During the Canadian Association of Professional Speakers (CAPS) Convention last December, the two convention chairs organized a highly unique (and funny!) panel that galvanized the audience.
The "He said, She said" format is particularly effective when you have a topic where there is no right answer. For example, in the speaking industry, there are myriad ways to run your business and just because it works for one person, doesn't mean it works for all. Here's how it works.
Congratulations! You had a good experience being a powerful panelist and want to be invited to participate in more panels. Here are some ideas on how to be invited to participate in more panel discussions:
I like to get to the panel discussion early - at least an hour or so earlier than the panel’s start time for several reasons. What can you do during that hour? Here's what you need to know.
Having a friend or two in the room can be super helpful during a panel discussion. Here are a few ways your friends can help you be successful during a panel discussion.
The order in which panelists offer their prepared remarks is a major factor in determining how they will be perceived. While each panelist will be speaking on the same topic, your pre-event meet-up should have ensured that your key points shed a different aspect or point of view in this segment of the program.
Here are the advantages and disadvantages to being the first, last or in the middle.
With dominating extrovert panelists, what is an introvert to do to stack the odds in their favor?
To answer this question, I called my colleague and author of Creating Introvert-Friendly Workplaces, Jennifer B. Kahnweiler, Ph.D, CSP. Here is what she had to say.
I highly recommend finishing the panel discussion on a high note with a very clear call to action. It is this “final thought” that creates clear takeaways for the audience and positions you and your company as a resource. Here are some things to consider.
Promoting the panel discussion is not just the responsibility of the event organizer. As a panel moderator or as a panelist, you can help promote the panel to a wider audience, encourage them to attend, engage with the attendees, and follow up after the panel discussion is over.
At some point during a panel discussion, the panel moderator will turn to the audience and ask for questions. Most folks call this “Audience Q&A” where the moderator takes questions from the audience via text, question card, open microphone, or Oprah-style, depending on the event.
To facilitate a meaningful audience Q&A session, try these techniques.
Since ChatGPT has hit the headlines pretty hard, I thought I would use artificial intelligence to write this week's blog on "biggest panelist faux pas."
Amazingly enough, here is what ChatGPT answered:
It annoys me when panelists solely talk to the panel moderator and their fellow panelists - and never address the audience. After all, it is the audience that is benefitting from the panel's wisdom! Why not engage with the audience directly?
You may not be the panel moderator, but you still can involve the audience in small ways.
As a panel moderator, it is a best practice to use people's names. Everybody likes to hear their name AND it's a great cue for a panelist to know that a question is directed at them. But for goodness sakes, either call ALL the panelists by their first names or ALL the panelists by their official titles! Here's where things went wrong.
Perhaps you've been asked to serve as a panelist in an upcoming panel discussion...and you may be wondering, "What do I have to do to be prepared?"
That's a GREAT question, as I have seen too many panelists do absolutely NO preparation. Okay, they might have read the descriptive email on the flight into the city or briefly chatted with the panel moderator. I affectionally call this the "show up and throw up strategy," where the panelists think they can get by with sheer brilliance.
Unfortunately, it rarely works that way. A brilliant, D.E.E.P. panelist is willing to do the work. And it's really not a huge lift, but can make a huge difference to the audience and their perceived value. Here's what you need to know.
A common question I am asked is “Should I practice for a panel discussion?” My pithy response is that it can’t hurt!
Seriously though, you should prepare answers for the questions you think the moderator will ask as well as a few curve balls that you think they might ask! Here's how.
You may end up with a disorganized, lackadaisical moderator who says, "go ahead - sit wherever!"
If that's the case, get there early enough to walk onto the stage and claim the best chair in the house! Place your notes, clipboard, or another piece of personal property on the chair. Here's where you will want to sit.
For my panelists who come from heavily regulated industries (or super vigilant businesses…), you need to super prepare for this panel. You don’t want people to walk away with anything, or worse, fall asleep during the discussion! Here is how to pull it off.
A panel presentation is a more traditional approach to having a panel: The moderator introduces each panelist, does some moderated Q&A with the first panelist, then moves on to the second panelist, etc. I call this format a "presentation style" type of panel. It is clearly not a panel discussion as the panelists are not having a conversation among themselves.
Whereas a panel discussion includes time for the panelists to interact with each other - either from the onset or after the panelists' initial remarks/presentations.
Why does this matter? Find out here.
It's possible that you, as a panelist, may not be able to insert yourself into a panel discussion. Perhaps it is because you're an introvert, or you're sitting at the end of a long row of panelists, or you're the outsider and all the other panelists know each other well.
Regardless of the cause, the moderator is not balancing the airtime, and you simply can't get a word in edgewise. Not to worry, here are some easy things to do to insert yourself into a panel discussion.
If you are on a panel with more than 50 people in the audience, chances are you are going to have to use a microphone during a panel discussion. Whether you're a panel moderator or panelist, you'll want to know some tips to use a microphone during a panel discussion.
A little worried about your upcoming panel discussion? Here's the good news: Stage fright or presentation anxiety is fairly common for new panel moderators or panelists, manifesting itself with dry mouth, sweaty palms, and an increased heart rate.
Here's even better news: There are specific techniques you can use to reduce that anxiety - and here's twenty-one ways to calm your nerves before a panel discussion.
So what is the optimal placement of a panel discussion in the program of a longer meeting, conference, or convention? The answer depends on what the objective is.
My colleague, Sarah Michel, used a creative “audience reflection panel format” at a recent conference. It went so well that her client wants her to repeat the format at next year’s conference!
While there are many (at least 9!) reasons to say “yes” to the invitation to moderate, there are an equal number of reasons to say “no” to an offer to moderate a panel discussion.
Back in 2014, I decided to hyper-niche my facilitation skillset into the panel moderation world. Moderating a panel is, quite simply, a very specific type of facilitation.
When considering various formats for an upcoming meeting, consider the advantages and disadvantages of a panel discussion – a live (or recorded), in-person, virtual, or “hybrid” discussion about a specific topic amongst a selected group of experts who share differing perspectives in front of an in-person, virtual, or geographically dispersed audience.