What is your advice on how to handle a long-winded panelist during a panel discussion at a meeting, conference, or convention? Professional Panel Moderator Kristin Arnold asked this question of Dr. Chip Bell, professional speaker and panel moderator.


Video Transcript

Kristin: Chip, what do you do when you have a long-winded panelist?

Chip: Step right in, I think you have to be assertive and I think you’re again early. The more you can –I mean I think everything happens in the beginning. And by that I mean the tone you set, the style you set up front is the one you’re going to get throughout. And so that climate setting is critical and so if you plan to be an assertive moderator and sort of guide the conversation then the demonstration of that in the very beginning needs to be there. “Oh let’s see we’ve got somebody just not going to let us get loosey goosey and talk about something that may not be important.”

Yes and that’s what they want. Panelists want somebody to be sort of the helper of the structure and they want someone who is willing to step in. And that is what makes a good moderator. Is that you can be warm friendly and funny and compassionate at the same time. It’s sort of the tough love for panels. You know you got to be willing to demonstrate that tough side, discipline side otherwise you’re not going to achieve the goals of the panel.

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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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