How to Moderate a Panel Discussion: Following Up (Video #7, 8mins)

How to Moderate a Panel Discussion: Following Up (Video #7, 8mins)

Welcome. It’s the last video to this video
e-course of Powerful Panels: How to Moderate a Lively and Informative Panel Discussion.
My name is Kristin Arnold and I’m a high-stakes meeting facilitator as well as a professional
panel moderator and today’s topic is Following Up.
You have gone through the entire process, this is the last piece that I think a lot
of panel moderators just don’t do, period, very much at all. So, if you want to be extraordinary,
you want a powerful panel experience, take it to the next level, pay attention to this
video because the first piece of the follow up is, you know how when you were moderating
a panel discussion there were some key audience members who were just really interested, engaged?
Maybe they participated and asked a question or volunteered a comment or they just look
like they were absorbing everything that was going on? This is the opportunity afterwards
for you to seek them out. To just ask them, “So, how did the panel go? What was your biggest
takeaway?” Engage in a dialogue. Engage in a relationship.
You might find that one of those panelists or one of those people who was in the audience
might be your new best friend- might be your new best client. Who knows? The possibilities
are there. Take an extra effort to seek out others for the remainder of the event.
Another thing that you can do is if you were collecting questions in any way, either by
text messaging or by using a Twitter hash tag or maybe you were using some question
cards, collect all of that information and use the panelists to help identify the answers
to that and then feed it back to the audience either through the meeting planner, the meeting
chair, through the blog site, through social media- that’s great grist for continual education
and continual learning for your audience. I’m a big fan of repurposing, so repurpose
those question cards. You also want to take within the first 24
hours a step back to critique and for you to ask yourself, “Okay, so I moderated this
panel. What went well?” Trust me- there will be lots of things that went well. You might
not observe them immediately but ask yourself and it’ll come to you. As you talk to other
people, they will tell you. Your evaluation forms, it’ll say things that they liked as
well as the “Do Differently’s.” Now notice, this is not a negative sign. This is a “Do
Differently,” a delta sign which is: What would I do to upgrade this the next time?
Because what’s done is done, it’s in the past but to learn, to move forward, that is something
that a skilled moderator always takes a look at what they could have done differently.
If you actually write it down and keep it in a notebook, you’ll see some trends and
themes emerge that you go, “Oh, my gosh! I need to get better in that piece,” and then
you can focus your energy on building that skill. It doesn’t have to be a big science
project. It’s just a simple critique based on what you observed, what others observed,
your feedback that’s come to you, so that you can get better. You might even find out
through this process that you’re not a big fan of moderating a panel at all but you might
be a very good panelists and in fact this kind of training, the skill building, make
you a better panelist as well and in the audience you’re so much more appreciative of what a
moderator does because it looks so easy. It looks deceptively simple but now you know
there’s a lot that goes in. There’s a lot of moving parts to a really extraordinary
panel discussion. So, from the critique you probably will get
some feedback from the meeting planner and that is more of a debrief piece and usually
within about a week, you’ll debrief the meeting planner and there’s a couple of ways that
you debrief. One is a face to face or a conference call. Were the audience’s needs met? How did
it go from your perspective? Was this something worthwhile? So, you debrief your ideas and
their ideas and that’s just a nice way of tying the bow on the package.
Another thing that I don’t see a whole lot of panel moderators do that really impress
the meeting chair and the sponsors, the conference organizers is if you write up a little summary
report. It’s your own personal debrief where you write up the description, who were the
panelists, how many people attended, a summary of what was said, basically taken from your
notes or maybe you’ve got a transcript, and then any conclusions that were made or any
takeaways that you heard from the audience. Then the last piece of that summary report
would be any recommendations that you make for future panels because we’re always learning
in this process. You think you’ve got it all but every organization is on a different journey
in using panels. So you might have some recommendation sin that summary report as well.
Don’t forget to repurpose all that stuff in that summary report. Well, not all that stuff
in the summary report but especially the summary and the conclusion piece. Repurpose it. Post
those highlights up. Put it in your blog. You can put it in the company newsletter or
whatever the communications vehicle is for that organization. Don’t forget the recordings
need to be posted and loaded up. I know plenty of panel of moderators they keep a separate
recording just on their hip pocket. You might find that it wasn’t reported organizationally
and so you might be able to put that up on the web as well.
Those are some follow up activities, and you know what’s really neat about following up
is that you g et to decide whether this is really a skill or a role that you want to
continue. Once you start moderating a panel you’ll find that either you love it or you’ll
leave it, and if you love it you will take those skills that you have and take it to
next level and the next level and the next level that you are on a continuous learning
path. I’m just so honored that you’ve invested your time in this video program. It’s been
a pleasure to give you some of the highlights about the key points, the basic tenants of
moderating a panel and my hope is that you continue to take your skills to the next level
and to the next level and the next level. It’s been an honor and a pleasure and I hope
to have you participate in some of the social media strategies that we have. I’m extending
the conversation with you so that we can have all, ALL panels be extraordinary, to be powerful,
to be amazing. I don’t see any reason why only fifty percent of meeting planners say
they’re “OK.” Let’s make them all hit it out of the park.
Thanks for listening.

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15 Replies to “How to Moderate a Panel Discussion: Following Up (Video #7, 8mins)”

  1. Kirsten thanks so much for your great advice. I have got my first panel to moderate in a few days and finally feel I have an idea of what I am supposed to be doing!

  2. Well done. I learned quite a lot – I'll be running a panel discussion at an international meeting in a couple of months and this allayed a lot of my concerns.

  3. Awesome course. My panel went amazingly well thanks to many of things you taught. The audience loved it.

  4. Thank you so much Ms. Arnold for this highly organized series, especially the preparation tips. I really appreciate this. Hopefully this will help make my first upcoming panel discussion a real success!

  5. Thanks a lot for the helpful tips I know how to prepare for my first panel discussion now and feel more confident and in control!

  6. Thank you Kristin. I had no idea when I was asked to be a moderator. It was an extremely helpful and very professional one.

  7. Thank-you Kristin! Tomorrow's the big day 🙂 Excited and nervous (the good kind tho). Appreciate your videos and tips – they have been very helpful and calming. I am a nerd who likes to prepare and these have definitely helped me ensure I have thought about each aspect of the process. Fingers crossed!!

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