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Panel discussions


I frequently need to organise panel discussions for workshops. These usually have a panel of 4-5 experts and a chairman. Currently the chairman has prepared questions to start the session and then I open it to the audience. The audience can vary from 20 people to 100 and I appreciate different techniques will be more appropriate depending on the size of the group. I would like to make these sessions more focused and increase the quality of the questions and answers.
Any suggestions?
Janet Bell

One Response

  1. A couple of options
    Here are a couple of options that I have used. They are only minor variations but if you make sure the atmosphere is right (by your personal style, seating arrangements, environment) they can work a treat.

    • Three to five people hold a Press Conference style forum
    • Questions can be submitted to a nominated person in advance (the questions can be asked by a volunteer on the day or by the person raising the question)
    • Questions can also be asked spontaneously on the day

    • Panel invite questions
    • Facilitator manages the process
    • Facilitator to encourage breadth and depth of involvement. For example: “Any questions on aspect x?”, “Any questions from a member of administration?”, “Any questions from someone who is new?”, “Any questions from those who have not spoken yet?”

    Good luck!


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