I was just critiquing a “Panel Discussion” where the panel moderator posed a question to a panelist (or two) and then moved on to the next question. For the entire panel discussion. Question posed, panelist answers, maybe another panelist answers. Rinse and repeat for 90 minutes.
Although the information was very relevant and meaningful, it was…how shall I say it? A tad repetitious?
While there are many ways to add more pizazz to a panel discussion, you can always interject an activity or interaction every 6-8 minutes (I call these “chunks”).
One way you can inject a little excitement is to “Spin the Wheel.”
Take the same wheel idea from the TV show, “Spin the Wheel” and swap out the currency for questions! You can take the moderator-curated questions if the order isn’t really important OR add quick, fun (but mildly relevant) questions and put them on a colored wheel. Spin the wheel from time to time, thereby adding a bit of novelty throughout.
There are tons of free tools to help you do this online or by projecting it onscreen for in-person panels. I don’t have a favorite (yet), but just Google “spin the wheel generator” and you can pick one to add a little levity to your panel discussion.
(BTW, the manual version of this is to “pick a card” where you put your moderator-curated questions on index cards OR take the question cards submitted by the audience in preparation for the panel – and ask a panelist or audience member to “pick a card” from the deck!)
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KRISTIN ARNOLD, MBA, CSP, CPF | Master, professional panel moderator, and high stakes meeting facilitator is on a quest to make all panel discussions lively and informative. Check out her free 7-part video series on how to moderate a panel discussion and other resources to help you organize, moderate, or be a panel member.
Photo by Alex Quezada on Unsplash