Professional Panel Moderator Kristin Arnold asks Glenn Thayer, Master of Ceremonies and conference moderator to share his advice for moderators of panel discussions at meetings, conferences and conventions.
Kristin: Glenn, what advice can you give to other panel moderators who are really trying to “up their game”?
Glenn: Do your homework and really get agreements. Do your homework, get agreements from the panel members so you know how you can manage it and really really work with the meeting owner, and the person that brought you in, in advance to do some pre-productions to look at options on what’s going to work best and serve your audience. Audience members are diverse and they expect different things.
So the question is, you have to look at, does this particular format that they want to use serve the audience? Is this going to make it to where they want to go? “Oh it’s another panel discussion. This is terrible. I don’t really want to. I hate panel discussions.” Or is going to be something that they would go, “That was awesome. I learned so much because I felt like I was a part of the conversation.” So really work with your meeting owner. That is really it. Pre-production with the meeting owner to make sure you’ve got the right fit, agreements around everybody and I know there was one more that I went through because I’m doing this backwards, research.
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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!