Moderating Engaging Panels: a Q&A with Kara DeFrias

Moderating Engaging Panels: a Q&A with Kara DeFrias

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Online event

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Refunds up to 7 days before event

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Are you interested in organizing a panel? Join us for a conversation on how to successfully play the role of moderator.

About this event

Have you been asked to moderate a panel? Maybe you are interested in organizing a panel but aren’t quite sure how to successfully play the role of moderator or how to set up your panelists so they shine.

Join us for a conversation with executive producer, speaker, and moderator Kara DeFrias. Inspired by her article “To Bore or Not to Bore: How theatre can save your conference panel” we’ll hear from Kara what makes a great panel moderator, and how to successfully approach the event with an experience design mindset.

We’ll discuss what to do before the event to set yourself and your panelists up for success, how you can handle panelists that take over the conversation or panelists who stay quiet, and how much of your own perspective you should (or shouldn't) share.

About our speaker

Kara's background is a mix of the private and public sector, including Director on the Cancer Moonshot for then-Vice President Biden in 2016 and Senior Advisor in the Biden-Harris White House. She currently is Chief of Staff for the Intuit QuickBooks Platform team. Prior she was appointed to the first class of Presidential Innovation Fellows, served on the data and technology team for the Governor’s California COVID Task Force in 2020, and was Senior Advisor at 18F, TEDxIntuit founder, and worked on the Oscars and Super Bowl.

Kara does pro-bono product strategy for non-profits; spent 10 days in rural India teaching micro-entrepreneur women human-centered design; and guest lectures at UC San Diego STEM Academy, Stanford, and Harvard. She graduated summa cum laude from Penn State with a master's in instructional design and was San Diego Woman of the Year finalist. Website: Twitter: @KaraDeFrias.


  • 5 minutes | Introduction
  • 35 minutes | Conversation with Kara DeFrias
  • 20 minutes | Audience Q&A

Come with your questions! We’ll see you soon.

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