“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. “This might sound like overkill, but it's really not,” says Shonali Burke, who regularly moderates panels and coaches her clients on the subject as well. Don’t let a panelist go too far down the rabbit hole. We’ll feature a different book each week and share exclusive deals you won’t find anywhere else. “It should not favor any one particular speaker’s point of view over another, and the moderator should ensure that the conversation is balanced.”. 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. We've all heard enough stories of "death by PowerPoint." 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. How to Prepare for a Speaking Gig. (The art is in the follow-ups.) You were presumably asked to moderate because you have domain expertise. The first question is irrelevant. Do you have critical gaps in your coverage? 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. We’ve all seen this happen. While, to date, I have not heard of PowerPoint being arrested on criminal charges, you get the point. Are you paying too much for business insurance? “I was once saddled with a highly qualified panelist who had never before spoken in public,” reflects Lieb. How to Create GREAT Questions for Your Panelists to Answer during Your Panel Discussion. You want to make sure your panelists are really comfortable. So, You're an Industry Expert Now? HINT: When people are literally falling asleep, or obsessively checking their devices every 10 seconds out of sheer boredom, then you have a code-red slumber party situation. The panelists are self-involved and boring. 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.”. But first you’ll need to prepare for the session. Trust Entrepreneur to help you find out. “If you're creating slides, encourage your panelists to keep them as visual as possible,” adds Burke. If you’re an expert who enjoys sparring with your peers, then your PR dream team will probably pitch you as a panelist extraordinaire. Now that you are armed with the best moderator tips out there, off you go to rule the conference circuit world. 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. “Meet as many people in the audience as you can prior to the panel and include their stories or comment about their business in the dialog,” adds Gale. Amplify your business knowledge and reach your full entrepreneurial potential with Entrepreneur Insider’s exclusive benefits. 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.”. “Know everything you can about your panelists and the topic,” says Porter Gale, author of Your Network Is Your Net Worth and moderator exemplar. Give your panelists the OK to speak up out of turn. Related: 6 Steps to Overcoming Stage Fright and Giving a Presentation Everybody Listens To. This is spectacular advice. The moderator’s job is to help the audience get their needs met through a panel format. Related: 7 Powerful Public Speaking Tips From One of the Most-Watched TED Talks Speakers.

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