I have to say that I strongly prefer being the moderator vs. being a panel member. Actually, my favorite situation is when I am leading the discussion and also participating. 

Recently, I was part of a panel of three plus the moderator. She was a professional and told us that she had been doing this for a decade. We were recording an episode for her podcast and she assured us that we were in good hands.

She sent us the topic and main starter question in advance. She also sent us the links to the other panel members’ LinkedIn profiles so we could look at their background and connect. 

Being a good panelist, I prepared some notes and practiced a few ways I could answer the starter question in advance because I didn’t know what the other panelists would say. This way, I could adjust if they just said what I was planning on saying.

Pro tip: Panels go sideways when panelists don’t prepare. 

The trick to being a good panelist is to sign up for a topic you are confident about, prepare, and then go with the flow of the conversation. I was not expecting the direction the conversation took, but it was fascinating and I rolled with it. In the end, it ended up being more aligned to my point of view and experience than I had thought it would. 

Carol and I talked about what NOT to do in this short video. I highly recommend watching it because…Carol. OMG – I am crying. She was hilarious in this one.

Photo by Product School on Unsplash