Kristin Arnold is a high stakes meeting facilitator, professional panel moderator, teamwork trainer and keynote speaker. Kristin has worked with thousands of senior executives, project managers and team leaders in North America, challenging their traditional notions about teamwork. Kristin is the author of several books including: “Powerful Panels: A Step-By-Step Guide to Moderating Lively & Informative Panel Discussions at Meetings, Conferences & Conventions” and “Boring to Bravo: Proven Presentation Techniques to Engage, Involve, and Inspire Your Audiences to Action.” Kristin divides her time between Scottsdale, Arizona, and Prince Edward Island, Canada.
What is a panel discussion
A panel discussion is when you bring two or more experts together to have a lively conversation about a specific topic that is of interest to the audience.
Common mistakes panel moderators make
- They think they are panelists: they tell their ideas and opinions, make some shameless promotions and don’t keep everything on track. If they’re friends with a panelist, they are not objective.
- Sometimes panel moderators are not able to intervene and to cut someone who doesn’t stop talking.
- Just doing a traditional panel format: a long table with a microphone for each panelist. Instead, be creative.
A good example of creative panel discussions
A great example is Scott McKain . He speaks on distinction in the marketplace. Scott likes Real Time with Bill Maher. He did a mockup of Maher’s show called “Real Time with Scott McKain.” One of the panelists brought a bottle of Jägermeister and a few shot glasses. That called the attention and made the panel format distinctive and creative.
How to prepare as a panelist
- Be clear of the objectives of the panel.
- Come prepared with the 3 points you want to get across and have a story that illuminates these 3 points. If possible, make your points tweetable.
- Research the other panelists so you will have something different to say.
“Never do for your audience what they can do for themselves.” — Bob Pike
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey
Routine to Shine
Every morning be grateful, start with a smile on your face. If you smile to other people, they will start smiling at you. It’s the mirror effect. Assume positive intent from anyone you interact with.
Powerful Panels (includes free videos)
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