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The Moderator's Survival Guide by Fiona Tranquada, Donna Tedesco

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Appendix A

What to Say

Knowing what to say, and when, is one of the biggest challenges in moderating, especially when you’re just starting out. Here are some of the phrases that we’ve found to be effective throughout a session. You’ll notice that in many cases, we show a lot of different ways to say the same thing. Try them all and see which variations feel most comfortable for you.

Desired Effect What to Say
Set expectations “If you ask me questions, I may not really answer you or I may be vague. If I’m doing that, I’m not being unfriendly; I’m just trying to stay neutral.”
Provide a neutral acknowledgment “Mmhmm.”“Okay.”“Okay, thank you.”“Okay, thanks for that.”“That’s good to know.”“That’s helpful for us to know.”
Turn a question ...

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