5 Key Traits of a Moderator That Every Event Planner Should Know
Ernest Bio Bogore
March 31, 2020
For fast-growing companies willing to position themselves as an industry leader, organising networking or informative events is the right option choice. Organising an event, however, seems easy until you hire the bad event moderator.
Event moderators are the backbone of events. A good event moderator can make your event a successful one - listening to participants, interacting efficiently with them, making the event interesting, and giving the audience a reason to come back to your future events. On the other hand, a bad event moderator can easily ruin your event along with your company’s reputation. A bad event moderator will bore the participants, make them feel they’re in the wrong place.
To make sure your investment is worth the moderator, there are characteristics you should look at. These will help you know if the moderator is a fit both for your company and your audience.
Here are 5 traits of a great moderator.
Admittedly, event moderators are not some sort of intelligence that anticipates everything. They are, however, expected to be prepared for all the eventualities.
A great event moderator, days before the event, does their research and work at mastering, at least partially, the topic or theme of the event. They generally spend a little time with Google’s predictive search to go through the frequently asked questions, so they’ll be able to get an idea of potential audience queries.
Proactiveness also includes searching who will be part of the audience. This will help the moderator deepen their rapport with the audience. Proactiveness also goes with knowing who the speakers are.
Some speakers are likely to take much time to speak. Knowing the type of speaker helps the moderator know how to deal with such kind of event speakers.
2. Good Time Management
Be it an on-site event or a virtual one, one thing your audience doesn’t want is to waste their time doing things that were not planned in the event schedule.
A good moderator, prior to the event, get a copy of the agenda and spend some time going through it. Getting the agenda in advance helps the moderator plan their time. For instance, how early they need to arrive. It also gives them an idea of what’s expected on the day.
Time management skills help moderators keep an eye on the clock to make sure sessions don’t overrun.
3. Attention and Listening
When you organise an event, your audience is king. The moderator’s role is then to make them feel as such.
A great moderator has to be alert throughout the event, in case a participant who asks an intriguing question or an event speaker who takes an unexpected turn during their presentation.
These are what make great events. Audience members will feel more engaged if they realise that the person running the show is listening closely and attentive just as they are.
Paying attention can happen to be tough when there are hundreds of people in the audience to manage - without even mentioning speakers who are going out of the event frame. In this case, there are great tools that help moderators run an event smoothly.
A great moderator ensures the attendees get the most out of the event. If a speaker is taciturn, it’s the moderator's job to ask follow-up questions to get the full picture.Example of follow-up questions can be:
Do you have an example of that?
How does this relate back to the discussion?
Can you explain that further?
The reactiveness also helps moderators take the audience members’ questions and polls into account during the event.
A great moderator utilizes language that is straight without being confrontational, and crystal clear without being biased.
A moderator's job is to make sure the speakers and audience members understand each other and get along. It is important to be clear and concise with your delivery.
To an extent, an event's success hangs on the skill of an event moderator. Make sure you hire a moderator who can give the audience and the speakers the best possible experience.