How to Remotely Host an Online Panel Discussion

One of the side effects of the COVID-19 pandemic has been that many organizations and businesses have had to adopt new ways of working remotely. In fact, virtual meetings have become common practice for office training and educational webinars for a long time. It's time for a better and more practical way of virtual interaction. One way to stay connected with employees, customers, or clients is to host an online panel discussion.
Panel discussions among guests with various domains of expertise are an excellent way to collect and present different ideas. They are also a great way to generate new content, improve online visibility, and create thought leadership for the guests and their host. Online panel discussions can also help build relationships while providing valuable information to the audience.
This article will look at how you can create, moderate and host an online panel discussion successfully.

What is an Online Panel Discussion?

An online panel discussion is an online meeting between two or more people in a digital space. This type of discussion usually happens between experts on a specific topic who are brought together to discuss their experiences and ideas.
The online panel discussion format is becoming increasingly popular because it's more convenient and accessible than an in-person event. You can reach a larger audience online, and it's a great way to get experts from different parts of the world to discuss a topic without having to bring them all together in one place.

Why Host an Online Panel Discussion?

You may want to host an online panel discussion for many reasons. Here are some of the benefits:

  • 1) Generate new content: A panel discussion is a great way to generate unique content for your website or blog. You can record the conversation and post it online or write a blog post summarizing the main points discussed.
    2) Improve online visibility: Hosting an online panel discussion is a great way to get your or your organization's name out there. If you promote the event online, you'll be able to reach a larger audience and generate more interest in your views and expertise.
    3) Build relationships: It is also an excellent opportunity to build relationships with potential customers or clients. By bringing together experts on a particular topic, you'll establish yourself or your organization as a thought leader in that area. And by providing valuable information to the audience, you'll build trust and credibility.
    4) Provide valuable information: A panel discussion is a great way to provide valuable information to the audience. There, you'll cover a lot of ground and provide a wealth of information the audience can use.

How to Host an Online Panel Discussion

Now that we've looked at why you might want to host an online panel discussion, let's look at how you can do it.

Prepare Before The Event

You need to do a number of things before the online panel discussion takes place.
1) Choose the topic: The first step is to choose the subject of the discussion. This will depend on the focus of your organization and the audience you're trying to reach. However, it's important to choose a topic that will be of interest to the audience, and that will generate valuable discussion.
2) Choose the panelists: Once you've chosen the topic, it's time to select the panelists. They should be experts in the field who can provide valuable insights on the matter at hand. It's also vital to choose panelists who are articulate and will be able to hold the audience's attention.
3) Prepare questions: Another critical step is to prepare questions for the panelists. This will help keep the discussion focused and on track. And it will ensure the panelists can provide valuable information to the audience.
4) Promote the event: Once you've got everything prepared, it's time to start promoting the event. This is important for generating interest and getting people to register for the event. You can promote the event in many ways, including through social media, email marketing, and online ads.

Create an Event Flow

Now that you've prepared for the event, it's time to start thinking about the actual event flow. This will depend on the format of the discussion and the audience you're trying to reach. A few things, however, should be included in every online panel discussion.

  • 1) Opening remarks: The online panel discussion should start with opening remarks from the moderator. This is a chance to set the tone for the discussion and to give the audience an overview of what will be covered.
    2) Panel introduction: After the opening remarks, each panelist should introduce themselves. This is a chance for them to provide background information and give the audience a sense of who they are.
    3) Q&A: After the panelists have been introduced, it's time for the Q&A portion of the discussion. This is where the moderator will ask the panelists questions, and the audience will have a chance to ask their own questions as well.
    4) Closing remarks: The online panel discussion should end with closing remarks from the moderator. This is a chance to summarize the discussion and thank the panelists for their time.

Conduct a Test Run

Once you've got the event flow planned out, it's important to conduct a test run. This will help you work out potential glitches in the process and ensure that everything runs smoothly on the day of the event.

When conducting the test run, be sure to go through the entire event flow. This will help you identify areas that need improvement. It will also give you a chance to make sure everyone is on the same page.

It's also important to test audio and video quality. This is essential because you want to ensure the audience can hear and see the panelists clearly.

Once you've conducted the test run, make necessary adjustments to the event flow. And be sure to communicate changes to the panelists and audience.

Where to Host Your Online Panel Discussion

The best software you can use to conduct and host a remote panel discussion is Podcastle. Let's unwrap why.

Powered by AI, Podcastle can be used to easily conduct smooth remote video sessions with up to 10 participants. It enables exciting live conversations in high quality with minimal equipment, even with a laptop's built-in microphone or phone's voice recorder.

The audio input from all participants is cleared of all background noise, softening and amplifying the voices. Podcastle will also automatically adjust the levels of all audio input to a consistent one, eliminating concerns about audio issues because of the distance participants are keeping from their microphones.

Create a video recording project from the dashboard, follow the steps to set up and test input devices, and copy and send the podcast link to your guests.

When finished, you will receive your video recordings in a sleek, rendered grid layout. Just make sure to ask participants to stay for a few minutes to ensure proper video calibration.

As you host your panel discussion, the session will be recorded and can be accessed and shared afterward. You can also access all the interview tracks separately to apply further edits, with easy-to-apply features and tools.

In the Podcastle studio, you can edit your projects to perfection with just a few clicks. As you right-click a particular audio track, it will open a pop-up menu with multiple options you can choose from.

Remove the background noise in your audio and single out the speakers' voices with the Magic Dust feature. In turn, the auto-leveling tool will adjust the loudness of your audio to consistent levels. You can also further polish your audio with the AI Silence Remover. The tool will automatically detect and remove silent parts from your audio and video, making your panel discussion sound smoother in the flow.

Furthermore, use the filler word detection feature to improve your recording’s flow. The tool will automatically detect all the unnecessary words and highlight them for you to delete with a click, both from audio and video.

You can also make your project a lot more exciting by using copyright-free sound effects or background music from Podcastle's library.

Additional Tips

1. Make it interactive: An online panel discussion should be interactive, so make sure there's a way for the audience to participate. You can use a chat function or a Q&A session to enable audience participation.
2. Keep it organized: An online panel discussion can quickly become chaotic if it's not well-organized. Make sure you have a plan for how the discussion will flow. Be sure to moderate the discussion so that it stays on track.
3. Follow up: After the online panel discussion, follow up with the panelists and the audience. Thank them for their participation, and let them know where they can find the recording of the discussion.

Closing Points

Using the tips above you should be able to host a successful online panel discussion. Keep it organized and interactive, and follow up afterward. With Podcastle, you'll have everything you need to make your online panel discussion a success. Try out Podcastle now!

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