Panelist Orientation: What Every Moderator Needs to Tell Their Panelists

Example of a Panel Moderator’s Agenda for a Panel Discussion
December 8, 2016
The Panel Moderator’s Role During a Panel Discussion: The Tough Truth
December 20, 2016

shutterstock_277372325Never, ever assume that your panelists have served on a panel discussion. Confirm these details to make sure they are clear about the expectations and comfortable with their role: 

  1. panelist-orientation-_-kristin-arnoldThe Promise. Confirm the panel title, date, time, location, description, objectives and promotional material.
  1. The Panelists. Share the names, short bios and websites of all the panelists, where to register and where to meet up just prior to the start.
  1. The Format. Describe how you plan to run the panel and the first one or two questions you intend to ask.
  1. The Audience. Share audience demographics and estimated size so panelists can bring the appropriate number of handouts, books, etc.
  1. The Room Setup. Describe the backdrop, chairs, and platform configuration.
  1. Presentations.  Provide specific instructions, e.g., time frames, slideshow format, getting the slideshows to you, etc.
  1. Audio/Visual. Explain the venue’s audio-visual capabilities and determine any additional requirements, e.g., microphones, coordination of video, presentation, etc.
  1. Promotion.  Declare the degree of appropriate self-promotion as well as use of social media.
  1. Pre-Event Call. Have a short conference or video call to allow everyone to connect and hear this same information!
  1. Quick Meet Up. Meet about an hour before the event to go over the format and any last minute issues.


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.

Related Articles:

10 Ways Panel Moderators Can Manage Time Effectively During a Panel Discussion

How to Create GREAT Questions for Your Panelists to Answer during Your Panel Discussion

3 Popular Panel Discussion Formats

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.

Kristin Arnold



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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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