Thursday, April 26, 2007

How to Moderate a Panel

Derek Powazek has an interesting post on How to Moderate a Panel. In summary, Derek´s advice to moderators was:

  • Do Your Homework.
  • You’re So Vain, You Probably Think This Panel’s About You
  • Do Not Have The Panel Prematurely
  • Limit Introductions.
  • Encourage Conversation.
  • Be a Jerk.
  • Surf So They Don’t Have To.

Quoting Derek who wrote "Do not get everyone together beforehand. Do not have breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Do not start an email thread and make everyone participate. All this does is rob the panel of any spontaneity", Stephen Downes said " I think this is good advice. I think the biggest mistake is to overplan a panel". Responding to Stephen, Tony Karrer wrote "Stephen would prefer to show up cold and let things go where they will go. I prefer to talk to each panelist ahead of time and have an agenda of things we'll talk about and some that we won't because we don't have time".
Actually I think this depends on the experts on the panel. If you have someone like Stephen on a panel, I don´t think it´s possible to get him in advance say what he´s planning to say or tell him what he has (not) to say, unless you´re Stephen himself!

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