How important is it to praise the expertise of the panelists before and during the panel discussion at a meeting, conference, or convention? Kristin Arnold asked this question of Kate Delaney, Emmy Award-winning journalist, and America’s #1 female sports commentator and talk show host.

Video Transcript

Kristin: Kate, how important is it to praise the expertise of the panelists?

Kate: Maybe this is something that we don’t do enough on panels. The reason you pull people on panels is you want their expertise. And we all have little egos or maybe big egos. I don’t know. But when you tell somebody, “You know what? Kristin, you’re brilliant. You understand how panels work and you are tired of seeing crummy panels. So share with us everything you can because we want to absorb that incredible knowledge and valuable knowledge that you have to share.”

And I think people light up when they hear that. Instead of just letting them slump into their seat and, “Hey thanks for coming,” and that’s nice, but “We are so excited to have you here because you did this, this, this, and this.” And I think there was something about that. Making them feel like, “Wow! yeah. I really do have a lot to share.”

And your preparation is making the panelists feel like, “Man, you’re the expert. That’s why I’m here Mr. IBM. This is why you’re here.” And I think that adds to them feeling like they can feel confident enough to say what they’re thinking.

Looking for More?

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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