- Control: We appoint moderators with the hope that they will control the clock and the conversation, so how can you improve your controls in the proceedings this year? That might mean more announcing what you want to see happen, coming up with creative limits within your questions to panelists, or more thorough pre-panel discussions with organizers and panelists.
- Content: Contrary to popular belief, the moderator wields a great deal of influence on a panel's content. Will you lead a panel with no slides and just discussion? Start with the audience's questions? Use more creative lines of questioning?
- Conversation: Moderators also can consider many ways to enliven the conversation started by the panel. You can alternate calling on men and women (and announce that you will do so), put creative limits on questions or answers from audience members or panelists, and learn new ways to move along long-winded questioners or answerers.
(Creative Commons licensed photo by the Brookings Institution)
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.