Powerful Panel Discussion Tip #109 with Susan Morris: How to Make Sure Panelists Get Equal Time

How do you make sure each panelist gets a fair amount of time to answer the questions during a panel discussion at meetings, conferences, and conventions?  Professional Panel Moderator Kristin Arnold asked this question of Susan Morris, a fantasy author, editor and absurdly frequent panel moderator at GenCon.

Video Transcript

Kristin: Susan, how do you make sure each panelist gets a fair amount of time to answer the questions?

Susan: I have a watch out and I keep account of time for how much time people are doing. Which, it can be helpful, because sometimes panelists talk long, but they all talk long. So if they’re all talking at the same amount of time, and everyone’s engaged, and it’s just that they’re not doing pithy answers, they’re doing longer ones, that’s all right, right? If everyone’s on board. However, if one person’s giving really long answers and everyone else is giving, like, short answers, that’s when you have a problem.

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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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