5 Tips on How to Be a Great Panelist

When you are asked to serve on a panel, it’s easy to assume that you will simply show-up and answer questions that have been shared with you in advance. If you do that, you are most likely not going to be a great panelist. Here are some tips to make sure you are one.

  1. When you receive the questions, jot down a few notes to help organize your thinking. Do not script answers. It’s also okay to have your notes with you if you are tackling a challenge subject.
  2. Aim for concise answers. The audience is more likely to remember your answers if you do this. It also gives the other panelists an opportunity to weigh in.
  3. Answer using both a high altitude view and a specific view as this provides context for the audience.
  4. Don’t use jargon, acronyms or industry-specific language that audience members might not understand. The audience is here to learn so speak so they can do just that.
  5. Speak to the audience, not the moderator, who is simply an extension of the audience. You want to make eye contact with the audience and project your voice toward them so they can hear what you are saying and learn.
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