Professional Panel Moderator Kristin Arnold asks Glenn Thayer, Master of Ceremonies and conference moderator to share his perspective on how he likes the stage to be set during a panel discussion at meetings, conferences, and conventions.

Video Transcript

Kristin: Glenn, what is your most favorable stage setup when moderating panels?

Glenn: You know, I like the chairs, either chairs or couches and just like a little kind of “U” smiley face.

You know I wouldn’t even go as far as semi-circle. I want everybody in the audience to be able to see what’s going on. So it’s almost like a little angled. You could say a smiley face, it’s what I like to say with, you know, everything that they need, water, whatever, to be able to get what they need. Notes. I like people to be able to have notepads next to them. If there’s a question that comes up and they go, “Oh I want to remember this. This is good. I need to take this back to my office.” I also want also want to make sure that panels feel comfortable taking notes as well because if there’s something that comes up, you want to be able to write that down. You want to be able to go, “I need to capture that.” Of course, the great thing is if your client is taping it. You can go back at any time and review it.


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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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