Can a moderator over-prepare for a panel discussion at a meeting, conference or convention?  Professional panel moderator Kristin Arnold asked this question of Boston Globe journalist and panel moderator, Scott Kirsner, who also wrote the highly rated Harvard Business Review article on How to Moderate a Panel Like a Pro.

Video Transcript

Kristin:  To do a really good job you don’t just show up and like moderate right?

Scott:  You can over prepare for panels. And you know I’m someone who also organizes conference and recruits other moderators and I just have seen a lot of times where someone over prepares and it makes for a bad panel. You know where they are like they have their list of, “We’re going try to get through these twenty questions during our hour and I’ve had a pretty panel conference call and I had a lunch with my panelist and we’re now like best friends” and we— and so the whole panel winds up being, “As we discussed that our pre panel conference call the biggest issue in healthcare today is really.” So like the people in the audience feel like, “Well what I’m getting a rehash of these really interesting lunch time conversations or conference calls?”

You know so it could feel a little bit like warmed over like microwave left overs basically.


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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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