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  • Writer's pictureDonald Macintyre

Preparing for a panel discussion? Some tips for success.

How to prepare for a panel discussion – 6 tips for your success.

Know your audience

The first step of preparing panel discussion is understanding your audience. Research the event and the attendees to find out their interests and needs. Explore their background, professional achievements, and any views they have expressed on the topic. Understanding their perspectives will help you anticipate potential areas of agreement or disagreement.

Understand your role on the panel

A well-rounded panel comprises individuals who all contribute something different to the conversation; every panelist is chosen for a specific reason. Your role may be representing your business, sharing scientific research or providing a fresh perspective. It’s important to understand the purpose of the discussion and your role on the panel.

What do you want the audience to take away from your presentation? Organize your thoughts into clear, concise messages that highlight your expertise. Consider different perspectives you can contribute to enrich the conversation. But make sure they align with and support your central takeaways. And come prepared with facts and data to back up your talking points.

Prepare for the Q & A session

Q&A sessions can be unpredictable, so it is important to be ready to field the curve balls. Anticipate questions and prepare thoughtful answers for your panel discussion. This will help you avoid getting caught flat-footed; when you respond with confidence to audience questions, you demonstrate that you know your stuff.

Practice, practice, practice

Practicing your delivery, timing and responses to potential questions will help you feel more confident and prepared. Anticipate possible counterarguments. Engage in mock panel discussions with colleagues or mentors to refine your delivery. Humour and anecdotes help to keep the audience engaged but you don’t want to flub a punch line – practise these as well.

Get presentation ready

Remember, preparation is the key to delivering a compelling and informative panel discussion. With the right preparation and mindset, you can deliver a successful presentation that showcases your expertise and engages the audience.

By following these tips, you will be well on your way to establishing yourself as an authority in your field. Want to learn more about how Orbis Leadership can help you become a more confident public speaker? Contact us to set up a complimentary 30-minute consultation to get started!

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