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. How to Prepare for a Speaking Gig. Rather, come in with the perspective that you are intensely interested in the topic and want to gain insights by questioning the panelists. It is the moderator’s responsibility to make sure … Trust Entrepreneur to help you find out. Eventually, someone on a panel you moderate is … Copyright © 2020 Entrepreneur Media, Inc. All rights reserved. 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. A great moderator should speak 10 percent of the time — … So, You're an Industry Expert Now? -Tom Webster, writer, speaker, and panel moderator. 6 Steps to Overcoming Stage Fright and Giving a Presentation Everybody Listens To. How to Prepare for a Speaking Gig. While this may seem counterintuitive, I’ve taken this tip to heart and it has made my life, and everyone else’s, much easier. “Make sure you know some fun facts that demonstrate the depth of your knowledge. 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.”. Panel #fails usually happen for three reasons: 2. 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.”. Everyone agrees with each other about everything. Lieb’s advice here is spot on: “Know how to cut someone off, definitively but politely. 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. Not an easy task by any stretch of the imagination. Related: 6 Steps to Overcoming Stage Fright and Giving a Presentation Everybody Listens To. 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. So…think you’re up for moderating a panel with Dell’s C-suite, Amazon’s IT executives, or Microsoft’s founders? 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.”. Eventually, someone on a panel you moderate is going to develop a serious case of motor mouth. Related: So, You're an Industry Expert Now? “Know everything you can about your panelists and the topic,” says Porter Gale, author of Your Network Is Your Net Worth and moderator exemplar. But first you’ll need to prepare for the session. For just $5 per month, get access to premium content, webinars, an ad-free experience, and more! 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. The moderator sets the tone, the pace and control of the content, staying ever-vigilant in keeping it relevant for the audience. 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. This is spectacular advice. 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. “Say a panelist is with a firm that's currently in the midst of a crisis, or being closely watched by the media. 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. Never take sides or express your own opinions. Plus, enjoy a FREE 1-year. An introductory slide with the Wi-Fi information is also very useful to attendees. While, to date, I have not heard of PowerPoint being arrested on criminal charges, you get the point. (The art is in the follow-ups.) This reiterates the importance of the moderator, and how tricky this job can be. As a moderator, it’s your job to pay attention to the clock! 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. 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. Don’t make up your mind about the topic. Get heaping discounts to books you love delivered straight to your inbox. 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. “If you're creating slides, encourage your panelists to keep them as visual as possible,” adds Burke. How to Create GREAT Questions for Your Panelists to Answer during Your Panel Discussion. “The poor woman was backstage, sick to her stomach moments before we were 'on.' If you’re an expert who enjoys sparring with your peers, then your PR dream team will probably pitch you as a panelist extraordinaire. We've all heard enough stories of "death by PowerPoint." 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.”. Give your panelists the OK to speak up out of turn. “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. Now that you are armed with the best moderator tips out there, off you go to rule the conference circuit world. You want to make sure your panelists are really comfortable. 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. 10 Ways Panel Moderators Can Manage Time Effectively During a Panel Discussion. Do you have critical gaps in your coverage? Your role is to essentially be a well-informed Switzerland. That means you know other experts on the topic, and if they're good at speaking (or not). 3. “It should not favor any one particular speaker’s point of view over another, and the moderator should ensure that the conversation is balanced.”. “Avoid phrases such as, ‘That’s a … 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. The panelists are self-involved and boring. 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. As a panel moderator, asking insightful and interesting questions is one of your biggest responsibilities. Don’t let a panelist go too far down the rabbit hole. Amplify your business knowledge and reach your full entrepreneurial potential with Entrepreneur Insider’s exclusive benefits. As moderator, you’ll introduce the topic within the first few minutes. 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.”. The moderator’s job is to help the audience get their needs met through a panel format.
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