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Moderating Panels Part 2

 

You’ve prepared for your role as Panel Moderator by reading Part 1 of this blog.

It’s showtime!  Time to call the room to order.. and conduct a stimulating, thought-provoking, memorable event. .
 
 
1.    Calling the room to order- use a nice hearty voice letting folks know you’d like to begin in (pick your time.. 3 minutes?).  You can give them a countdown or any additional warning you’d like.
 
2.    Your voice: Make sure you’re using a clear, full, projected voice.  Send it out from your stomach.  You can warm yourself up and do a mic check with your call to order.  Ask if everyone can hear you clearly in the back.  Mic adjustments might have to be made.
 
3.    You want to set the premise at the beginning- as you would with video interviews.  Start with a Lead
(rhymes with seed) Line.. Keep your intro as brief as possible.    
 
4.    Introduce the panelists- brief and your way.  It is your show.  If you feel that you may be shortchanging someone- you can suggest to the audience where they can find more biographical detail.
 
5.    Tell us how the panel event will flow.  What are the rules for the panelists and for the audience?
 
6.    Keep it moving and lively!!  You are good cop/bad cop..  traffic cop.. instigator.. You are in total control.
 
7.    Ending it.  Always be ready with a short, smart final statement although you’ll most likely be coming up with something new.  If some or all of you will be available afterwards- let the audience know where/when that might be.. and that you’d be pleased to chat further.  
 
8.    Fielding questions.  You can have folks writing them on collected cards or sending them electronically.. you can have hands held high with a person running around with a mic.. you might have a mic stand for folks to line up at…  If it’s not 100% obvious that the amplification of a question is sufficient for every attendee in the room- always repeat the question!
 
Always bring at least 2 questions of your own in case there are no others.  You can introduce them as ‘A provocative question recently posed to me was… ‘ or ‘here’s one that struck me while we were talking..’ 
 
Beware praising someone’s question as ‘great.. interesting.. ‘ etc. since other folks may feel bad that they haven’t received the same praise- or that their question won’t be a good one. 
 
You’ll still be traffic cop here too- eg.  if a question is posed to one person and you think another panelist would like to weigh in.. or if a question is posed to the group at large- and you need to pinpoint a first and second responder
 
Expect combative folks (if I may politely interject…) .. long-winded folks (I believe your question is..).


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