Using Examples VS. Illustrations to Spark a Powerful Panel

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One easy way to spark some interest in your panel discussion is to ask for an example, an illustration or a case study from one (or more) of the panelists. Better yet, as a panelist, proactively provide some depth and substance to your point by providing an example or illustration.

You may be wondering….what’s the difference?

Examples are short statements to clarify or elaborate on the points that are usually expressed in one or two sentences. They are often prefaced with “for example” or “for instance.” When sharing an example, try to refer to specific people in the audience as a whole to demonstrate or make your point.

An example of this would be “You can easily engage your audience during a panel discussion using myriad techniques. For example, you can periodically poll the audience, ask for questions from the audience, or ask a question to discuss in a small group.”

Illustrations. When you’re looking to extend an example, use an illustration to provide more detail in order to clarify your point. The best illustrations use specific names, dates, and locations, as appropriate. Generally, an illustration describes a process or chronology of events and provides a level of concreteness that is easily remembered. “Sally really engages her audiences during a panel discussion. How? Let me give you an illustration. At the panel discussion last week, she crowdsourced audience questions using the meeting app . . .”

It never fails. Providing a bit more depth and detail is a sure-fire way to spark a little interest in your panel discussion.


Related Articles:

How Moderators Can Manage Awkward Audience Comments

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

Panel Discussion Tip #185 with Jeffrey Hayzlett: Finishing Panel Discussions


For more resources on moderating panel discussions, visit the Knowledge Vault. To have Kristin moderate your next panel, visit the Powerful Panels official website.



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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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