Tips to prepare for a panel discussion at a content marketing conference
Dale Carnegie once said, “There are always three speeches for everyone. One you actually gave, the one you practiced and the one you wish you gave.”
Living by this thought during a panel discussion can help you accomplish ideas you desire to convey. The purpose of a panel discussion at a content marketing conference is to bring together talent from within the industry who can share experiences and build from those stories.
Sometimes even the best panel experts need guidance to ensure their discussion is a coherent, lively and engaging experience for the audience. Here is how you can prepare for a successful panel discussion at a content marketing conference:
The first tip to acing panel speaking is preparation. Read about the topic, listen to relevant podcasts and use pointers for your opening remark. Make sure, to begin with, something alluring if you want to captivate the attention of your audience.
Don’t be Boring
The last thing you want to present is a dull, disjointed panel discussion. So if you can’t bring a spark to the table, try being one. An elaborate preparation on related topics will help you go a long way during your discussion. Since the dais is an excellent opportunity to share your knowledge and expertise, use it to your advantage. For instance, at a content marketing conference be prepared to speak on at least five related topics that will elevate the energy of the discussion.
Be a Storyteller
If you have been chosen to be a part of a panel discussion, it is important to speak not just fluently, but be knowledgeable too. Audiences want to hear and learn from personal experiences, so keep a few stories up your sleeve to bring an edge to the discussion.
You can take some cues from this panel discussion organised by IIT Bombay, Entrepreneurship Summit 2014 where founders of 3 e-commerce giants shared the stage. No prizes for guessing why one of them has clearly ruled the show here.
Prepare for a Q&A Session
While it is crucial to encourage the audience to ask questions, it is also essential for you to give structured answers. Create a framework and politely lay down ground rules for the question and answer session that will follow after. Lastly, add a quick summary to your answer before you transition to the next question.
Know your Panel
A panel discussion means the focus is not just on you but also on other fellow experts. Knowing who your panel members are, their experience and work credentials will give you an upper hand during the discussion. Addressing them with their name correctly during the discussion will add an interactive element to the table by making the members feels confident and comfortable.
A good example of how you should address your fellow members during a panel discussion can be seen in this video.
Prepare your One-Liners
Using catchy one-liners, cut-off phrases and tweet-worthy quotes will make you look focused, knowledgeable and modest. As a panelist, you represent yourself as a brand during the discussion. Using humor, wit and deep insight as a part of your research will boost your chances of being tweeted on platforms that in turn will help with your publicity.
Using these six tips to prepare for a panel discussion will help you bring out your best during the session. Besides, it will boost your credibility and showcase your expertise in the industry.
Pro Tip: At a panel discussion listening is a key skill that will help you interact with fellow speakers better. After all, knowledge shared is knowledge gained.