The Life of the Panel

So many of our clients inquire about how to lead a panel, how to be a part of a panel, and/or how to be a moderator. We’re always looking for examples, and when you can – follow the example of a rock star.

When Bill Clinton was late to a panel at the Clinton Global Initiative, Bono took the opportunity to add humor and energy to the panel:

What is the one thing you must keep in mind?

The Experience.

How do people feel? Consider the experience of everyone in the room – or on the other side of the video or podcast. It’s not just about what panelists have to say – no matter how diverse, interesting and credible.

Here are 3 ways to create a better experience on your next panel:

Create Rapport.

As a moderator, it’s your job to make sure that the panelists are comfortable. When there is good rapport between panelists, blending, contrasting and connecting of ideas will create a cohesive story for your audience.

Have Fun.

This is the toughest part for people on panels. They think it’s purely about content and the right words they say. It’s easy to lose track of the experience – if you have fun, your audience will have fun with you!

Take a Risk.

Most of us wouldn’t do what Bono did. It’s both high risk and high reward. But it’s worth it. As an audience member, you are much more open – and eager – to watch this panel, now, because of what Bono did.

Use humor – but keep in mind, this is not the time to seize the open mic and try out a new stand-up gig. Make sure you add value if you decide to go outside the lines to liven it up.

Need more panel tips?

Check out Decker’s “Dos and Don’ts” for being on a panel.


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