Professional panel moderator Kristin Arnold asks Michael Carnes, CEO of Hoka Hey, Inc. specializing in creative media and event production, to share some ideas to make sure panel discussions end on time at meetings, conferences, and conventions.
Kristin: Michael, as the event director, what can you do to make sure the panel discussion ends on time?
Michael: That all depends on the power we’re given by the producer of the show, by the client. It really does. We have turned microphones off. We have shut curtains; we have cut lights off, but all because we’ve been given that power by the producer. Otherwise, we’re stuck. Yeah, we’re seeing the time go, but we’re like, somebody get—I mean, I can’t tell you how many times on headset—“somebody get the hook out,” you know? “Get them off!” and unless we’ve been given that power, we just have to let it go.
I won’t get itchy if they go an hour over if that’s what the producer—if they don’t care. If they don’t come back and say we’ve got to stop this, then I don’t care because it’s no skin off my back.
One of the things we have done a lot, if you have the confidence monitors down there, we will be on there. You’re over. Please get off. Please complete. You’re done. Outta here. You know, we’ll just—it will get worse and worse, and we can put things on the screen down there that nobody else can see. So we will give them five minutes, just like TV—you know—five minutes to go, two minutes to go, one minute to go. And a lot of times, they’ll have speaker timers down there anyway, but when they ignore it, then you start typing on the monitors.
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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!