Sarah Weinman and David J. Montgomery have posted an excellent guide on how to moderate a panel. The guide was prepared by Sarah, David, Barry Eisler, Jon Jordan, Robin Burcell and many others and should be required reading for all Bouchercon, Left Coast Crime, and Los Angeles Times Festival of Books moderators.
3 thoughts on “Moderate Moderating in Moderation”
I followed the link and read the whole thing and, you know, I must be the only person on the planet who likes it when authors put their books up at panels.
I like to see covers and I think the visual reinforcement helps drive sales. Contrary to what the link espouses, it is possible to display a book w/o obscuring a panelist’s face.
One good way to ensure your panel is a success is to have Mark Billingham and/or John Connolly on it.
One point I don’t think he covered (I skimmed it): Where do you look when you’re sitting on a panel and not speaking? Do you stare at the audience? (Unnerving.) Do you stare at the person talking at your side? (Strained neck; and excludes the audience.) Do you look down and fiddle with your nameplate? (Locking out the audience and your fellow speakers).