May 12, 2016

Here’s an Innovative SME/Panelist Format

If a Panel, a Q&A, and a Keynote Speaker Had a Baby……it would be DigitalNow‘s creative collaboration sessions, according to MeetingsNet.com. I was fascinated with MeetingsNet.com’s description […]
April 28, 2016

The Definition of a “Rapid Fire Panel Discussion”

“Rapid fire panel discussion sounds much more sexy than [boring] panel discussion, doesn’t it?  I admit, I was intrigued with the title when I stumbled upon […]
February 11, 2016

12 Ways Panel Moderators Can Manage Time Effectively During a Panel Discussion

Your audience can get really annoyed when the moderator doesn’t manage time well during a panel discussion.  All it takes is for the moderator to take […]
October 15, 2015

Attention Meeting Professionals: The Main Reason Your Panels are Boring

This week at IMEX America in Las Vegas, I was speaking about how to make your panel discussions go from boring to bravo. Before the session […]
October 7, 2015

27 Popular Panel Discussion Formats to Spark Your Creativity!

One of the most important tasks for a meeting organizer and panel moderator to do is to create an appropriate structure and panel discussion formats. What's the difference? Consider the structure to be the essential framework of the panel discussion, (the tasks, the flow, and the timing) whereas the format gives it the shape, color, life, and energy. Formats come in all kinds of shapes and sizes - the creativity is boundless! However, there are generally five types of formats that I have seen in the in-person and virtual world.
August 27, 2015

How to Keep the Audience Engaged During A Panel with One Simple Trick

I was talking with Tim Mathy at SpeakInc about a panel he was on that “flowed amazingly well.”
August 19, 2015

Add a Little Pizzazz To Your Next Panel Program

Popular television shows are great venues to look for ways to spice up your next panel program.  It can be something as simple as riffing an […]
August 13, 2015

Why The Republican Presidential Primary Wasn’t a Debate

It rankles me when something is advertised as one thing, and then it turns out to be something else. When a bank says, “free checking” only […]
August 9, 2015

Republican Presidential Primary Debate: How Did the Moderators Do?

Moderating a nationally televised debate is never easy.  Just ask Fox News anchors Bret Baier, Megyn Kelly and Chris Wallace, the moderators of Thursday’s first Republican Presidential […]
August 4, 2015

Try a “Lightning Round” to Increase Energy in Your Panel Discussions

Here’s another way to kick off the panel, finish it up, or interject some energy into the room – especially when you have a “boatload” of […]
September 15, 2014
What is a panel discussion

What is a Panel Discussion?

Harry A. Overstreet, an American educator, first coined the term “panel discussion” in a short article “On the Panel” in October 1934, issue of The Trained Nurse and Hospital Review.  In essence, Overstreet envisioned the purpose of a panel as a “glorified conversation [with] all the delight of generous give-and-take. And if it is a genuinely good conversation, it sends people away with a warm feeling not only that their own ideas have been clarified but that their understanding of other points of view has been broadened.”
September 2, 2014

The Anatomy of a Powerful Panel Discussion

Back in July, I had the good fortune to witness the Executive Exchange Panel with Steve Forbes, Chairman and Editor in Chief, Forbes Media, Kat Cole, CEO […]
June 5, 2014

Should Meeting Organizers Put Panel Discussions Back to Back?

I am not a big fan of the words “never,”  “always,” everyone,” or “no one.”  They don’t leave any wiggle room for an exception to the […]
March 30, 2014

What’s Your Biggest Pet Peeve of a Panel Discussion?

In a recent survey of 539 executives, thought leaders and meeting professionals, I asked the question, “What’s your absolute, biggest pet peeve” about panel discussions at […]
March 23, 2014

Get Rid of the White, Draped Table at Panel Discussions!

The default panel discussion room set appears to be a long table at the front of the room, draped with a white (or black) tablecloth with […]
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