6 tips for a great panel discussion

If you are in a panel discussion on stage, it may be good to know how to behave. Here are six quick tips:

  1. Find out if this is a debate or discussion. Debate is about winning or losing. A discussion has no winner. Instead everyone contributes and listens.
  2. Ask yourself two questions before you join the panel:
    • What do you want the audience to know, feel and do with what you say?
    • What would you like to know from the audience? It is almost always possible to get at least a raise-of-hands to create engagement.
  1. Have a contact with the moderator in advance so that he/she knows what you want, where you stand and what questions that could be appropriate.
  2. Look at the one who is speaking. If you look at a different direction, the audience will not know what to focus on. If you instead look at the speaker, the audience will do that too.
  3. When answering the moderator: Look at the moderator first, then go out to the audience and to your fellow panel members, and when you’re finished, return to the moderator. It will be great!
  4. Associate, reflect, join. Be active. It will be so much more fun and dynamic for the audience than if the moderator has to fight for each answer.

Best of luck with your panel discussions!

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