When the stakes are high and you really need to hit a home run, you’ll want to hire a professional panel moderator to:
Increase your odds.68% of all panels are considered merely okay or worse. Increase your odds of success by using a professional who has been there, done that. Of course, there’s no guarantee, so just like hiring a professional speaker, do your due diligence; make sure the person you hire can actually do the job.
Break the mold. Panel discussions tend to follow the same old boring, traditional format behind a white, draped table. Your professional moderator should have an extensive playbook of techniques to add pizazz to the process. A professional panel moderator can help shape the session with suggestions on the room set and creative panel formats that your attendees will rave about throughout the conference.
Have better takeaways. A moderator is a champion for the audience—making sure panelists stay focused on clear takeaways for the audience. A panel moderator is NOT an expert in the topic and therefore won’t get sucked into dominating the panel or advocating for a specific position. The moderator makes sure the panelists look clever and the audience gets their key questions answered.
Select brilliant panelists. Unfortunately, not all panelists are spectacular speakers in front of an audience. A skilled facilitator can work with even the most boring expert to sound brilliant and be fascinating.
Be on time.Managing time is one of the top panel discussion challenges. A professional moderator, will start and end on time, use the time in between efficiently and effectively, and maximize the value to your audience.
Be less stressed. You’ll know you’re in good hands. You won’t have to worry about a good job (or not). You can focus on bigger issues, knowing the moderator is carefully attuned to all aspects of the session.
In the big scheme of things, when you factor in the direct and indirect costs of your meeting; hiring a professional panel moderator is a great investment in securing a successful panel discussion that is the highlight of your conference.
For more on panel moderation and how Kristin Arnold makes conference panel discussions extraordinary, read here.
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.