Author Topic: How to be a Good Panelist (or Moderator)  (Read 846 times)

morvenwestfield

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How to be a Good Panelist (or Moderator)
« on: January 26, 2014, 10:24:48 AM »
How to be a Good Panelist (or Moderator) --  We've all been to panelists where things got wildly off-topic or where a panelist or audience member hogged the panel. Sometimes it's been a lot of fun or extremely interesting. Other times, it's been aggravating. In this panel, experienced panelists talk about preparing for a panel, participating on a panel, being a good moderator, handling someone who's obviously aggravating, and how different cons have different styles.

« Last Edit: January 26, 2014, 10:31:49 AM by morvenwestfield »

morvenwestfield

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Re: How to be a Good Panelist (or Moderator)
« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2014, 07:10:39 PM »
I'd be happy to *moderate* this one.

morvenwestfield

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Re: How to be a Good Panelist (or Moderator)
« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2014, 07:06:51 PM »
Erin Underwood just posted a great article on the Boskone blog. This would be a good jumping-off point.


http://boskoneblog.com/2014/01/23/helpful-tips-for-boskone-moderators/

morvenwestfield

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Re: How to be a Good Panelist (or Moderator)
« Reply #3 on: February 18, 2014, 02:49:51 PM »
In the Facebook Boskone group, I commented on how well I thought the panels were run. This wasn't just my opinion; I heard it, unsolicited from people throughout the weekend.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/boskone/

What made the panels more valuable was that:

  • The moderators were prepared (One panelist told me she read a book by each of her author panelists)
  • The moderators had a prepared set of questions to ask (but didn't let that prevent them from asking things that came up on their own)
  • The panelists waited their turn to speak, writing down notes if it wasn't their turn yet (something I had to train myself to do -- my natural instict is to just speak)
  • Most of the time moderators asked the audience to hold off with questions, but would stop every now and then to ask if there were any
  • No one panelist was allowed to hog the conversation.

I think that discussing these courtesies would help future panelists perform better in panels, and, if you read the response to my comment on the Boskone group, would help them get repeat invitations to panels.

We could also discuss barriers to good panels. (For example, a con assigns you to 7 or 8 panels on various topics. Do you really have time to prepare? How do you say no gracefully and let the programming people know it's better if you say no?)