U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Indian Health Service: The Federal Health Program for American Indians and Alaska Natives
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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Division of Diabetes Treatment and Prevention - Leading the effort to treat and prevent diabetes in American Indians and Alaska Natives


Making Your Meetings Work

Part 5 of Making Your Meetings Work web-based training. To access this training, please download Flash Player.

Video 2: Guidelines for Effective Panels (1:58)

Video 1: Panel Discussion Example
Essential Elements

Panel discussions entail a facilitator, several experts (panelists) and the audience. The purpose of a panel discussion is to offer the opportunity to receive various views on a topic or topics from experts of diverse fields. Panels can be very effective when there is a true difference of opinion or disagreement between professionals. The role of the facilitator involves more than just introducing speakers and includes:

  • guiding interactions between panelists and audience.
  • repeating questions.
  • engaging the panelists.
  • creating opportunities for discussion.

It is best to use a trained leader as a facilitator. The facilitator:

  • takes an active role to accentuate and extend discussion, bringing out ideas of the experts.
  • capitalizes on constructive conflict or differences.
  • sharpens differences between panelists.
  • brings together the ideas in a coherent manner.
  • provides a communication link among speakers and audience.
Quick Facts
  • Panel discussions offer diverse views.
  • Useful method to present controversial subjects.

The moderator:

  • sharpens ideas of the experts.
  • capitalizes on constructive conflict.
  • takes an active role.


Division of Diabetes Treatment and Prevention | Phone: (505) 248-4182 | Fax: (505) 248-4188 | diabetesprogram@ihs.gov