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The Last Question of a Panel Discussion

Nick Morgan wrote a fabulous book called Give Your Speech, Change the World.  I believe the same thing holds true with panel discussions. What’s the point if you don’t want the audience to think, feel, or do something as a result of your time together?

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With any luck, the panel moderator will tell you their final question and/or how they intend to close the panel.  So take some time to think about a final takeaway, insight, or idea you want to leave with the audience.  I’m a big fan of asking the audience to do something.

Your panel moderator may ask you for:

  • An actionable suggestion or “call to action” – based on what the panel discussed.
  • ONE thing you want the audience to think, feel or do as a result of this discussion.
  • If you had to summarize what we discussed here, what would be your headline?
  • An idea that we did NOT mention that we should have….
  • What you learned on this panel that you did not know before.
  • The question you are most often asked after talking about what we just talked about.
  • What bugs you the most about this topic.
  • The best way to contact you for more information.

I highly recommend finishing the panel discussion on a high note with a very clear call to action.  It is this “final thought” that creates clear takeaways for the audience and positions you and your company as a resource. 

At this point, you have done a great job sharing valuable information and insights and you or the moderator have positioned you appropriately.  Don’t blow it by being too pushy and promotional right at the end with this last question of a panel discussion.  If they are interested, they will reach out to you.

Related Articles

How to Moderate a Panel Discussion

How Panel Moderators and Panelists Impress the Audience and Leave a Lasting Impression

17 Different Types of Panel Discussion Questions


For more information about how to moderate a lively & informative leadership panel discussion, check out our free 7-part video series on how to moderate a panel and other resources to help you organize, moderate, or be a panel member.

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Kristin ArnoldKristin Arnold
KRISTIN ARNOLD, MBA, CSP, CPF|Master has been facilitating meaningful conversations between executives and managers to make better decisions and achieve extraordinary results for 25+ years. She's a leading authority on moderating panel discussions and passionate about finding the perfect olive to complement a vodka martini.

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