains in the room.  And no one comes up to you…after all, you were just the panel moderator.  Unless you had to gracefully intervene to get the panel back on track, the audience doesn’t really care about you – no offense.  They care about what the panelists said.  You were merely a conduit to get the information out in a meaningful and engaging way.

So it shouldn’t be a surprise that no one comes up to you.  Your ego might hurt a little, but just realize that it’s not about you.  It’s about the audience.  Since there is still a “buzz” in the room, you probably did a good job moderating that panel discussion.  So as you gather up your belongings, give yourself a pat on the back and tell yourself, “Bravo Zulu” – nicely done!’

For more resources on how to make meetings, panels, and room sets better, make sure to check out this knowledge vault which is chock-full of customizable checklists, worksheets, templates, agendas, sample emails, video interviews and webinars with industry icons and professional moderators.

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Kristin Arnold, professional panel moderator and high-stakes meeting facilitator, shares her best practices for interactive, interesting, and engaging panel presentations. For more resources like this, or to have Kristin moderate your next panel visit the Powerful Panels official website.


Image courtesy of Pixomar:

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Kristin ArnoldKristin Arnold
KRISTIN ARNOLD, MBA, CSP, CPF|Master has been facilitating meaningful conversations between executives and managers to make better decisions and achieve extraordinary results for 25+ years. She's a leading authority on moderating panel discussions and passionate about finding the perfect olive to complement a vodka martini.
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