What is your favorite Q&A format during a panel discussion at meetings, conferences, and conventions? Professional Panel Moderator Kristin Arnold asks Glenn Thayer, Master of Ceremonies and conference moderator to share his perspective.


Video Transcript

Kristin: Glenn, what is your favorite Q&A format?

Glenn: Well really, for Q&A, I’d like to set things off right off the bat. So I want to take questions right when it begins. I really dislike waiting at the end for Q&A and there are just two reasons for that.

First and foremost, the most exciting part about panel discussions is getting the audience’s questions answered. And I always find meeting owners typically go, “Here’s the questions we want. We want to format the conversation to go this way. Well this way is not going to be most beneficial for the audience.”

What’s going to happen is getting their question answered, it’s like “Oh, did not think about that question. That’s an awesome question. Let’s talk about that more. Tell me more about that. Oh, here’s what else is going on and let’s look at the panelist. Let’s talk about the panelist.” There have been times that I’ve called out people asking, “Who wrote that question in?”

By the way, I’m a big fan of using technology for Q&A because it allows you to moderate the questions that come in and I know some people are against moderation, to be able to moderate those and vet the questions but I think it’s important to keep the panel moving unless you have a town hall or forum type thing. You should vet some of the questions.

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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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