Candid Conversations in a Toastmasters’ Evening – panel discussion October 17th

Last Tuesday, our Toastmasters club witnessed a captivating foray into the world of professional panel discussions. Our members, Richard and Karina, embarked on the journey of moderating two thought-provoking panels, each addressing topics that resonate with our daily lives. The discussions centered around two topics: the profound influence of technology on our lives and, how by embracing the principles of ethical leadership, we can navigate challenges with grace, inspire others to do the same, and ultimately create a better world.

A Thoughtfully Orchestrated Setting

Each panel, thoughtfully composed of four distinguished panelists, extended for a span of 40 minutes. The moderators, Richard and Karina, set the stage with insightful introductions and a clear explanation of the rules and format. This served as a foundation, crucial in shaping the audience’s expectations, and it led to two distinct panel dynamics.

Key Takeaways from the Discussions

The panels reinforced the idea that as discussions deepen and diverse opinions emerge, the significance of content, authenticity, and well-structured responses surpasses that of a rehearsed speech. Elements like vocality, body language, rhetorical questions, and metaphors, followed by eloquent elaborations, contribute to what makes an exceptional panelist. Selin and Monica demonstrated most of these attributes, earning them the accolade of best speakers. Furthermore, the evaluation feedback from Ben and Samira underscored the vital role of time management for panelists. Speaking at length, it was noted, can make it challenging for panelists to maintain a coherent train of thought.

Mastering the Role of a Moderator

Ben and Samira’s insightful evaluations provided valuable guidance on how to excel in the challenging role of a moderator. Thorough preparation, conscious time management, and seamless transitions between panelists, including brief recaps, set the tone and direction of the discussion. The moderator plays a pivotal role in reflecting on audience questions, ensuring the conversation stays on track while introducing diversity in responses.

The Role of the Audience

Audience engagement is a cornerstone of panel dynamics, providing the moderator with opportunities to influence the discussion’s trajectory while fostering an environment where panelists can express their views without the fear of criticism. This interactive element made the evening a true learning experience for all as the engaging questions brought various perspectives to light.

A Collective Learning Experience

As the evening concluded, there was a sense of empowerment and motivation in the room. This evening of panel discussions proved to be an invaluable learning experience. I want to express my heartfelt gratitude to Richard and Karina for their exceptional organizational and moderating efforts. Their dedication and commitment to making these panel discussions a success were truly remarkable. A big Thank you goes to our esteemed panelists, Pietro, Denise, Selin, Samvidha, Monica, Gabriele, Joanna, and Christina, for your courage in standing up and exceptionally supporting the projects of our moderators.

And finally, a big resounding applause to the person behind the scenes, Alice for the exceptional organization and keeping her eye on the details for the maximum educational outcome on the panel discussion. 

It makes me feel proud to be member of this club by seeing how much passion each one of us bring to our common cause of personal development. It is this shared commitment that fuels our journey and continues to inspire us to reach new heights.

What is next?

The journey continues with two upcoming regular meetings in October, with the themes “Failure” and “Energy.” We invite all members to step forward, take on roles, and join us on stage as we persist on our Toastmaster journey, sharing experiences and inspiring one another.

Warmest wishes,

Vanessa Stournari

President of Zuriberg TMC

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