10 Tips to Improve Panel Discussions
1. Carefully choose moderators and panelists. Skilled moderators bring out the best in panelists. Planners need to make sure in advance that moderators are knowledgeable about the industry.
2. Interesting and articulate panelists. diversity. the panel should have a wide range of speakers in terms of gender, age, background and viewpoint. there should be at most four participants who are all to be well-prepared.
3. Get rid of the long, draped table. Many agree it creates a barrier between panelists and the audience. one possible solution is for Speakers to be seated in a shallow semi-circle with a small cocktail table either in front or to the side of them.
4. Stress preparation. The moderator and panelists have to do more than just show up. The moderator should develop an agenda and prepare welcoming remarks, introductions and some initial questions. Panelists should do background research on the topic, and formulate both their key messages and talking points.
5. Formal rehearsals are unnecessary; however, the moderator should brief panelists on the process as well as ground rules for the session. it is likely that Spontaneity will be lost if the discussion is rehearsed in advance.
6. Structure the discussion to be more like a conversation. heavily Emphasize that the panel should be a lively discussion among experts sharing their thoughts and opinions, rather than a series of presentations.
7. Limit the number of slides. slides are to be used only to grab the audience's attention or make an abstract concept more understandable. detailed information should be displayed in a web link or printed handout.
8. Engage the audience early. Create a catchy title for the event, and make sure the topic is both trendy and fun. Create a buzz, even before the event. email marketing or social media can be used to ask attendees to submit three questions they would like to hear discussed.
9. Encourage participation. it is not recommended to wait for a Q&A at the end of the presentation to engage the audience. Today’s attendees want to participate immediately. the Use of technological tools will encourage participation.
10. Make it entertaining. most would consider it a known fact that the majority of People today have short attention spans. Every five to six minutes, do something interactive to stimulate the audience, such as a poll or a game.
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