Tip number 12 for moderating panel discussions

October 18, 2014 | Presentations, Verbal communication

This is the twelfth of an intermittent series of 15 tips for successfully moderating a panel discussion.

Take command of lectern. Make sure you dominate the lectern rather than allowing the lectern to dominate you.

It makes a lot of sense to not let the lectern come between you and your audience. But, if it’s necessary or practical to use the lectern, make sure you are in command of the lectern. For starters, if the lectern is adjustable make sure it is lowered to whatever degree necessary to ensure you don’t get lost behind it. Spread your arms open across the top. Strike an open stance. Make it yours rather than a large object that obscures you.

If the lectern is not adjustable, stand to the side so it doesn’t consume and diminish your visibility for audience members.

Previously published tips for successfully moderating panel discussions:

  1. Tip number one: Talk to the audience, not just the panelists, click here.
  2. Tip number two: Throw some “jump balls” while questioning panelists, click here.
  3. Tip number three: Speak loudly enough to fill the room with your voice, click here.
  4. Tip number four: Introduce your panelists with flourish, click here.
  5. Tip number five: Keep the microphone in front of your mouth when speaking — including while swiveling your head to make eye contact with audience members. click here.
  6. Tip number six: Use occasional examples and anecdotes when asking questions, click here.
  7. Tip number seven: Ask follow-up questions, click here.
  8. Tip number eight: Take an opportunity to build on your panelists’ answers by offering your own observations or examples, click here.
  9. Tip number nine: Look for opportunities to involve the audience, click here.
  10. Tip number 10: When appropriate, take hand-held microphone into the audience and turn the discussion into a talk-show format with audience involvement from start to finish, click here.
  11. Tip number 11: Gently challenge panelists when their answers are of questionable accuracy or candor, click here.

  12. Mike Consol teaches public speaking, PowerPoint presentation skills and business writing to companies and business professionals in the Oakland-San Francisco-San Jose Bay Area. Contact him at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or 925-449-1040.


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