Usually, moderating panel discussions is quite challenging for most people, which makes preparation and anticipation necessary. You can also improve your skills and learn new techniques through training. Whether you’re new to the field or an experienced moderator, the tips below can help you make all your events a success.
10 practical tips for every event moderator
1. Know the basics
Like any other skill, you need to know the basics in order to identify potential problems before they become unmanageable. You can go to training, read articles or watch videos on how to moderate. This content will help you understand how moderation works for different events and strategies for effective event management.
Some moderators have YouTube channels and blog posts where they share moderation knowledge and best practices.
2. Prepare for events
Getting excited about an upcoming event can have harmful effects, such as premature preparation and therefore unnecessary stress due to the fear of what to expect during the event. While there’s no such thing as being too prepared, consider waiting until the event date to start preparing.
One of the key ways to prepare is thorough research. Your research will help you understand the context of the discussion topic, helping you to anticipate what is expected of you. For example, you can communicate with all the speakers before the event so you know the perspective each will bring to the discussion.
Remember that the preparation includes all the necessary materials for the event. So get yours Shell Scheme Graphicsbanners and any other pre-designed visuals.
3. Be honest and precise
While it may be tempting to talk about everything in your head during the event, you should remember that your role is to tell your audience what they need to hear. Any unnecessary information can make you look bad if it is not received as intended and something goes wrong. So, say only what you think should be said, but make sure it’s something the audience would want to know or expect to hear.
4. Know your audience
Everything you do when preparing for an event should be primarily focused on meeting the expectations of your audience and speakers. If everyone present is happy, you will be fine during the event.
So make sure you know everyone attending and what to expect. You can even go the extra step of knowing where everyone is coming from to ensure everyone in attendance gets to the venue on time.
5. Have a strong opening line
Since the opening makes the first impression on the audience and participants, make sure your opening sentence is perfect. So, develop a strong opening line and practice it to ensure perfection. The introduction should be a teaser for what the audience and participants should expect next.
You can also start with an opening question to help the panelists express their views on the topic. This approach will help you stay in control as you create an interactive environment from the ground up.
6. Don’t be afraid to ask for help
Because events and meetings are shared, you should include others from the start. Even the most experienced moderators shouldn’t do everything by themselves. Therefore, gather information from other moderators and other people who can offer expertise in this area, such as event managers.
7. Prepare for unexpected difficulties
Knowing the potential for unexpected problems can help you minimize them. Since most events rarely end without hiccups, knowing common problems ahead of time and preparing for them can help you handle them professionally if they do arise. Problems during an event can be anything from key speakers missing the event or decorators forgetting balloons.
8. Keep it simple
While you may want everything to be perfect, you shouldn’t let things that don’t really matter bother you. Instead of trying to make everything perfect, be realistic about what you can do to make the event a success.
9. Make the experience enjoyable
Events and meetings should be fun if you want them to run smoothly. You can add a sense of humor to make the environment enjoyable for all participants. For example, you can use humorous titles to describe agenda items or use fun props, such as cartoons, to illustrate.
10. Use questions wisely
Questions are an important tool in the discussion because they help participants get the most value out of the event. Therefore, you should use the right questions to ensure that the speakers give the answers that the audience expects. For example, questions like “do you have an example for that?” can help you get enough information from a silent speaker.
Today, moderation is an integral part of meetings and events that should be taken seriously. Therefore, you should prepare well for your role as a moderator at an event. However, remember, perfection can lead to problems.