6 Easy Ways to Moderate a Panel or Webinar

Moderating a panel soon? If you need to do some panel moderation or webinar moderation, you want to prepare properly. Panels are excellent marketing opportunities. And they help build your profile.

Moderating a panel is a real skill.  And it’s a skill you can learn.  We’ve coached hundreds of people to be good panellists and good panel moderators.  Do please call us and we’ll tell you about our panel moderation coaching – it’s fast and good value. So that you shine when you moderate a panel, we’ve put together some quick tips to prepare like a professional:

How to moderate a panel

  1. Prepare your panel properly

  2. Offer bold ideas as a moderator

  3. Be a performer

  4. Start your panel powerfully

  5. Involve your audience

  6. End your panel with impact

Webinar Panel Moderation Tip #1. It’s how you prepare your panel

While great panel moderation looks effortless, that’s only because the moderator has carefully prepared the panellists. As a moderator you should create great questions (the simpler and bolder the better) and share these with your panellists in advance.

Tell your panellists to prepare stories and examples they can use to illustrate what they say.  It’s much better to have a few strong ideas to talk about than to offer an opinion on everything under the sun. And remember to practice your panel performance.

Start Preparing For Your Panel Moderation

Moderate a Panel Tip #2. Offer bold ideas

A great panel will inform, educate and entertain. While you may think that a webinar is a great opportunity to share your thoughts, in reality your opinions are not very interesting. Much more engaging are the stories you tell, the practical advice you give and the different position you adopt. Avoid saying “I agree” – that phrase kills a discussion.

Start Preparing For Your Panel

Moderate a Panel Tip #3. Be a performer

A panel is not a fireside chat. It’s a piece of entertainment where you need to speak directly to the audience. Use all the skills of public speaking to bring your language to life:

  • short phrases
  • short words
  • long pauses
  • high energy
  • big ideas.

Sit forward in your chair, look at your camera and speak to it as if to a person.

Start Preparing For Your Webinar

Moderate a Panel Tip #4. Start powerfully

As a panel moderator, you set the tone for your panel in the first few seconds. Tell the audience how important this discussion is; remind us how great your panellists are; and give one-line introductions on each panellist (don’t let them introduce themselves).

Make sure your first question is big, bold and unexpected.  For example, I was chairing a panel of investors recently and my first question was “What was the worst fund raising pitch you have ever seen?”  It was a great way to break the ice, for the panellists to tell stories and at the same time both entertain the audience and give practical advice.

If you are introducing yourself on a webinar, make sure you read our tips on doing so memorably.

Prepare a Webinar Tip #5. Involve the audience

If your audience can be part of the conversation they’ll enjoy the experience more. For example, ask them a question early on. Tell them to prepare questions for the experts. And help them ask interesting questions.

Panel Tip #6. End with impact

Audience questions are not the best way to end a webinar.  Instead, as a moderator, finish your panel with something big. For example, you might ask each panellist for a final one-sentence tip.

Or you might end with a summary. And then, as the panel moderator, sum up some highlights before thanking your panellists and telling the audience what a great experience this has been.

Start Preparing For a Panel

Are you moderating a panel soon?

Do you want help to prepare? If so, talk to us.

We have developed a robust toolbox of techniques to help you organise clear, confident panels.

We’ll help you look and sound impressive on camera so that you hook and engage your audiences. In just a few short hours we’ll transform you to deliver clearly, confidently and with impact.

Speak to Louise on +44 20 7018 0922 or email louise@benjaminball.com to discuss how we can help you get the most from your next panel moderation.

Start Preparing For Your Next Panel

How to Transform Your Panel

Tips on moderating and running a conference panel

About Benjamin Ball Associates

At Benjamin Ball Associates, we help our clients to communicate better. You get presentation coaching for executives.

Over 15+ years the award-winning BBA team has coached thousands of senior executives globally to present powerfully. You get access to a transformational toolbox of presentation skills & techniques to help you become a clear, confident communicator.

We’ll help you create a powerful first impression that hooks and engages your audience immediately, and we’ll transform you to deliver clearly, confidently and with impact.

Speak to Louise on +44 20 7018 0922 or email louise@benjaminball.com to find out more and discuss your upcoming speech or presentation.

Contact us for a free consultation on your training needs

FAQs About Panel Moderation

What is the role of a moderator in a panel?

A moderator needs to make the panellists look good and make sure the audience have a good time! You can moderate a panel well by asking the right questions, by listening well and by being the voice of your audience.

How do you moderate an expert panel?

When you have an expert panel, the worst thing you can do is try and be an expert yourself. Even if you are. Instead, ask simple questions and basic questions. The more you can help the experts speak in a language that anyone will understand, the better you will be at moderating a panel.

How do you moderate a panel discussion virtually?

When you have a virtual panel, you need to work harder then ever to keep audience attention. Our panel moderation coaching has shown over and over again that a virtual panel can be very effective, but it takes a lot of planning. If you have a virtual panel coming up, call us and we’ll help you make sure it is a success.

How to end a panel discussion?

First tip: don’t end with questions from the audience. Instead, you could either ask a final question of your panellists or you could sum up some of the discussions you have had. And a powerful trick that some of the best panel moderators have learned is how to thank the panellists, the audience and then lead the applause.

If you want to learn more, get in touch. We’d be delighted to make sure your next panel moderation is a success?

How much does panel moderation coaching cost?

You’d be surprised how good value it is. If we work virtually, via Zoom or Teams, it costs just under £500 per hour. As an investment to make sure you build lasting skills and you become an impressive panel moderator, it’s great value for money. Call today to discuss.

Contact us for a chat about how we can help you with your presenting.

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Contact us for a chat about how we can help you with your presenting.

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