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If you want to get started in public speaking, sometimes it’s good to be part of a panel discussions. These are useful forums for people to gain large amounts of information on a topic by experts, scholars or leaders in a given field all at the same time. Panel discussions are often held by businesses, professional and academic organizations and fan conventions. Each of these panel discussions need someone to lead them. This is the moderator of the discussion. Moderating a panel effectively requires knowledge, preparation and the ability to organize time effectively and so that they can decide and recognize when it’s time to cut someone off.

If you want to be a good moderator, here are a few things that will help you become a good moderator.

  • Research each of the presenters and learn about what the audience expects to get out of the discussion before the day of the panel discussion. After you research each of the prospective panelists, make sure you don’t pair people together if they have a history of negativity between them. That can cause problems. It would also help to speak to the panelists in advance. If you talk to them before the discussion, it can help you better guide the conversation and cover all appropriate points.
  • Make sure you talk to each of the panelists and explain how the contest will go. Make sure they know that each of them know they must make a brief comment, and then the rest of the discussion time will be spent in a question and answer time. Then, it is your job to keep an eye on the clock. If a panelists starts giving an answer that is a little too long, look for an appropriate time that you can cut them off without being rude.
  • Make sure you have a good plan for the question and answer session. It will be important for the audience to have good interactions with your panelists, but you have to stay in control. You have the responsibility to call upon the appropriate panel members to address specific topics or questions. Make sure the panelists know that they should only answer questions in their subject area. They shouldn’t answer those they’re not knowledgeable about.
  • You need to keep the conversation flowing between the speakers and the audience. Pay close attention and pick out the right points to make remarks that will lead to transitions. Don’t let one panelist dominate. Make sure you rotate between panelists to allow each person to have a chance comment. Choose the panelist that has the most expertise you’re your panel to answer the questions asked.

Make sure you keep firm control over the proceedings. It’s your job to make sure the panelists and the audience gets the most out of the discussion as possible. If you follow these guidelines, it will help you reach that goal.

 


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