The Art of Conversation at DLF
The organizers of the highly celebrated Dhaka Lit Fest sat down on the last day of the event to talk about the art of moderating a panel, and discuss future plans and improvements with the attendees.
In the session were Kazi Anis Ahmed, Sadaf Saaz and Ahsan Akbar. From the very onset of the conversation, the floor was opened to the audience in the room to offer their thoughts about the event and also feedback on what changes they would like to be made.
The panelists discussed the importance of a moderator, and the work they expect them to execute. They mentioned how a moderator is picked, and that they would like more Bangladeshis to be chosen for the job in the future. A moderator needs to facilitate the conversation between the panelists as well as that with the audience. “Moderation is a lot of work,” said Kazi Anis Ahmed, “and most of it is invisible.” Plenty of research and preparation is needed for a moderator to do the job right, and they need to have “both a structure and flexibility within the structure,” he added. Ahsan Akbar added to that: “One thing you don’t want to do (as a moderator) is upstage (the panelists) on-stage.”
In terms of what makes a good moderator, Sadaf Saaz said: “They need to be curious enough, and want to find out more about the panelists.”
The audience participated wholeheartedly in the conversation, and had a lot of valuable feedback for the future of DLF. The session ended with the panelists assuring the audience that next year, celebrating the 10th year of Dhaka Lit Fest, is bound to be one to look forward to.