Association Connection - Summer 2016 - (Page 16)

FEATURE POWERFUL PANELS THAT ENGAGE YOUR AUDIENCE 10 tips to share with speakers to ensure every session is a success. By Sarah Michel, CSP Panel discussions are still a commonly used format for conference organizers. They're easy to program and put the kids in the show, but rarely add learning value to the paying participants. Some of the reasons panels fail to connect include: * Lack of preparation and take-charge leadership in the learning design. * Watered down content due to general vs. relevant topics and opinions. * Low learning value equivalent to a lecture. (Instead of a monologue lecture, panels are often dialogues). * Panelists forget who they're serving... the audience! Today's premium attendee wants to participate and feel like they're the fourth or fifth member of the panel. They want to experience a fast-paced, unpredictable, relevant and forward leaning conversation. They don't want a formal presentation with a moderator who ignores the audience. HOLDING PANELS ACCOUNTABLE A big mistake conference organizers make with panels is not holding them accountable for the learning outcomes of the session. Coach the moderator and the panel participants just like you would a solo speaker for any other educational session. Borrowing from TED's speaker commandments, we created the 10 Panel Commandments. These commandments may 16 be borrowed in whole or part to help your continuous improvement efforts and speaker coaching. Some organizations make this part of their speaker agreement. Others share helpful tips like these in their speaker portal or bulletins. 10 PANEL COMMANDMENTS Thou Shalt Serve the Audience. They paid good money (at the very least invested their time) to be there so speak to them (not just each other). Remember without an audience, there is no panel. Don't make them feel like their ease dropping. Help them solve problems and find solutions. Help them connect the dots. Meaning trumps content; always. 1 Thou Shalt be Prepared. Research the other panelist's positions and determine what makes you/your position unique from the others. Keep your answers short and concise. Prepare 3-5 key messages that matter to this audience. Be ready to support your points with concrete examples and crisp, concise stories that humanize your message and drive it home. 2 Thou Shalt not Bluster. When you are speaking, keep it short. No more than 2 minutes is a good goal. People prefer snappy, well thought out answers to interesting questions. Think and respond in sound bites. 3 Thou Shalt be Additive, not Repetitive. Don't repeat what has already been said by another panelist. Speak up if you have a different perspective or point of view. 4 Thou Shalt Disagree Diplomat ically. At some point, one of the panelists will say something that is not consistent with your own view or perspective. You've got to weigh in! Respectfully disagree without being disagreeable. Don't disagree simply because you can. Disagree 5 S u m m e r 2 016

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Association Connection - Summer 2016

A Message from the President
Quick Tips
The New Association Meeting
Safe & Sound: Meeting Security in Today’s World
Powerful Panels That Engage Your Audience
Successful Retreat Secrets
TNSAE’s Industry Education Day
Thought Leadership
Destination Planner: Asheville, N.C.
New Members
TNSAE Calendar
Index of Advertisers/Advertiser.com

Association Connection - Summer 2016

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