Powerful Panel Discussion Tip #209 – Becky Pluth: Tips to Make a Panel Discussion Memorable

Professional panel moderator Kristin Arnold asks Becky Pike Pluth, Train-the-Trainer expert and President/CEO of the Bob Pike Group to share some tips to make a panel discussion memorable at meetings, conferences, and conventions.

Video Transcript

Kristin: Becky, do you have any tips to make a panel discussion more memorable?

Becky: So, curiosity, what we know about curiosity is that the curious moment is far more memorable than other content. But also, what came directly before the curious moment and directly after the curious moment is far more memorable.

So, what I would do is, pause before answering, so that it creates this moment of curiosity like, “What is that panelist gonna say? I’m really interested to hear.” Pausing can create curiosity.

Other things that create curiosity is, all of a sudden, you’re doing something different. So, there’s this game going with clickers, that creates a curious moment. Doing giveaways totally at random times during a panel, totally unexpected, creates curiosity.

So, if each of the panelists have a book, say, “Oh my word, surprise! You got these tickets when you walked in the room. We’re doing a drawing right now. Somebody’s winning Susan’s book on XYZ or Becky’s book on XYZ. Five, two, one, three. I’m doing the last three numbers, one, seven,” and you draw it out, “four. Congratulations. Way to go. You’ve just won yourself a book.”

And I don’t make it super random. It’s obviously, I’m gonna give the book away after that panelist has just spoken or after a question that related specifically to their book was just asked. But now, all of a sudden, these people listening in are wondering when that’s gonna happen again, because it’s random and intermittent. So, creating curiosity throughout your panel in different ways is what I would recommend and encourage.

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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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