Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Being a visual moderator. (Hint: It doesn't involve slides.)

If you can get the audience to think visually while your panelists are speaking, those mental images will stay with them far longer than any slide or photo. The smart moderator can weave a visual approach into her panel moderation, enhancing the audience's retention of the discussion as well as improving the answers of the panel of speakers. Try these ways to be a visual moderator by getting the panelists to:
  • Describe an absence: "What would it look like if the package hadn't arrived?" or a similar question can prompt the speaker to imagine something missing and describe the impact.
  • Probe the details: "Describe the details you especially appreciate when you use this tool. What do you see when you're done?" is the kind of question that may move your speakers to add concrete details and precision to help the audience "see" what they are talking about.
  • Set the scene: Get the speaker to decorate the stage set of our imaginations with more about the setting for an action she is describing. "What did the room look like after she said that?" or "Tell us how it looked after the march was over" can help place the remarks visually and make them memorable. A simple "Have you been there? What does it look like?" or "Put us in the scene" can prompt vivid descriptions of places.
(Creative Commons licensed photo by wwwuppertal)

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.