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How to moderate a 9 – person panel 

They walked on stage one by one by one by one… until there were nine of them—one fewer than planned due to a late cancellation, but still the largest panel we’ve seen yet this UNGA week.

Against all odds, the content at this Concordia Summit session was good. How did a group this size pull it off?

No introductions. If you have more than two people on a panel, you really should avoid boring the audience with recitations of long biographies. In this case, mercifully, pertinent background was briefly and elegantly folded into the opening question to, or response from, each panelist.

A hot-button issue. What more should Meta do to regulate content on Facebook and its other platforms? It’s a thorny issue, surely deserving of at least nine different perspectives. And on this panel, both the company and its critics were represented.

Masterful moderating. Ann O’Leary, a partner at the law firm Jenner & Block who previously worked in politics, made sure everyone on stage got multiple turns to speak. She also kept her own speaking time to a minimum, interjecting only when her experience—as a senior advisor to Hillary Clinton’s 2016 US presidential campaign, for example—was relevant to the topic at hand.

Mutual respect. No one hogged the mic, and disagreements were profoundly civil, which is really the only way to behave on a panel about what’s needed in social media discourse.

Adequate time. A full 90 minutes was allotted for the discussion, which was a great insurance policy against a superficial showing. As a lead programming sponsor at Concordia, Meta made sure it got what it paid for.

View full article here: https://qz.com/emails/unga-2022/1849560599/the-worlds-largest-panel