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Interview with Kirsty Lang

Conference moderator Kirsty Lang is one of Britain’s most versatile presenters and a highly experienced conference chair with experience from around the world. In this interview, find out what inspires her and what benefits a skilled moderator like Kirsty can provide.

What got you interested in journalism?

I became a journalist and a broadcaster because I like telling stories and hearing them. We know from archaeologists that for thousands of years human beings have gathered in groups to hear stories being told. It’s how we make sense of the world around us. In our increasingly distracted world, the spoken word has become even more powerful than ever.


Why did you decide to work as a conference moderator?

I’ve been moderating discussions on live TV and radio for 20 years so working as a conference moderator was a natural progression. The skills are very similar –looking confident, keeping your audience engaged, knowing the right questions to ask and good time-keeping, making sure your speakers don’t overrun. I’ve seen conferences ruined by the lack of a good moderator.


What has been your favourite experience as a conference moderator?

One of the most interesting experiences I’ve had recently was chairing a discussion on arts, culture and heritage in Saudi Arabia between a visiting British delegation made up of museum directors and curators and Saudi representatives keen to learn from their experience as they seek to build up their own cultural sector.


What inspires you?

Great speakers with a strong narrative and the power to inspire their audience. I’ve been invited to a number of TED Global conferences and I admire their carefully crafted, time limited talks. I’ve also coached several TED speakers.


What benefits have clients had as a result of hiring you?

As an experienced TV and radio broadcaster, I’m good at the big picture, pulling threads together and knowing how to engage an audience. Nothing fazes me, I’m calm, authoritative and professional. I also believe it getting the small details right, making sure the conference looks smooth and professional.


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