Giving advice is what I do best (following is another story – LOL). My business Yatmedia already has @freetweetadvice on twitter and now we are doing a Dear Yatmedia. You can ask questions and we will answer with a snarky twist. Woot woot!

Dear Yatmedia,

I keep attending conferences where the panels are a total mess. I spend my hard earned money to go to these conferences to gain information and often walk away thinking how much better the panels could have been. What is your advice when it comes to panel preparation and moderation?

~Joe in Kenner, LA~

A: Nothing ticks us off more than wasting our precious time and/or money going to a panel or even worse – preparing to be on a panel that is poorly run. Having both been high school teachers and Greta having done talk radio – control of the audience and situation at hand is imperative. Laissez faire moderators do not work well even with the best panelists in the world! Imagine going to watch 4 of your favorite celebrities on a panel. Do you think it would be OK if one of them got to speak more than the other? No – of course not! They all took time from their schedule to be there, maybe prepared and of course – all want to shine (celebrities are just as me me me as many “expert” panelists). Why should one shine more than the other? So what if one is more outspoken – the moderator should pre-plan questions with time frames to draw information from all and make them all look like superstars! The kiss of death is a run away panel – similar to a talk show where everyone yells over another. If you are home watching it – you simply turn the channel. But if it is live, you awkwardly squirm in your seat and hope it ends real soon. We also do not believe it is appropriate to add multi-media to panels when they are truly about live discussion. Maybe a humorous slide that will benefit all on the panel – but no power points for goodness sake. That should be saved for when you are a true solo presenter and want to bore the audience alone!


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