Tuesday, August 30, 2016

How moderators can get speakers focused on the audience

A good moderator leads the panel, certainly--but sometimes, that means that the speakers spend all their time gazing at the moderator, leaving the audience feeling out of the conversation loop. Building on our recent post, Guy Kawasaki on why speakers shouldn't look at the panel moderator, reader and trial consultant Suann Ingle shared this bit of artful language borrowed from jury trials. It's language any panel moderator can use to get the panelists focused forward, at the audience.
Thank you Denise Graveline. I find it also helps when the moderator begins with some variation of "...would you share with our audience your thoughts on..." much the way smart trial attorneys ask the witness to "tell the jury..." show less
You can come up with a handful of variations on this theme, always using your most powerful option as moderator, to say out loud what you wish to occur. In this case, you want your words to mention the audience specifically, as Ingle suggests. "What's your best advice for the members on this issue?", "What should our audience consider when making that decision?", or "Tell our audience your favorite part of the movie," all direct the speakers' attention to the people in front of them.

Thanks, Suann, for sharing an effective tactic from the legal world!

(Creative Commons licensed photo by US Mission Geneva)

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.