Great Panel Discussions: Nine Ways To Be A Terrific Panelist

The first five posts in our series on delivering better panel presentations focused on panel moderators.

But what if you’re invited to be a panelist instead?

In this final post in our series about delivering better panel discussions, you’ll find nine tips that great panelists use to ensure that they stand apart from their co-panelists — and have their most important points remembered long after the session ends.


Nine Ways To Be An Exceptional Interviewer

You can be a great moderator who asks riveting questions that generate fascinating answers — if you study the art of the interview.

In this post, you’ll find nine in-depth tips that will teach you what the interviewing masters know.

You’ll learn how to ask good follow-up questions, involve the audience in unexpected ways, be (appropriately) provocative, sequence your questions, be an effective time cop, and much more.


Great Panel Discussions: How To Open Your Panel

Many panels run for 50 minutes at conferences. Below, you’ll find a typical format, which contains a major flaw. Can you spot it?

– Moderator sets up topic and introduces panelists (5 minutes)
– Each panelist delivers an opening statement (3 panelists x 5 minutes each = 15 minutes)
– Panelists answer moderator’s questions (15 minutes)
– Audience Q&A (15 minutes)

In this post, I’ll identify the flaw in that format.


Great Panel Discussions: How To Create Segments and Draft Questions

A great interview is a combination of two things: careful planning in advance and active listening in the moment.

We’ll focus on the first of those points in this post, which will teach you how to prepare a list of questions by breaking your topic into several smaller segments, varying open- and closed-ended questions, and showing you a sample interview with six questions.

I’ll also address the question of how many questions you should share with your panelists in advance.


Great Panel Discussions: The Right Way To Set The Room

You’ve probably seen the typical panel setup: one long table with several chairs, a desk microphone for each panelist resting atop the table, and a moderator either seated amongst the panelists or standing behind a lectern next to the table.

That popular format—which can still be found at many corporate, scientific, and academic conferences—isn’t conducive to lively conversation. In fact, it inhibits it.

Here’s how to break the mold and make it better.


How To Plan A Great Panel Discussion

Like any other presentation, you should understand who will be in your audience and what value they can glean from your panel. That knowledge will help inform your panel’s title and session description, as well as which panelists you should invite to join you.

Great panels are diverse. In this context, diversity can mean many things: age, gender, race, years of experience, viewpoint, and more. The key is to book panelists who bring different perspectives to the topic. Watching three people who all view the world similarly (and who basically look the same) can quickly bore an audience.

Once you select panelists, here are three questions you should ask them.

How To Run A Great Panel Discussion A New Six Part Series

How To Run A Great Panel Discussion: A Six-Part Series

Panel discussions offer audiences a valuable opportunity to hear from several experts in a short amount of time. When delivered well, panels can be fast-moving discussions that leave audiences with crucial new perspectives.

Unfortunately, most panels don’t live up to their potential.

In this series, you’ll learn how to plan a successful panel, set the room, ask riveting questions, lead a dynamic interview, and much more.


Google Executive Celebrates Women By Interrupting Them

When we prepare executives for panel presentations, we typically focus on the message they want to convey and the manner in which they deliver it.

We focus less on how they interact with other panelists—but after reading an article about Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt in The Wall Street Journal on Monday, we’ll probably bulk up

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