Saturday, October 05, 2002

Successful panel discussions

Successful panel discussions

I have both been on and listened to several panel discussions recently - as well as the usual amount of solo presentations. The most informative and useful information has come from well organized panel discussions as they compare and contrast ideas. Some panels work well some do not, to help understand I have come up with the three rules of successful panels. (There is actually four but I hope that is obvious to everyone - come well prepared! ).

John's guide to panel discussions:

  • Controversial or relevant topic that has distinct sides, broad enough to be interesting but not to broad to loose focus

  • Panelists with divergent views: panels do not work well when everyone agrees

  • Well prepared and provocative moderation, if the moderator has the first two in place they can create dynamics that both inform and entertain the audience

Follow the rules and panels well not only be informative but also interesting. Anybody got other ideas?

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