Most panels are boring-talking heads sitting at a table. But when you get to be a panel moderator, you can liven it up by using these ten techniques:

  1. Be quiet. Listen. Ignite the conversation and let it burn.
  2. Be loud. Be big. Be the boss. Inspire confidence.
  3. Be prepared. Know the subject. Steer the discussion. Have questions, quotes, and obscure Dylan lyrics at the ready.
  4. Be an invisible conductor. Play your panelists like musical instruments. Bring out the best in each of them.
  5. Be able to think about more than two things at once: the current discussion, your overall plan, the time, where you want to go next.
  6. Be deferential. You're not the star. The panelists are.
  7. Be ruthless, the audience's advocate-on time, answers, and issues.
  8. Be clear. Ask short questions and make clear statements.