- Panel moderation isn't just for beginning speakers: Moderating has at least on thing in common with being a speaker on a panel: It's an ideal stepping stone for a speaker starting out. But panels sometimes require deft on-the-spot management that only a seasoned speaker can bring.
- Introducing panelists well takes work: One of the biggest missed opportunities I see in panel moderators, introductions should be much more than reading the bio the speaker just handed you. What's more, intros are a great way for moderators to shine. Passing that up would be a mistake.
- Organizers and speakers aren't always on the same page: And the moderator's in the middle. Juggling those two sets of expectations, and those of the audience, will be one of your biggest challenges.
- You've got to be willing to interrupt: When moderators lose muscle, they don't rein in the speakers...and the audience (and the organizers) lose. Learning smart ways to interrupt speakers on your panel is a critical skill.
(Creative Commons licensed photo by Novartis AG)
Need more coaching on how to be a better panel moderator? Order the new ebook The Eloquent Woman's Guide to Moderating Panels. At just $3.99 and available in many formats, it's a great back-pocket coach to take on stage with you in your smartphone or tablet. Find more tips on public speaking on The Eloquent Woman blog.