Today we are going to discuss how you can effectively present while on a panel.
First and foremost, these strategies are relevant both for when there might be a moderator present and when there might not be a moderator present.
Also, you can implement these communication techniques when you’re presenting in groups (in business, on school projects, etc.).
So just keep that in mind and I'm going to give you three strategies that you can implement as soon as you are on your next panel or group presentation.
Let's get into it.
Reference Someone Else’s Point or Insight
So the first thing I'd like for you to do is to reference something that somebody else on the panel mentioned Now, generally speaking, there is going to be some sort of cohesive theme right So what someone else on the panel is going to say or has already said is going to be somewhat relevant to what you are sharing or what you have shared.
So it's really a nice thing to do to tie in what someone else said, referencing them by name, according to the protocol that everyone's using at this conference or on the panel. If it's first names, everyone's referring to each other by first names, do that. That's fine. If they're using the prefix in front like Dr. or Mrs. or Mr., then use that just so that we know we’re being appropriate with that following protocol. Referencing what someone said could be as simple as “I really like how Amy pointed out that X, Y, Z”, or “As Dr. Keller mentioned, dot, dot, dot.”
This accomplishes two important things: (1) you're reminding the audience of what they heard, because, again, they're going to take some time to digest the information that's being shared and (2) you're showing that you yourself are an active listener. You're not just there on the panel to present and to be listened to. You're also there to learn. So you're a contributing member, but you're also someone who listens actively and cares about what your colleagues and the other people in that space have to say, because that matters as well.
All right. So that's the first one.
Ge to the Point Early On
The next point here, you want to be as succinct as possible.
Try to get to the point of what you have to say as quickly as you can. You're not there to just go on on a tangent. This is not a conversation that can ebb and flow and take you to all corners of the earth and then circle back to the point that was being made. No. You really want to be aware of the time limit, right? Because with these panels, of course, there is going to be a time limit and you want to make sure that you get to the point as quickly and as early on as possible.
To do that, you really want to have beforehand, as you're practicing and preparing, hone your talk, right? Hone the points that you're going to be sharing. Just like when we're preparing for an interview, we have our elevator pitch down solids. The same with the panel. Don't go into the panel thinking, well, I'm an expert in this field and I am, you know, one of the leading industry members here.
So I can just speak ad nauseum about whatever it is that the topic is on. Now, you want to be respectful of the audience this time of the other panel members time of the moderators time if there's a moderator, because it's very important to get to the points. All right. And you can do that in a sustained way if possible.
And of course, if, for example, you maybe didn't cover everything that the moderator wanted you to cover, then they're going to ask a follow up question or at the Q&A at the end, the audience members will have an opportunity to ask you to elucidate on a point that you had made.
So there's no need to inundate the audience with just information, information, information. Just get to the point. And like I said later, you can elaborate if necessary.
Don’t Hog the Floor
And then lastly, I think this one is pretty obvious, but I'm going to share it anyway. Don't hog the floor So hogging the floor means you take up all air space, you take up all the talking time. You don't let anyone else speak. Now, the reality is, if there is a moderator and this is an experienced moderator meeting, they've had a lot of practice moderating panels because it's not easy.
Let me tell you, then they're probably going to gently cut you off or they're going to, you know, make sure that the other people on the panel get to say something as well. Right. Because that's why you're all on this panel to begin with. But even if there is a moderator, you want to be super careful not to hog the floor.
So if you notice that you're speaking more than others, if there's not a moderator, then you can invite someone else to speak. If you know someone's research or their background or their industry that they're in. Find a way to tie it into what you're saying. Make it relevant. Because, of course, with this underlying theme that there probably is for this panel to happen any way Find that cohesion, find that theme and draw the other panel members in.
If you're tempted to hog the floor, that is right. And again, the moderator should be doing this. But if they're not doing their job or if there is no moderator, then you can take it upon yourself to make sure that you don't hog the floor because it's bad form. And also it's highly impolite. So we want to really be sure not to do that.
All right. So there you have it. Three actionable strategies that you can use as soon as you are on your next panel. These are also great strategies to use in group settings when you're in a meeting or if you're presenting as a group. All very valid strategies that you can also use in those communication settings.
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