Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Panel formats: Are you trying an innovative format for your next panel?

In this post on how to make your panel avoid becoming a punishment, Asian Development Bank urban development specialist Renard Teipeike minces no words about how bad a panel discussion can be:
I’m not sure when panel discussions became an exercise in participant punishment that seems diabolically perfect in combining underperforming speakers, lack of gender balance, and an environment more conducive to checking Facebook updates or dozing off.
Among his prescriptions for the panel is mixing up the formats. Teipeike shares a World Health Organization report on planning events in the field of aging which offers a range of useful formats that can be used to disseminate information from a report, for example. The formats range from keynotes and storytelling to fishbowl panels and workshops, and the report includes useful planning considerations about audiences and goals.

It's worth using a toolkit like this one to consider whether a different format would enliven or better suit your topic. Use it with the creative panel themes and lines of questioning you'll find in my ebook to create a novel panel that won't be a punishment.

(Creative Commons licensed photo by Maryland GovPicks)

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.