Professional Panel Moderator Kristin Arnold asks Terry Brock, technology trends expert, virtual panel moderator, and member of the US Speaker Hall of Fame about his favorite microphone to use for virtual panel discussions at meetings, conferences, and conventions.

Video Transcript

Kristin: Terry, what kind of microphone do you recommend for virtual panel discussions?

Terry: Many people will use the microphone built into the computer, and that’s okay but many times it doesn’t sound as good. I’m using this microphone right here. I’m showing you the inside secret stuff. I’ve got it down here; you don’t see it but my voice is—my mouth is about that far from it. So it’s right here; that way I’ve got a good microphone, and you don’t have to get one like this. This is a studio mike; this is the Yeti microphone from Blue Microphones, great microphone; I love it.

But you can get an over-the-ear microphone or a lapel microphone. Those kinds of external microphones will be really, really important, and if you plan for this a few weeks beforehand, it’s easy to say, you talked to one of the participants, “You don’t have a microphone, no problem.” And you send them a microphone. You can overnight it to them or send it for a couple days; they have it and the quality of sound will be much better than if I’m talking like this. Notice the difference in the quality? It sounds like I’m in a cave or a vacuum. And you probably recognize that kind of tone from many videos that you’ll see on YouTube or other places because people aren’t using the microphone.

We don’t think about it unless it’s not really working well. So that’s just one item on the checklist. Make sure the audio is really clear; use an external microphone and make sure it’s working in the testing.


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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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