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Another application of this principle came to mind last week while I was reviewing a client's performance as a moderator. I noted that she had done a really good job of giving prompts and making interjections when she felt the speaker could elaborate more or explain a point better.
A lot of moderators just let the speakers go on and on and never make the effort to make the panel a better experience for the audience. After all, panels are made of of disparate speakers, who frequently don't know each other and have had no time to review questions or the format of their session. Concise speakers are mixed with long-winded. Prepared speakers are mixed with unprepared. Clever speakers are mixed with dull.
Moderators are the glue that holds panels together, but they also have the role of introducer, referee, timer, coach, guide, translator and editor.
What my client did so well during her panel was listen. She stayed present with what each speaker was saying so that, if a point needed clarifying, she could make that request. If a speaker mentioned something that should be expanded upon, she could ask the speaker to elaborate. She could call upon points made by earlier speakers and tie them into a current speaker's point.
The moderator's work made the panel discussion so much smoother and more cohesive than had she just let them run with the topic. Knowing that a major speaker had pulled out of the conference at the last minute and that this panel had been assembled in the course of a day or two made the moderator's performance that much more impressive.
Just another example of how being present, listening, and not allowing yourself to go to the crazy place where dread and fear take over can make you a better speaker, whether you're on the panel or moderating it.