How To Moderate A Panel

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Presentation/ Interview Skills By: Please log in to see tutor details
Subject: Presentation/ Interview Skills
Last updated: 06/07/2018
Tags: chairing, chairing skills, panel, public speaking, speaking

Chairing a panel might sound simple enough, but doing it well requires preparation, practise and skill. Here's my tips:

Choosing the Panel:

1. Choosing the Panel:
- Look for diversity.
- Check expertise.
- Are they eloquent speakers?

2. Beforehand:
- Research the topic, the panellists and audience.
- Consult meeting chair and planner about the event format.
- Find out what assumptions have been made for you.
- Find out how much latitude you have to be creative.
- Set expectations with the panel.
- Share as much as you can in advance with the panel to help them prepare.
- Think about the technical needs. How will the audience ask questions?

3. On the day
- Introduce the topic in the first few minutes.
- Start with a short and interesting hook to grab attention.
- Share something about yourself.
- Explain how you will introduce the panelists and facilitate the session.

4. Remember:
- You need to put the spotlight on the panelists, not you.
- Get the conversation rolling and become the guide on the side.
- Always be ready to interject with a question to keep speaker's energy levels high and get the audience involved.
- You may need to intervene to get the conversation back on track.

5. Finally:
- Be playful. Smile. Never criticise a question or panelist.
- Use callbacks, refer to points made earlier.
- Let them know when time is running out. How many questions you have time for.
- Share panelists contact info. Give them a final plug.
- Offer opportunities to continue discussion with them.

Richard Foster-Fletcher Public Speaking Tutor (Milton Keynes)

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