Tuesday, March 15, 2016

3 things moderators wish conference organizers knew about better panels

Conference organizers may take moderators for granted. But moderators wish organizers understood the impact that organization has on whether panels are a success or a failure. Here are three items on the moderators' wish list for savvy organizers:
  1. Panels go overtime with more than 3 speakers: Organizers should stop handing out panelist slots as rewards. You can help moderators by not packing panels. Limit your speakers per panel to just 3 to help the moderator have a chance of on-time delivery of a great panel, or back your moderator up if they set this limit.
  2. Getting all moderators on the same page will boost conference quality. Having a consistent standard for moderation means your paying attendees will have a more consistent experience--and you'll get better ratings and reviews. We've made it easy for you with a guide for moderators that's so affordable, you can get one for each moderator. It's an investment that will pay off handsomely. Join the many organizers who order multiple copies!
  3. If you're having trouble finding moderators, you may be the reason: Last-minute changes, too many speakers per panel, lousy gender balance, and more issues--many of which rest with the organizer--are reasons moderators say "no" when invited to this key speaking gig.
(Creative Commons licensed photo by Columbia GSAPP)

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.