Panels

Things to Remember While Moderating A Panel Discussion

While this may sound quite appealing, it certainly isn't the easiest job in the world as a moderator requires the person to be a total expert on the subject.
Things to Remember While Moderating A Panel Discussion
Image credit: Pixabay
Entrepreneur Staff
Correspondent, Entrepreneur Asia-Pacific
4 min read

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There is nothing compared to the limelight which an Entrepreneur can get by participating in a panel discussion with all the cameras pointed at you. Speaking flawlessly in front of an audience of thousands with a well-worsed panel is something which every person wants. You feel like a champ a superman.

While this may sound quite appealing, it certainly isn’t the easiest job in the world as a moderator requires the person to be a total expert on the subject. Not only that, the moderator’s role is not only limited to the panel but also audience which should be involved in the panel discussion.

So, if you are a beginner interested in moderating a successful panel discussion then we have some easy tips that will help you to succeed as a moderator.

Prepare Extra Hard:

As an entrepreneur, you are likely to come across the speaker-panelist-moderator circuit. Sharan Maini – Director- Business Development at JVC India, suggests to succeed one should prepare hard before the panel discussion.

“Knowledge about the panelist, the topic, and the audience helps but don’t get carried away. Keep the discussion to the point, crisp but not all business-like as it can get boring for the audiences. Lastly, as a good moderator it’s your job to keep the panelist from going too far in the rabbit hole, pay attention to the clock and make sure each of the panelists gets equal time to keep their views and opinions on the topics,” said Maini.

Have a Clear Agenda:

A successful moderator believes in simplifying their content making it feel more relatable and connected to their audience's own knowledge and experience. Saurabh Kabra, Director & Business Operation, Truvison emphasized that moderators must make sure that the agenda of the discussion is clear to everyone.

“Along with the agenda also must ensure that the mutual respect is maintained and each and every individual gets a fair chance to voice their opinions on the matter discussed. Having said that, peace should be maintained at all times, especially during disagreements,” added Kabra.

Agreeing with him, Akhil Jain, CEO, Lazer India said that a good and experienced moderator should ensure that each panel member gets equal time to provide their views on a particular topic of discussion. Also, they need to be well-versed on the subject and know a little about their panelists.

“They should meet as many people from the audience as they can prior to the discussion.  Commenting about their business or including their stories in the dialogue helps immensely while moderating,” he said.

Engage and Entertain Audience:

As per, Deepak Kabu, CEO Ziox Mobiles, the moderator needs to ensure that the panelists are rightly introduced and so is the group of audience.

“Further, to keep a panel discussion on track, a good moderator needs to entertain and enrich the audience by initiating an objectified discussion. The outline of the panel discussion has to be prepared well in advance to ensure no space for mistakes. Most importantly, the moderator has to make sure that the entire event flow is on time to avoid uninvited glitches,” said Kabu

Echoing Kabu’s thoughts, Mini Yadav, Director of Sugar & Spice India Pvt Ltd, said that the only way of making a panel discussion lively is to engage other panelists on interesting topics.

“This is a very easy task if you actually know who you are sharing the panel with, a little research on their background before the discussion would be really helpful. The key to a great panel discussion is to create a conversational environment amongst the panelists during the discussion which would also help to keep the audience engaged with the ongoing discussion,” she said.

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