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It takes skill to be a moderator. If you want to EmCee on a professional level, there are some golden rules to follow. When you start implementing them, you’ll find yourself growing.
We use 20 Golden Rules for all our moderations and workshops. In this blog, Rule 3: love every participant.

A moderator-facilitator is familiar with all aspects of humanity. You will regularly have people in the room who might irritate you. Because they don't ask questions or, on the contrary, they ask too many. Because they are troublesome or sometimes downright aggressive. Or just because you don’t like their face.

Often, your irritation is understandable. But you should NOT give in to that as a moderator. After all, you are there for everyone. And no matter how obstinate that one man is, or how long-winded that one woman's question: if you show what you are feeling at that moment, to that one person, you are no longer the host they want to follow. Or worse, other people in the room will not dare to speak or participate for fear that you might treat them in a similar way.

The solution is simple: accept your feelings, but get over them. Convince yourself that (almost) nobody is irritating on purpose and that there is always a reason behind it: genuine anger, (too) much enthusiasm, worry, difficulty speaking in public.
Take an interest in that deeper layer. Appreciate everyone who wants to contribute. And consider it your (professional) life goal to help everyone – yes, really everyone – articulate their contribution well, even if you disagree with the content (but more on that in a future blog).

As the EmCee of a meeting, you should always assume everyone's good intentions. Then you will succeed in adopting a well-meaning approach to everyone (even if you are stern at times).
So basically you have to love every participant.

Jan-Jaap In der Maur

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