The Critical Role of a Moderator during a Virtual Webinar

ProSpeakers StaffBusiness Management and Organization, Communication, Motivational, Speaker News, Unique and Interactive, Virtual

Virtual Moderator, Virtual Events

You log on to your Zoom call and get ready for your Virtual Conference. The screen lights up and the technology works perfectly. The keynote speaker logs on and is introduced by your executive team with lots of fanfare.  The online presentation is smooth, polished, funny — but something is off. You’re not laughing, and the material feels stale. This is a big name bestselling author. Yet, somehow, you’re not feeling it.

Then it hits you. You’ve seen this exact presentation before on YouTube. The only difference between this Virtual keynote and the speech the presenter gave at the last conference you attended is the company name and logo on the PowerPoint deck. If you feel had, imagine how the rest of the audience feels.

Don’t panic. There’s a cure for long 60 min Virtual keynote it’s called a moderated session and it’s all the rage now that the majority of events are online.

The keynote speech is great for showcasing big-name celebrities. While your typical celebrity gives a great performance on film — after 5 takes, great lighting and a bunch of editing — they find it more difficult to nail a Virtual keynote. BUT…imagine, if you will, a great addition to the performance that makes the Virtual Event all that better.

Virtual Moderated Interview
When I first started in the business, I wasn’t a fan of the moderated session. I thought, why do you want to sit in on someone else’s conversation when you can see an expert bang out the three points you need to know to “shift paradigms for a pivotal game changer”?

But after seeing hundreds of Virtual events, I now understand moderated sessions not only liven up an online event, but they can also be more powerful than the classic bullet presentation. Unlike your standard keynote, moderated sessions are customizable, smooth, conversational and intimate.

Intimate setting

Moderated sessions have a cozy feel and personal feel. Instead of a talking head, you have two or three people interacting online. The more intimate feel puts the audience at ease, makes the speakers relaxed and produces a much deeper and personal experience.

Role of the Virtual moderator
Another big difference of moderated Virtual sessions is the control the moderator has. The person running things online can be someone from inside the organization or another expert in the field, as long as he or she has insight into the industry and the speaker.

Having the right Virtual moderator changes the dynamic. The best moderator is someone energetic, funny and quick-witted. It’s their job to control the pace of the session, to give enough time for answers and steer the conversation in whatever direction best engages the audience to keep everyone involved. They are a friend, storyteller and emcee rolled into one.

The key is in the Virtual questions
But the biggest difference in terms of the experience are the questions. In your standard Virtual keynote, you get great ideas packed into a short time frame. Questions, if any, come at the Q&A and are usually rushed, as the event has to keep to a tight agenda.

A moderated virtual session, on the other hand, allows the questioner to unpack those ideas and go much deeper than would be the case in your standard canned Virtual Speech. The questions moderators ask can yield details and stories relevant to the audience. The conversational nature also allows for surprise insights or an exclusive story not delivered in a standard keynote.

The Virtual moderator can ask very specific questions about current events, the industry, the company and even how ideas relates to the exact attendees online. Audiences come away feeling they have learned something relevant and unique.

Contact ProSpeakers.com to receive a list of Virtual emcee’s and moderators for your next Virtual Event.