7 Tactics to Take a Panel Discussion from Uninspired to Unforgettable
October 16, 2018
How to Ace a “Strategic Moment” as a Panel Moderator
October 31, 2018

In this age of increasingly polarized opinions, I watch with horror the television news shows that host a “panel” of experts – who all talk over each other.

How is this a constructive dialogue?  Um, it isn’t.  And it shouldn’t be tolerated (unless you think this kind of behavior increases your ratings?).

As a panel moderator, be explicit in your expectations about how your panel is going to go.  Conversation is great – talking over one another is not.  Showing passion about your topic is fabulous – screaming your opinion is not.  Sharing your opinion is literally why you have been asked to be on the panel, but believing your opinion is THE ONLY ANSWER or calling another panelist a name is simply bad behavior.

And what happens if you are a fellow panelist trying to weigh in, or even finish your sentence or thought?  Ah…the proverbial statement, “Let me finish” might be strong enough (without sounding too petulant) to actually let you finish.

My biggest fear, however, is that panelists and audience members think that this kind of bad behavior is the new norm.  Talking over each other, ranting and raving, insisting that your opinion is right and just, is now considered to be the proper way to get your point across.

Please, please, please, do NOT let this happen.  Set some strong ground rules to prevent this type of boorish behavior as well as intervene firmly when it occurs at your panel discussion.

(BTW, I selected a few videos that would reflect exactly what I am talking about…but then realized that you might look at them from a content point of view vs. the process.  My intent is NOT to take sides on a particular issue, but to show that a climate of civilized debate is indeed getting hotter. The fact that I am unwilling to show a specific instance is also quite telling….)


Related Articles:

Moderators, Are You Over-preparing Your Panelists?

How to Create GREAT Questions for Your Panelists to Answer during Your Panel Discussion

Panel Discussion Tip #161 with Mark Sanborn: What To Do With a Hyper Panelist

Kristin Arnold, professional panel moderator, and high-stakes meeting facilitator, shares her best practices for interactive, interesting, and engaging panel presentations. For more resources like this, or to have Kristin moderate your next panel visit the Powerful Panels official website.


Kristin Arnold



We don’t spam!

Share This:
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.
Contact Us
Skip to content

Our privacy policy has been updated. By clicking, 'I agree,' you consent to the terms therein. I Agree