How do you prefer to introduce the panelists at a panel discussion at meetings, conferences and conventions? Professional Panel Moderator Kristin Arnold asked this question of Joe Calloway, Business Keynote Speaker, panel moderator, and member of the US Speaker Hall of Fame.
Kristin: Joe, how do you like to introduce the panelists to the audience?
Joe: Well, generally it’s either within a company or it’s a professional association. The last one I did was a week ago yesterday in St. Louis and it was three financial advisors for Edward Jones Company and they were all three from different parts of the country. And so all I had—everybody there was a financial advisor, so in that case, all I had to do was say, “Please welcome from Cambridge Massachusetts, Bill Smith.” I didn’t have to say because they knew that he was a financial advisor. Other times—I did one with Phillips 66 a few weeks ago and the audience was so big that they probably didn’t know the person the person coming up and I had people from three different divisions. I said, “I want to bring three of your colleagues out but I want to start with Susan Jones. Susan is in flight, as in aviation fuel distribution in Clear Water, Florida. She got her start down there in 1997. She’s built a terrific business and we’re going to find out how she did that, so please help me welcome Susan.” So, it’s here’s who she is, here’s what she does and here’s where she’s from. If they give me a long introduction, I tell them “There’s no need for this.” We just don’t need a long introduction. It eats up too much time. I talk them out of it and say “Let’s keep the introduction really short”.
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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!