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5 tips for moderating effective panel discussions

moderating panel discussions

Moderating a panel discussion sounds easy. Introduce the topic, throw in a few jokes and hope for meaningful dialogue. But an effective moderator remembers PANEL:

• Prepare a story. The moderator sets the stage. A hook increases audience engagement.

• Always prep panelists. Make sure they understand the audience.

• Never forget the goal and purpose. Informing listeners? Feedback on a public project? Showcasing an organization’s expertise?

• Energize the room. Avoid physical barriers like tables. Sitting on stools or standing feels more energetic.

• Listen and adjust. Don’t let anyone dominate. Keep the conversation on track and on target.

Berry Craig IV

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