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.