So you are moderating a GSMA event…

Thank you for confirming to join us as a moderator for an upcoming event.
Session and panel moderators act as the backbones for our shows – when you take the stage you are the event maestro! We encourage our moderators to not just be mere introducers of the content, but lively and active facilitators of the discussion. Ask the questions everyone is thinking but shy to ask! You set the tempo of the session and heavily influence the event to be engaging and memorable for the audience.

In a bid to support you with this task we have compiled some do’s and don’ts to bear in mind as you prepare for your role:

  • Do get involved with the panel selection if you can – we have asked you to moderate because you are an expert in this field, so work with us to make sure the panellists chosen are also the best for this discussion!
  • Do not over prepare the panellists – pre-event preparation is good to get a feel for the different perspectives and help shape the direction of the conversation. But we do not want the panellists to give rehearsed answers or have a clinical conversation on stage!
  • Do arrive on time and have a stage familiarisation walk through; check that you’ve seen the mic options, where the comfort screens and timer are
  • Do get to know your panellists – research or speak to your panellists ahead of time – ideally, a group conversation ahead of the event allows everyone to become familiar with each other. The more familiar and comfortable everyone is then the more animated and interesting the discussion will be!
  • Do not let the panel introductions go on for more than 60 seconds – introductions should be limited to each panellist stating their name, role, company and possibly a comment
  • Do sit with your panellists – the session is a conversation!
  • Do not highlight or draw attention to technical issues: if a mic doesn’t work then move on to the back-up handheld microphone and the tech team will come and fix the primary mic
  • Do be prepared to think on your feet, maybe have an anecdote ready in case you need to buffer time for a speaker being delayed in getting mic’d
  • Do not use slides during a panel discussion!
  • Do involve the audience – remember to ask them to first state their name and company (it helps frame the question) before asking a question
  • Do make sure that the quieter panellists are included in the conversation!
  • Do not keep going down the line with the same question for each panellist – this can quickly become boring for the audience fast
  • Do cut your panellists off from talking too much – either pre-warn them of a signal you’ll give them to stop (e.g. reaching for your water) or if you’re comfortable then politely interject with ‘Amy what are your views on what Richard is saying?”
  • Do not become a panellist – remember you are a facilitator of the discussion, so your stance must be as neutral
  • Do rock the boat – our panellists are senior experts in their field so they can handle heat (unless you have been specifically pre-briefed on a topic/subject to avoid). No one has come to listen to five people politely agreeing with each other
  • Do not go in to a discussion without back-up questions – always keep a couple of questions in your pocket in case a conversation thread dries
  • Do stay on time! Our events will always have a countdown on the stage visible to you or keep a stopwatch on your phone
  • Do keep the audience engaged – peppering the conversation with input from the audience keeps everyone engaged – anytime a statement is made by a panellist then maybe turn to the audience and ask by show of hand if they agree – keep them awake!

Most importantly, do have fun with this, if you’re enjoying the session, then the panellists are at ease, the audience will be engaged and us event organisers will be very grateful!
As always, if you have any questions or would like to clarify any points ahead of your session then please do contact your session manager or the team at ContentTeam@gsma.com