Should you use cue cards or a teleprompter to help keep yourself on track while moderating a panel discussion at a meeting, conference, or convention? Professional panel moderator, Kristin Arnold asked this question of Kate Delaney, Emmy Award-winning journalist, and America’s #1 female sports commentator and talk show host.
Kristin: Kate, do you use cue cards or a teleprompter to keep things on track?
Kate: I didn’t have any cue cards, teleprompter, none of that. I just memorized in my head what I wanted to say. Everybody’s bio, the little pieces I took from the bio, and also the questions. I say them to myself conversationally. I would kind of practice that. Like I set up in my office, “Okay, here’s my four people and here’s Amy, here’s Heath, here’s Rachel, here’s Patti.” So Kate, who are they? And I just knew their bio, and I knew the first question and I knew the other questions in my head. So what I would say is, and I know this is not a speaker thing. There’s this, and I understand it.
Everybody wants things to be perfect. So you memorize to the letter everything you’re going to say sometimes and then what happens when you stumble and you forget that cue line. I think sometimes that trips people up. There are a lot of ways to say things differently. It’s like if I read a book and you read a book, Kristin, and you say, “Well, Kate, what was that book about?” I say something different and you say something different but we both read the same paragraph and we understand it. So I would say you really absorb the information, then you can easily, comfortably, conversationally as a moderator put that out there. Don’t put yourself on the line where I have my questions…here’s my questions and then you get stuck. Because you’re focused on the questions and not what they’re telling you.
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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!