How to Be a Great Panelist

How to Be a Great Panelist

How to Be a Great Panelist

Serving on panels at events is an excellent way to increase your visibility and establish credibility as a thought leader. The best way to make the most of an opportunity to serve on panels is to prepare well, even if you know your subject matter very well. These tips provide a simple plan you can follow.

Great Panelists Prepare.

1. Research the event, the audience’s reasons for attending, the moderator, and the other panelists. This research will help you to feel more confident and prepared and provide more relevant information and thoughts.

Questions to Ask About the Audience:

        • Who are they? (Ask for as much demographic and psychographic information as possible.)
        • Why are they attending/watching?
        • What do they care about?
        • What are their concerns or desires?

2. Prepare responses to questions you believe you will be asked. Some panel bookers will provide a list of questions you may be asked, which is helpful. However, it’s best to prepare for the conversation to veer off in other directions. Check the news the day before or the morning of your panel and consider your thoughts on how current events might affect your work/organization and/or the audience.

3. Prepare some points that you can share, and keep in mind some anecdotes that will be relevant and entertaining.

4. Rehearse introducing yourself, talking about your work/organization, and responding to questions you anticipate being asked. Avoid trying to deliver your content verbatim. Instead, rehearse from a set of brief bullet points you create to remind yourself of the points you want to make.

Actively and Positively Contribute to the Panel Discussion.

5. Add to the discussion when possible. Answer the moderator’s questions fully and, when appropriate, mention relevant data, studies, and/or ideas that will deepen the conversation. Add to other panelists’ points if you have something useful to add. Do this judiciously, however. It’s best to avoid the appearance of trying to take over the panel or diminishing the value of other panelists’ input.

6. Be respectful of other panelists. Don’t interrupt them, and if you disagree, do it kindly.

7. Include the audience in the discussion. When you respond to questions from the moderator, alternate looking at the audience and the moderator. 

8. Share inspiration, advice, and humor. After listening to speakers and panels throughout the day at an event, people want some spark. You can provide that. As much as possible, leave the audience with something to think about and feeling good.

Would you like more help becoming a great panelist?

Lisa Elia, the author of this article and founder of Expert Media Training, coaches clients to prepare them for panels. She can assist in developing clear message points and responses to questions that strategically position them and/or their organizations if they don’t already have them prepared, and provide specific recommendations and feedback to elevate all aspects of their communication. She also teaches clients a preparation technique to manage nervousness and increase mental focus. She believes that, as with any public appearance, being prepared and having the right mindset vastly improves the client’s performance and increases their enjoyment of the experience.

To arrange a free consultation, call us at 310-479-0217.
Or, you can email us at [email protected]

Lisa Elia, Media Trainer, Presentation Trainer, and Communication Expert, and Founder of Expert Media TrainingThis post was written by Lisa Elia, a media trainer, presentation trainer, pitch coach, communication expert, and speaker. She trains clients around the world for media interviews, speeches, internal and external presentations, panels, investor presentations, and promotional videos. With more than 25 years of experience, Lisa has prepared clients for interviews with TODAY, GMA, The Wall Street Journal, CNN, ESPN, and hundreds of other outlets. Lisa has shared her expertise with national media outlets that include Inc., Entertainment Tonight, E!, and many others. Clients include entrepreneurs, Fortune 500 companies, and everything in between as well as athletes, celebrities, and other public figures.

Panel Moderating Quick Tip

Panel Moderating Quick Tip

If you’re hosting a panel, it’s up to you to manage the audience.

If you open the floor to an audience Q&A, know that there will be some people who say they want to ask a question but then use their time with the mic to promote their agendas, rather than contribute to the discussion.

Be sure to bring the conversation back to the topic that the panel is discussing. You may have to politely cut someone off, but it can be done with grace. Simply say “thank you” and ask if the person has a question for the panel to refocus the conversation to that of the panel. The audience will thank you.

Lisa Elia, Media Trainer, Presentation Trainer, and Communication Expert, and Founder of Expert Media TrainingThis post was written by Lisa Elia, a media trainer, presentation trainer, pitch coach, communication expert, and speaker. She trains clients around the world for media interviews, speeches, internal and external presentations, panels, investor presentations, and promotional videos. With more than 25 years of experience, Lisa has prepared clients for interviews with TODAY, GMA, The Wall Street Journal, CNN, ESPN, and hundreds of other outlets. Lisa has shared her expertise with national media outlets that include Inc., Entertainment Tonight, E!, and many others. Clients include entrepreneurs, Fortune 500 companies, and everything in between as well as athletes, celebrities, and other public figures.

Five Tips to Make the Most of Media Interviews, Presentations, and Panels

Five Tips to Make the Most of Media Interviews, Presentations, and Panels

 1. Know what drives your audience at any given time; pain avoidance or aspiration.

Some people are more motivated to avoid pain, thus the “speak to their pain points” advice that has proliferated on the Internet for the past decade. Others are more motivated by their aspirations or ideals. Most people’s motivations can vacillate between pain avoidance and aspiration, depending on the matter at hand.

When preparing for media interviews, presentations and panel discussions, consider which form of motivation is strongest for your audience in relation to the topic you are discussing and shape your messages accordingly.

2. Pay attention to the fringes.

Many people focus only on their primary target market and they often ignore or overlook smaller market segments and key influencers. (Key influencers are the people who influence your target audience’s decision-making process and can include business advisors in other fields, managers, agents, assistants and spouses, among others.) Maintain visibility, or relationships, with ALL of your publics; your target market as well as opinion leaders, key influencers and secondary and tertiary markets. Tides change in the world and in business, and there may be a time when your secondary and tertiary markets become important to your bottom line or your position in your industry.

As you prepare for media interviews, presentations and panels, identify logical places where it makes sense to address the needs of your secondary and tertiary markets and key influencers.

3. Draw out silent members of your audience.

There will be times when a segment of your target audience or certain stakeholders do not speak out. Instead of assuming they will not do so at some point or that the silent members of your group or audience support you, take steps to find out what they truly believe and want.

During media interviews and presentations, make reference to the ways people can provide feedback and make their voices heard, such as a text line/hotline, online form or other forum you have created to gather feedback and ideas.

4. Nurture relationships.

Just because someone has been supportive of you in the past, doesn’t mean the relationship will be fine in set-it-and-forget-it mode. It’s easier to maintain a relationship than to rebuild it.

Take advantage of opportunities during media interviews, presentations and panel discussions to acknowledge the people or organizations that have been your long-time supporters. If you can address how you serve their needs, your moments in the public eye can help to maintain your relationships.

5. Identify and fill the gaps of dissatisfaction.

Consider how you can discover and address unmet needs and dissatisfied people. Most successful companies and products were inspired by one individual’s desire for, or identification of, something that was lacking in the marketplace.

When preparing for media interviews, presentations and panel discussions, create messaging regarding what you and/or your organization have done to discover and fill the unmet needs of your supporters and those who are dissatisfied with the status quo. Show them how you provide the solutions they are seeking.

Lisa Elia, Media Trainer, Presentation Trainer, and Communication Expert, and Founder of Expert Media TrainingThis post was written by Lisa Elia, a media trainer, presentation trainer, pitch coach, communication expert, and speaker. She trains clients around the world for media interviews, speeches, internal and external presentations, panels, investor presentations, and promotional videos. With more than 25 years of experience, Lisa has prepared clients for interviews with TODAY, GMA, The Wall Street Journal, CNN, ESPN, and hundreds of other outlets. Lisa has shared her expertise with national media outlets that include Inc., Entertainment Tonight, E!, and many others. Clients include entrepreneurs, Fortune 500 companies, and everything in between as well as athletes, celebrities, and other public figures.

How to Be a Great Interviewer or Moderator

How to Be a Great Interviewer or Moderator

At some point, you may find yourself in the position of interviewing people or moderating panels. If you’re not prepared for this, you can feel out of your depths.

Recently, when I moderated a panel at “Expressions of Peace,” a wonderful event that our client PeaceNow held, several people asked me how I prepared. Admittedly, I’ve been interviewing people since I was in journalism classes when I was 19 years old, and I have continued to refine my process over the years. Here are some tips on how to be a great interviewer or moderator.

How to Be a Great Interviewer or Moderator

1. If you want to learn how to be a great interviewer, watch great interviewers, like Lester Holt, Oprah Winfrey, and Anderson Cooper. Pay attention to their timing and rhythm, and note how much research they have done to prepare prior to an interview. Study people who do both well. 

2. Do your research. Take the time to research the topics to be discussed and the people you will be interviewing/moderating. Read up on current events so you can tie them into the discussion when appropriate. When you have done your research, you will be better able to quickly formulate questions and effectively lead the interview or panel discussion.

3. Practice encapsulating others’ rambling speeches. A good interviewer or moderator can sum up what was said on the spot. While some people are naturally more adept at this than others, this skill can be improved with practice.

4. Write out some questions you plan to ask during the interview or panel discussion. It’s good to have more questions than you will need to fill the time, and then to put them in order of priority, so you ask the juiciest, most interesting questions at the beginning, middle, and end of the interview or discussion. You want to lead people on a journey and keep them engaged.

5. Develop a preparation ritual to relax and center yourself before you begin your interview or panel discussion. No amount of research or knowledge will help you if you get so nervous that your body goes into a “fight-or-flight” response and you forget what you’re saying. Having a ritual to help you control your breathing, relax your body and focus your thoughts will help you to center yourself so you can be more fully present and enjoy the moment.

6. Control the audience. If you open the floor to an audience Q&A, know that there will be some people who want to take the opportunity to promote their agendas, rather than contribute to a discussion. Be sure to bring the conversation back to the topic that the panel is discussing. You may have to politely cut someone off, but it can be done with grace. Other articles that include tips that may interest anyone who wants to know how to be a great interviewer or moderator are provided here:

6 Tips for Effective Presentations

https://expertmediatraining.com/how-to-prepare-for-presentations/

Media Training Resources (communication studies and useful links)

https://expertmediatraining.com/media-training-resources/

Body Language in Interviews and Meetings

https://expertmediatraining.com/body-language-in-interviews-and-meetings/

How to Ace Every Presentation

https://expertmediatraining.com/ace-every-presentation/

Individual or group training inquiries should be directed to [email protected]  or 310-479-0217.

Lisa Elia, Media Trainer, Presentation Trainer, and Communication Expert, and Founder of Expert Media TrainingThis post was written by Lisa Elia, a media trainer, presentation trainer, pitch coach, communication expert, and speaker. She trains clients around the world for media interviews, speeches, internal and external presentations, panels, investor presentations, and promotional videos. With more than 25 years of experience, Lisa has prepared clients for interviews with TODAY, GMA, The Wall Street Journal, CNN, ESPN, and hundreds of other outlets. Lisa has shared her expertise with national media outlets that include Inc., Entertainment Tonight, E!, and many others. Clients include entrepreneurs, Fortune 500 companies, and everything in between as well as athletes, celebrities, and other public figures.

This site uses cookies. Find out more about this site’s cookies.

Pin It on Pinterest