Powerful Panel Discussion Tip #239 – Becky Pluth: Using Ground Rules During a Panel Discussion

Professional panel moderator Kristin Arnold asks Becky Pike Pluth, Train-the-Trainer expert and President/CEO of the Bob Pike Group as she shares how she goes over ground rules with the panelists prior to the panel discussion at meetings, conferences and conventions.


Video Transcript

Kristin: Becky, do you go over ground rules with the panelists prior to the discussion?

Becky: In advance, the five minutes before the session begins, letting just the panelists know, “So, we’re here to hear from all three of you, and we love your opinions. You’ve been asked because you are a subject matter expert.”

And I prepared just the panelists in advance to say, “If, for some reason, one of us is answering more than the other, because perhaps you have more expertise or perhaps you just have this great idea, we’re going to apply the Dale Carnegie rule of 80-20. We want to listen, we want to win friends and influence people, so we want to listen 80%, talk 20%. If, for some reason, you have been talking more than other panelists, what we’ll do to kind of let you know that without letting you know that is by saying, ‘Okay, in this next question, John and Cindy, what are your thoughts?'” So, we’ll just leave out the one person knowing that you’re all experts on all of this. “So, let’s hear from someone else.”  

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Kristin Arnold, professional panel moderator, and high stakes meeting facilitator is on a crusade to make all panel discussions informative, interactive, and interesting.   Specifically, she wants to help YOU become a better panel moderator.  Why?  Because 95% of annual meetings have panel discussions – and according to the 2014 Panel Report, it’s a fifty-fifty proposition they are any good at all!  Expectations decrease dramatically when your attendees walk in and see the traditional draped head-table with microphones on short stands.  There are sooooo many other ways to have a stimulating conversation!  So let’s increase the probability of success for your next panel discussion with these resources.

And, you can always go back to the playlist for more Powerful Panel Discussion Tips!

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