Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Our top 10 tips for panel moderators in 2016

One thing I'll say about the readers of the Moderating Panels blog: You go for the tough problems and the difficult conversations around panel moderation. How do I know? This year's most-read posts all tackle tough issues and suggest that moderators really want to get to the heart of the matter, eliminating problems so a better panel may emerge. I wish that for your moderation in 2016! Here are the posts you read the most this year:
  1. 3 things moderators wish conference organizers knew about better panels, from why you can't find moderators to why the panels run overtime. Share with a conference organizer you love.
  2. The moderator and the long-winded, off-topic question offers tips for managing the over-speaker in the audience--and the best cartoon we've seen on this topic.
  3. The one muscle you need to exercise to be a better panel moderator requires some nerve (hence the exercise), but results in far better panel discussions. Will you try it?
  4. Are you using women moderators to cover all-male panels? We see you. It's among the reasons we advise moderators to decline gigs. Everyone can see the window-dressing, so just stop doing it.
  5. Moderator as juggler: Keynote, panel, audience--all at once shared a new and highly complex challenge for moderators. Look for more of this in 2017.
  6. The case for a moderator-led panel (aka, no presentations) can radically take you from long-winded overtime panels to sessions with sparkling discussion.
  7. What panel moderators can do to advance codes of conduct shared a reader's simple, but oft-overlooked, tactic to ensure a safe environment for all participants.
  8. Presidential debate moderators talk about their prep: 5 lessons for your panel offered pro tips from moderators who took their lumps in this year's U.S. presidential debates.
  9. Does the moderator need a script? Yes, in certain types of sessions. Check out what you need to consider before you decide.
  10. Panel formats: Are you using an innovative format for your next panel? Organizers are eagerly seeking new formats. Here are some to help moderators come up to speed.
(Creative Commons licensed photo by Grant Hutchinson)

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.