Professional Panel Moderator Kristin Arnold asks Joe Calloway, Business Keynote Speaker, panel moderator, and member of the US Speaker Hall of Fame to share his pet peeve – what irritates him the most – as a panel moderator at meetings, conferences, and conventions.

Video Transcript

Kristin: Joe, is there anything that irritates you about panels, and what do you do about it?

Joe: A company – and it’s been a long time since this happened – but a company that said, “We want to rehearse the night before. You and the panel and their answers will be memorized and your questions and your comments will be memorized.” To have a scripted panel, I mean, scripted, Kristin, and after that experience I thought, “Never again. Ever, ever, ever will I participate in something like that.” It was just awful.

No, I don’t want to rehearse a panel. I actually was working with one company and they said – it was a car company – and they said, “We’re thrilled about the idea of a panel but we legal has to approve everything and there can’t be anything said in this panel that legal has not already approved.” And I said, “Well for it to be an effective panel, I’ve got to be able to really talk to these people. And there won’t be any big surprises but I might ask a follow up question sparked by something they say.” And they’re like, “Oh, no, no, no, no, no.” And I said, “Then let’s not do the panel because it would just be too cheesy and goofy.”

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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.

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