Eventually, someone on a panel you moderate is going to develop a serious case of motor mouth. While, to date, I have not heard of PowerPoint being arrested on criminal charges, you get the point. You were asked to be the moderator because you are an expert, so be an expert moderator by shining the spotlight where it belongs – on the panelists. Try to take a collaborative role with the event organizer - this is the type of pitfall an experienced moderator can head off at the pass.”. For just $5 per month, get access to premium content, webinars, an ad-free experience, and more! So, in addition to making sure you know what they are speaking to, also find out if there are issues they are not comfortable addressing. Lieb’s advice here is spot on: “Know how to cut someone off, definitively but politely. Get heaping discounts to books you love delivered straight to your inbox. So…think you’re up for moderating a panel with Dell’s C-suite, Amazon’s IT executives, or Microsoft’s founders? Khurana points out: “It is important to entertain, enrich and thereby engage the audience by breaking conventional conversations and pushing the panel members to come up with interesting content.”. Rather, come in with the perspective that you are intensely interested in the topic and want to gain insights by questioning the panelists. Trust Entrepreneur to help you find out. We’ll feature a different book each week and share exclusive deals you won’t find anywhere else. Your panelists will thank you, as will their executive assistants, PR reps, and anyone else who may be part of their posse. Make them look smart and you’ll look smart. “Meet as many people in the audience as you can prior to the panel and include their stories or comment about their business in the dialog,” adds Gale. It can grow dangerously uncomfortable for everyone involved. During the prep phase, encourage your panelists to come up with various opinions and points of view on the topic to ensure at least 25 percent of the conversation drives “counter-point” feedback. “This might sound like overkill, but it's really not,” says Shonali Burke, who regularly moderates panels and coaches her clients on the subject as well. How to Prepare for a Speaking Gig. Ask them to respond honestly and to each other, … So, You're an Industry Expert Now? An introductory slide with the Wi-Fi information is also very useful to attendees. Yes, it’s important to come prepared … We've all heard enough stories of "death by PowerPoint." The first question is irrelevant. Related: So, You're an Industry Expert Now? (The art is in the follow-ups.) “If you're creating slides, encourage your panelists to keep them as visual as possible,” adds Burke. We’ve all seen this happen. Amplify your business knowledge and reach your full entrepreneurial potential with Entrepreneur Insider’s exclusive benefits. Knowing what they officially can or can't speak to ahead of time - and how to professionally draw that line during the panel if needed - will relieve a great deal of stress on their part, which will make your job a little easier.”. Your role is to essentially be a well-informed Switzerland. Give your panelists the OK to speak up out of turn. Related: 7 Powerful Public Speaking Tips From One of the Most-Watched TED Talks Speakers. 10 Ways Panel Moderators Can Manage Time Effectively During a Panel Discussion. As a panel moderator, asking insightful and interesting questions is one of your biggest responsibilities. Everyone agrees with each other about everything. But first you’ll need to prepare for the session. “Additionally, if you're using slides, insert a pre-determined hashtag on each of them, as well as the panelists' Twitter handles; this makes it much easier for live-tweeting to take place. You want to make sure your panelists are really comfortable. As a moderator, it’s your job to pay attention to the clock! Are you paying too much for business insurance? You were presumably asked to moderate because you have domain expertise. “The poor woman was backstage, sick to her stomach moments before we were 'on.' Copyright © 2020 Entrepreneur Media, Inc. All rights reserved. HINT: When people are literally falling asleep, or obsessively checking their devices every 10 seconds out of sheer boredom, then you have a code-red slumber party situation. As an entrepreneur, part of any solid marketing and public relations plan will likely involve you (or key spokespeople from your company) hitting what I like to call the “speaker-panelist-moderator” circuit. “Say a panelist is with a firm that's currently in the midst of a crisis, or being closely watched by the media. Check out these dos and don’ts from some of the best moderators in the biz before taking the plunge, and you’ll be well on your way to nailing it. This reiterates the importance of the moderator, and how tricky this job can be. Well-timed questions and answers, and the moderator’s ability to almost “feel” the pace of the discussion, will typically ensure the audience stays engaged and interested. Never take sides or express your own opinions. That means you know other experts on the topic, and if they're good at speaking (or not). How to Create GREAT Questions for Your Panelists to Answer during Your Panel Discussion. Plus, enjoy a FREE 1-year. “Know everything you can about your panelists and the topic,” says Porter Gale, author of Your Network Is Your Net Worth and moderator exemplar. Do you have critical gaps in your coverage? Instead, solicit input on the topic from people individually, and then send a bulletin to the entire group on the topics and questions you'll cover.”. This is spectacular advice. “It should not favor any one particular speaker’s point of view over another, and the moderator should ensure that the conversation is balanced.”. -Tom Webster, writer, speaker, and panel moderator. Panel #fails usually happen for three reasons: 2. A great moderator should speak 10 percent of the time — … I understand that the data I am submitting will be used to provide me with the above-described products and/or services and communications in connection therewith. A trick I use that has not only made me more comfortable, but can prove to be a slumber party hack: Pick three or four people to chat with a few minutes before you kick off the discussion, find out where they are from, why they are there, what interests them and if they are comfortable sharing their thoughts throughout the panel, then weave their contributions into the conversation. Not an easy task by any stretch of the imagination. 3 Popular Panel Discussion Formats Although not as obvious, Khurana makes a final observation that I think is an important one: “Another important aspect for a moderator to keep in mind is that the conversation should not be biased,” says Khurana. 3. “I was once saddled with a highly qualified panelist who had never before spoken in public,” reflects Lieb. 7 Powerful Public Speaking Tips From One of the Most-Watched TED Talks Speakers, Try This Weird Trick to Improve Your Public Speaking, Overcome Your Fear of Public Speaking With This $40 Course, Why You Should Stop Memorizing Your Speeches and Stories, 4 Ways to Survive a Crisis as a Public Speaker, 9 Top Speakers Transforming Crisis into Opportunity. While this may seem counterintuitive, I’ve taken this tip to heart and it has made my life, and everyone else’s, much easier. The moderator’s job is to help the audience get their needs met through a panel format. “An effective moderator is one who ensures that each panel member gets equal time to provide his or her views on a particular topic of discussion,” says Dippak Khurana, co-founder and CEO of Vserv. Start with a short, interesting hook to grab everyone’s attention, then share something about yourself and explain how you will introduce the panelists and facilitate the session. The moderator slot, which is often the most challenging, is typically saved for the best listeners who also have a knack for the “art of conversation.” These folks are great at improvisation, know a tremendous amount about any given subject, and understand what it takes to avoid facilitating an audience slumber party. It's like herding cats. A truly great moderator will intervene if one panelist is taking majority of the time (see #4 above), if a panelist is veering off-topic, or if the general conversation is careening into no man’s land. The fourth-wall thing is useful during Shakespearean theater performances and the ballet, but something truly special happens if you can integrate the audience throughout a panel. Eventually, someone on a panel you moderate is … It is the moderator’s responsibility to make sure … The moderator sets the tone, the pace and control of the content, staying ever-vigilant in keeping it relevant for the audience. How to Prepare for a Speaking Gig. If you’re an expert who enjoys sparring with your peers, then your PR dream team will probably pitch you as a panelist extraordinaire. Your job is to save the conversation for the panel, the audience, and maintain the dignity of the unfortunate person who is rabbiting on long after the point has been made.”. Examples could include past career moves, personal stories, quotes from presentations they’ve given or articles they’ve written.”, As digital media and advertising analyst for Altimeter Group, Rebecca Lieb has moderated her fair share of panels: “Don't break your neck getting your panelists on an advance call.
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