The Benefit of using a Professional Moderator

On the latest episode of The Business of Winning podcast I enjoyed a great conversation with long time friend and associate Toby Moody, recognised by many as one of the voices of ‘peak’ MotoGP but widely respect across motorsport as a broadcaster and host.  We covered quite a lot of ground, but one area we discussed at length is the benefit of event organisers working with a professional host or moderator.

One of the pleasures of being a public speaker is having the opportunity to work with the people who make it all happen on the day. This includes the AV crew - the sound technicians, cameramen, deck operators and stage managers - along with the hosts and moderators who bind the event together and ensure it flows on time.

Toby and I reflected on the fact that while hosting looks easy, the reality is that it only looks this way you know what you are doing.  Hosts are multi-tasking - delivering content, introducing speakers, cueing videos and keeping the audience focused while at the same time keeping an eye on the time, seamlessly dealing with technical glitches and adapting to last minute agenda changes.

There are also the basics of knowing how to use a microphone (!) whether a handheld, clip-on or headset, including understanding how directional they are.  This year I spoke at a conference where the CEO’s keynote was ruined because it was inaudible, the microphone pointed somewhere into the sky and every third word missed entirely.  No one intervened to help, whereas a host would have calmly joined them on stage, adjusted their mic or handed them a new one. 

They are well used to dealing with the unexpected. 

Professional hosts bring professionalism and calm control to conferences large and small, glue the agenda together and, as mentioned, make it look easy.  Most of all I think they help to elevate the executives and speakers who take to the stage, introducing them properly, giving them the right build-up and creating a feeling of occasion.

At Performance Insights we work with a number of hosts - Toby Moody and Diana Binks being just two whom we recommend, our preference being hosts who have both stage and broadcasting experience - but do give this topic some thought if you are planning a forthcoming conference.  That small additional cost has so much value attached to it.


- Mark Gallagher
Performance Insights

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