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Tips for Moderating a Business Panel: Questions to Ask
Business Speakers, Corporate Culture, Marketing, Sales

Tips for Moderating a Business Panel: Questions to Ask

Congratulations! You’ve been asked to moderate a business panel. You’re thrilled with the trust given, as well as the opportunity to learn from the best in business. But your excitement brings uncertainty, too. After all, the responsibility of managing a public dialogue can be an intimidating prospect. Don’t worry—the most important thing you can do as a panel moderator is to be prepared with thought-provoking questions that bring out the best in your guest speakers.

Below, we’ve assembled questions for moderators to ask panelists at conferences, conventions, virtual training sessions or other events. These include questions for:

  • Business success and entrepreneurship panels
  • Sales training panels
  • Leadership panels
  • Corporate culture and productivity panels
  • Marketing and communications panels

Moderators: how to prepare your questions

Before diving into our questions for moderators, consider what makes a good question. Our lists are meant as a starting point, but keep the following best practices in mind:

  1. Research your guests carefully. Know the backgrounds and expertise areas of your panelists well enough to ask poignant questions.
  2. Customize your questions based on your research. Rather than ask, “What was your greatest challenge starting your business?” refer to the actual business (book, event or other topic) by name.
  3. Start with basics as necessary. Depending on the depth of guest introductions, you may want to dig more. Questions such as “How did you get your start?” or “What first inspired your new product line?” are assumed and not included in the lists below.
  4. Follow the rule of two or three. Asking “What is the most important rule in business?” will lead to broad or even cliched replies, and asking for long lists will leave your guests struggling or even annoyed. Ask for two or three items, and follow up!

Questions to ask when moderating a business panel

Business success and entrepreneurship panels

  1. How has technology changed the landscape of entrepreneurship, and how can entrepreneurs best leverage this technology for success?
  2. What has changed most in the business landscape in the past few years? What has stayed mostly the same?
  3. What was the greatest unexpected challenge you faced in starting [company name]? How should future entrepreneurs best prepare to face this challenge?
  4. How have the best methods for raising capital changed in the past decade? What has remained much the same?
  5. Innovative and disruptive industries or products often have no existing demand. How do you mitigate risk in your innovation when there is a lack of market data?
  6. How have technological advances in the past three years impacted [your company] at operational or logistical levels?
  7. What strategies have you used in recent years to overcome materials [or talent] shortages?
  8. What are the two or three most useful lessons you have learned to maintain an advantage over your competition?

Sales training panels

  1. How do your sales teams’ motivational strategies differ between peak times and slow times? [Good for seasonal businesses.]
  2. What is the greatest obstacle you or your sales team face in nurturing a potential client from a prospect to a sale? What effective strategies do you use to overcome resistance barriers?
  3. What have you found to be the most and least effective digital tools in developing strong leads?
  4. Sales teams can have high burnout rates. How do you assist individual sales team members in overcoming self-limiting mindsets?
  5. What are the most effective methods you use to retain your top sales staff?
  6. What tools and strategies have you found to be most effective in identifying a potential client?
  7. What are the current strengths of your sales team, and what do you want to improve in the coming year?
  8. When it comes to increasing sales figures, do you lean more heavily on competition or cooperation among your team? And what training or incentive strategies have worked best to keep that balance?

Leadership panels

  1. What qualities do you look for prior to advancing an employee to a leadership position, and what steps do you take to test and prepare them?
  2. Describe your leadership style and practices and how they have benefited [your company]. What areas do you still want to improve?
  3. What two or three characteristics or values have you found that make the most effective leaders? How do those values benefit the organization?
  4. What strategies or processes have you found effective in balancing creativity and innovation among your team members while also maintaining time-tested procedures?
  5. Tell us about the challenges faced by introverts in obtaining and excelling in leadership roles. How do you help a talented introvert improve their networking skills?
  6. What do you like most about being in a leadership role? And what have you found the most challenging?
  7. Did leadership come naturally to you, or was it a struggle? What lessons did you learn along the way to become a better leader?
  8. How do you measure success, both in yourself and among your team members?

Corporate culture and productivity panels

  1. What do you see as the main benefits of a corporate wellness program? What has worked best in your company?
  2. Once a positive corporate culture is established, it needs maintenance. What are the top two or three methods you use to make sure your corporate culture sticks?
  3. How do you measure the costs and benefits of employee health and wellness programs, both short- and long-term?
  4. What methods or strategies do you use to ensure a corporate culture of diversity and inclusion?
  5. What are the signals you watch for that an employee has either disengaged or may be seeking another position? How do you re-engage and motivate them?
  6. What practices have worked best for your company to maintain a collaborative team environment even among remote workers?
  7. What strategies do you use to ensure that employees maintain optimal mental health? Also, how do you promote physical health without stepping over personal lines?
  8. What are the most important steps a company leader [human resources or other] can take to ensure that employees feel appreciated and remain productive?

Marketing and communications panels

  1. What are the top three marketing channels you use today, and how do they compare in terms of prospect volume and quality?
  2. What strategies do you use to keep you and your team up-to-date on marketing trends and technology?
  3. When do you start planning for a branding refresh? What are the early signals that it’s time to take the marketing of a product line in a new direction?
  4. What strategies and tools do you use to increase client engagement and retention? How do they compare in terms of cost and benefit?
  5. Tell us about a marketing campaign or initiative that did not work well for you. Did you make adjustments or scrap the campaign entirely?
  6. What are the differences you see between advertising, marketing, public relations and communications? Where do they overlap?
  7. What are the biggest changes you have seen in the digital marketing landscape in the past year or two? How have they impacted your overall outreach strategy?
  8. What are two or three of the greatest lessons you didn’t expect to learn in your time as a marketing director with [company]?

Stay up-to-date with the Success Speakers Bureau

Once you’ve had a taste of public speaking, it’s likely that you’ll want more. You might even consider a career as a future SUCCESS speaker! Or learn more from top keynote speakers and coaches making a global impact today.

Either way, start from a name you trust. The SUCCESS Speakers Bureau blog keeps you up-to-date with the latest trendsetters, business movers and motivational speakers of today. And if you’re really hungry to learn more, follow us for interviews, news and other updates from top talent on Facebook and LinkedIn.

Why Hire an Educational Speaker for Your Corporate Event?
Business Speakers, Corporate Culture, Marketing, Sales

Why Hire an Educational Speaker for Your Corporate Event?

Top educational speakers provide an opportunity for your audience to learn and grow from leading experts in their respective fields. Educational guest and keynote speakers may speak in person or virtually for events, ranging from large conferences to informal webinars. In doing so, they improve your employees’ knowledge and skills in areas such as finance, personal development, marketing and branding, sales, corporate culture and more.

Educational speakers also bring added excitement and diversity to your corporate event. They come from a variety of backgrounds with inspiring stories and fresh, actionable ideas. Their ranks include top motivational authors and experts, personal development coaches and experts in every field related to business and personal growth. And with the right booking agency, learning how to hire the right public speaker is now easier than ever.

With that in mind, let’s look at some specific areas where your conference, convention, customer engagement webinar or other event will benefit from an educational speaker. We’ll also share some top speakers to check out so you can get started on your most memorable and informative institutional gathering ever.

Financial education

Greater financial literacy improves the security of your employees and associates. Booking a top financial education guest speaker provides valuable insights, budgeting strategies and actionable information for your staff. They will learn methods to spend and invest more wisely, working their way to a debt-free life.

Improving the financial wellness of your staff also provides cost-saving benefits for your company. Without debt and other financial worries, employees focus better at work and increase their individual and team productivity. Promoting financial security among your staff may also reduce employee turnover and improve mental well-being, providing long-term benefits all around.

Top financial education keynote speakers to book

  1. Anthony O’Neal is more than the bestselling author of Debt Free Degree. He serves as a leading voice in personal finance. We featured O’Neal in our Speaker Spotlight series for his gift in making every presentation real, relatable and actionable. In fact, his virtual and in-person keynote addresses have helped more than 250,000 people achieve financial freedom.
    Learn more and check booking availability for O’Neal.
  2. Business mentor and keynote speaker Sharon Lechter has advised two U.S. presidents in financial literacy. Recognized globally for her financial expertise, she is also the five-time New York Times bestselling author of such books as Think and Grow Rich for Women. Lechter has delivered addresses for Harvard University, World Financial Group, American Express and many other major institutions.
    Learn more and check booking availability for Lechter.

Sales training

Even with the most innovative products on the market, sales teams can miss the mark. Leaders rightly focus on product training and incentives as tools to improve numbers, but in that process, they might miss more global sales strategies and team development.

Top educational sales speakers provide a collective pause to the daily pursuit. As outside voices, they offer fresh perspectives and motivation to bring your team up to peak performance. They also provide insider knowledge in necessary sales skills such as lead generation, customer service, closing deals and building relationships. Educational sales speakers also build team confidence and morale to further boost your sales.

Top sales training keynote speakers to book

  1. Many corporate insiders consider real estate mogul and celebrity speaker Grant Cardone to be a top sales trainer. He owns and operates multiple privately held companies, including Cardone Capital. Known for his mastery in crowdfunding, his social media influence spans the globe. As the bestselling author of 11 business books, he brings unmatched wisdom and excitement to any sales training event.
    Learn more and check booking availability for Cardone.
  2. Sjodin Communications founder Terri Sjodin provides street-savvy keynote presentations that bring your sales force to top performance. Her addresses are always polished and persuasive, making her a favorite guest of Bloomberg, CNN, CNBC and other media outlets. Her bestselling book Small Message, Big Impact has earned her recognition as a lasting influence among today’s top sales educators.
    Learn more and check booking availability for Sjodin.

Corporate culture and productivity

Some of the most innovative and successful leaders struggle just as their company gets legs and grows. This fact may seem counterintuitive, but transformational growth often leads to changes in corporate culture and workflow. 

Corporate culture experts assist your entire organization in navigating both the ebbs and flows. Internally, these professional speakers assist you with best methods proven to increase employee satisfaction, productivity, creativity and more. Stakeholders also benefit through enhanced public reputation that helps you attract top talent in your industry.

Top educators in corporate culture and productivity to book

  1. Kevin Karschnik knows that the best-performing corporate cultures rely on effective leadership communications. Through dynamic and engaging keynote addresses, he assists top companies such as Dell, Emerson and Venterra to navigate today’s complex and rapidly evolving business environments. In fact, he has assisted more than 100 companies in 14 countries with building better-performing cultures through topics such as “Positivity Under Pressure” and “Agile Leadership.”
    Learn more and check booking availability for Karschnik.
  2. Corporate culture expert Dan Heath knows the benefits of corporate education at an unmatched level. He is a senior fellow at Duke University’s Center for the Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship and founder of the innovative education company, Thinkwell. Named by Fast Company as one of the 1,000 “Most Creative People In Business,” Heath delivers keynote addresses and guest talks that guide your company through change, improve decision-making and solve problems before they happen.
    Learn more and check booking availability for Heath.

Marketing, branding and influence

In marketing and public relations, it’s easy to get embroiled in the logistics of ad buys, digitization and audience reach. These items are critical, but not at the cost of losing sight of your main overarching goal: gaining influence among clients, prospects and community and institutional stakeholders.

By booking the best educational speakers in corporate branding, you don’t lose the creative talent you’ve built. Instead, you gain a broader, strategic perspective from an expert in the field, plus a more robust brand identity, better strategic campaigns and the best digital tools to gain a competitive edge shift and refocus to a broader picture. That is, to better influence the decisions of everyone you reach.

Top marketing and branding educators to book

  1. Courtney Keating has served as chief marketing officer for two major brands, including her current position at eXp Realty, the fastest growing residential real estate brokerage firm in the world. In each role, Keating leads in reenvisioning marketing strategies at a global level. She also led transformative strategies for CoreLogic, General Electric and Roostify. As a keynote speaker and digital-first marketing educator, she brings unmatched experience, expertise and energy to your company event.
    Learn more and check booking availability for Keating.
  2. Failure to take decisive action holds back individuals and companies. Branding strategist and educator Michelle Poler lives by the phrase, “Fear less, do more.” By challenging her audiences to seek growth over safety, Poler has inspired audiences from across the globe to reach maximum influence. This TEDx speaker has assisted top companies such as Facebook, Microsoft, NBC Universal and others to improve their brand recognition and global influence.
    Learn more and check booking availability for Poler.

Book your next educational keynote speaker

After more than a century as a leader in professional growth, SUCCESS now brings top keynote and educational talent directly to your stage. Browse our extensive list of celebrity, motivational, TEDx and bestselling keynote speakers by category.

Or simply contact SUCCESS Speakers Bureau with your speaker preferences and event needs. Not only will we find the best educational speaker or professional coach, but we will also save you time and money by handling all of the important booking details!

7 Best Social Media Speakers for Your Keynote Address

7 Best Social Media Speakers for Your Keynote Address

Who makes a great social media keynote speaker? When finding the right speaker for your marketing event, it is important to ask yourself several questions. These include:

  • Does the speaker know social media at the technical level including corporate ownership and development?
  • Do they use social media effectively in their own marketing and outreach?
  • Have they expressed themselves effectively through other media such as publishing?
  • Do they bring some fresh angle or experience to the industry?
  • Are they performative enough to provide a keynote address that is engaging?

To boil this list down to only the 10 best social media speakers, we chose those who brilliantly combine the above elements. The following list also chooses from speakers who exemplify the diversity of subfield specialties within the industry.

Mari Smith

A prolific author and highly in-demand speaker, Mari Smith may be the world’s leading expert on marketing with Facebook. Though accomplished across social media platforms, this focus adds to her direct, concise style. Attendees at her classes and speaking engagements will come away with a list of impactful takeaways to use in driving their social media campaigns. Her expertise as a brand ambassador and leading influencer makes her one of the most trusted experts in the field.

Erin King 

Erin King excels in digital persuasion. This expertise encompasses not only sales, marketing and brand development, but even the growing need to communicate effectively in the emerging hybrid workplace. A successful three-time entrepreneur, her Highlight with Erin King podcast provides a sample of her engaging, energetic style as an international keynote speaker. From social media marketing and selling to live streaming and content hacks, Erin King can motivate your team and help you guide it to the next level.

Erik Qualman

Best-selling author Erik Qualman has spoken in more than 55 countries. Named a Top Digital Influencer by Forbes, he has delivered exhilarating and informative keynotes for companies as diverse as Sony, Raytheon and Starbucks. He has also spoken at more than 200 universities, and his background includes serving as a sitting professor at MIT and edX at Harvard. His technological expertise served him well in founding Equalman Studios which has produced projects for companies including Disney, CompuCom and IBM. You don’t want to miss him, and he’s easy to spot with his iconic, neon green eyeglasses.

Michelle Poler 

Digital media offers an abundance of tools for developing and selling your brand. But whether live streaming or attempting to develop your Instagram brand, it’s often not technical knowledge that holds your marketing team back. It’s their uncertainty, introversion or general discomfort with putting themselves out there. Michelle Poler can help. Author of Hello Fears: Crush Your Comfort Zone and Become Who You’re Meant to Be, this dynamic and highly seasoned speaker will inspire your listeners while challenging them to overcome self-defeating fears.

Shama Hyder

As CEO of Zen Media, Shama Hyder has taken global, digital marketing to the next level for her clients including Chase for Business, AdRoll, ATB Ventures and NASA. Referred to as the “Millennial Master of the Universe” by FastCompany, she brings her leadership skills and authentic expertise in digital marketing to every keynote address. Businessweek named her among its “Top 25 Entrepreneurs Under 25” in 2009, and she has authored best-sellers such as Social Media Marketing 2020 and Momentum: How to Propel Your Marketing and Transform Your Brand in the Digital Age.

Lucy Bloom

Professional speaker Lucy Bloom has brought her electrifying brand of humor, business experience and social media knowledge to as many as 200,000 viewers per month. She served as CEO of two charitable organizations, Sunrise Cambodia and Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia, with transformative results. Her leadership experience and expertise in social media that appeals broadly through its humanity has made her a highly sought consultant for fundraising and progressive causes worldwide.

Amy Jo Martin

Motivational keynote speaker Amy Jo Martin understands the dynamic world of social media. Her book Renegades Write the Rules: How the Digital Royalty Use Social Media to Innovate outlines the strategies she used in building her own company, Renegade Global. A prolific podcaster, she is also an influential and highly sought-after public speaker. Some of her current topics include: “Renegades Write the Rules,” “Humanize to Monetize,” “There’s No Finish Line to Innovation” and “Humans Connect with Humans (Not Logos).” While an engaging entertainer who will capture and hold your audience’s attention, her strategies are tactical, actionable and transformative.

Guy Kawasaki

No social media keynote speaker list for the past decade can be complete without Guy Kawasaki. Known for popularizing the notion of secular evangelism, he has delivered keynote addresses for Apple, Nike, Gartner, Audi, Google and many other major brands. Social media remains one of his most popular topics, drawing from his experience in innovation, transformation and technical expertise. Now serving as Chief Evangelist for Canva, Kawasaki has authored numerous books considered essential reading in the industry including The Art of Social Media and Rules for Revolutionaries.

Photo courtesy of Erin King 

7 Best Professional Speaker Websites

7 Best Professional Speaker Websites

Hiring the best professional speaker available in your area requires research. You will pour over websites, TEDx talks and more to find a public speaker who will truly inspire your audience and ignite your event. But a great speaker’s website gives you more than biographical data, sample videos and a list of publications.

Free content such as actionable advice, informational e-guides and helpful worksheets let you know that the keynote speaker is passionate about spreading their message. From there, you can be assured that the speaker’s enthusiasm will carry over into your corporate or fundraising event. With that in mind, let’s look at ten of the best professional speaker websites available today.

Cy Wakeman

Are you ready to restore sanity to the workplace? Cy Wakeman wrote the book on it! As best-selling author of Reality-Based Leadership: Ditch the Drama, and Restore Sanity to the Workplace, Wakeman offers the same enthusiasm and knowledge you find in her keynote addresses on her website. Her YouTube vlogs are among the most interesting in the industry with special guests, travel and the great takeaways that can only come from Wakeman. On top of that, her resources area contains one of the largest and most practical libraries of free tools available. She provides worksheets, exercises and even useful templates for business, all in ready to download and easy to use PDFs.

Daymond John

Entrepreneur, public speaker and star of ABC’s Shark Tank, Daymond John knows brand marketing strategies. One strategy is to pull people in with a smile, and then to hold them there with great information. This shines through on his website with an abundance of useful, free to download resources. These resources address important topics such as effective strategies for goal-setting, email and social media campaigns and sales. John even currently provides free access to several of his premium online courses.

Anne Grady

Global resilience expert and motivational speaker Anne Grady built her website around the kind of information you need for your business, your employees and for yourself. That is, building and maintaining utmost resilience. Grady’s authenticity and humor shine through in the huge library of YouTube videos she shares on her site. While most speakers provide a blog on their sites, hers stands out for its direct, actionable advice. Finally, this Mind Over Moment author goes another step above and beyond by offering a library of book recommendations. The authors include those who have influenced Grady and will help build your business output, too.

Rory Vaden

If you are considering hiring a world-renowned business speaker, New York Times best-selling author Rory Vaden makes it easy for you to get to know him. His easy to navigate website provides a video introduction that quickly encapsulates his leading work in defeating procrastination and achieving results. What truly makes his website stand out is the wealth of free and useful information Vaden makes available. You will find numerous free trainings including “Trends in Personal Branding Research Study,” “Multiply Your Time,” “The Influential Leader” and more. Plus, his data-rich blog provides the best of all worlds with both articles and videos covering topics of current relevance to business leaders, managers and others.

Erin King

As a digital marketing and social media expert, it’s no surprise Erin King makes our top professional speaker website list. The moment you land at her home page, she offers a free “Perfect Post” cheat sheet you wished you never lived without. This You’re Kind of a Big Deal best-selling author also provides free blogs, a helpful podcast and a simple form for booking. On top of that, her site is colorful, easy to read on mobile and uplifting at every turn. While you’re there, be sure to check out her courses. For a reasonable fee, she provides lifetime access to all her social media spas plus other perks.

Lee Marie Jacobs

Lee Marie Jacobs specializes in yoga, nutrition and holistic well-being. But along with her degree in biomedical toxicology, she also attained an MBA and is a master of entrepreneurialism and sustainable leadership. Her amazing website provides plenty of free tools to improve your life, proving that this highly sought public speaker truly cares about her audience. Her health and well-being blog, “Auric Living,” features ongoing guest experts, numerous videos and a podcast. Best of all, choosing “Tools” from her menu takes you to Insight Timer, a free app featuring 130,000 guided meditations. 

Jay Shetty

Think Like a Monk best-selling author Jay Shetty knows marketing, and his website reflects the best of it. This keynote speaker and entrepreneur provides you with a very useful and surprisingly detailed business readiness assessment upon completing a simple form. He also offers a free webinar for budding entrepreneurs called “Learn 12 Steps to Turn Your Passion into a Business.” A renowned public speaker and coach, Jay Shetty also provides one of the most fun and informative podcasts around, featuring celebrity guests who talk candidly about the ins and outs of success in branding and entrepreneurship.

Photo courtesy of Jay Shetty