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:
One of the most important components of public speaking is to make effective eye contact. It is how we consume the room. It is how we shrink the room and connect with audience members. Unfortunately, most presenters make one of two common mistakes, as detailed in this video. Also explained is the technique used to make MEANINGFUL eye contact. Click the headline to play this video.
Gently challenge panelists when appropriate. It’s always a much better discussion when panelists are asked to account for their answers, rather than taking anything they say at face value. For example, if former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina boasts about how many more people HP employed by the time she was relieved of her duties as CEO, a strong moderator might point out that the additional employee count was actually the result of … (click on the headline to continue reading).
The sentence is the building block of writing. But how do we learn to write lucid, effective sentences? One of the students – and teachers – of writing good sentences is Stanley Fish, author of How to Write a Sentence. He argues that the key is to put the elements of a sentence into logical sequence. And there is an exercise, espoused by Fish, that develops the skill required to write sentences with proficiency. This video explains the process and offers real-time writing exercises. Click on the headline and watch.
Regular readers of this blog have probably noticed that I often write in the collective “we” voice, as in: “To write persuasively, ‘we’ need to identify the characteristics of ‘our’ intended audience.” Those of you who have attended my training sessions know that I also tend to speak in the “we,” as in: “This is why it’s important ‘we’ use imagery in ‘our’ PowerPoint presentations.” There’s a reason I often write and speak in the “we” and why it could be helpful for you to do the same, when and where appropriate. This video explains. Click on the headline to begin viewing.