Panels don‘t work

It‘s always the same. You sit at a conference and there is a panel. This means: four to six people sit around and are more or less elegantly chosen from a certain problem domain, each reporting on its personal projects or issues he is involved in in one way or another.

Nothing is wrong with that, but usually the individual talks are too far away from each other in order to give the listener a coherent view of the announced problem domain. Sometimes a final discussion should bring all points together, but I have never seen that really work.

I think the most efficient form of presentation is either individual talks from the start or the panel must be moderator-driven and interview based so that the discussion never slows down because one of the speaker slows down.

For the listener, a panel can be very boring and it is a shame as most of the presented views are quite interesting but each one suffers from the worst one. So I think, usually panels do not work.

In the end, it might be more a lack of good moderators as the moderator has the chance to carve out the interesting points and maybe even the contradictions in each person‘s presentations. Most moderators also lack the necessary amount of humour (!) and loudness (!!) in order to capture the attention of the listener.

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