How much time does a panelist need to adequately prepare for a panel discussion at a meeting, conference, or convention? Kristin Arnold, Professional Panel Moderator asked this question of Patricia Fripp, Executive Speaker coach and member of the US Speaker Hall of Fame.
Kristin: How much time should you allow yourself to prepare your materials and rehearse prior to a panel discussion?
Patricia: Well let us just say, your situation was two months. Let us say two months. Ideally, by one month, you are going to sit down and you are going to get serious and allow yourself at least one-third of your whole time from the invitation of the event to rehearsal. The problem that many of my corporate clients make is they think, once they have their speech in the PowerPoint, they are done. No, no, no, no. You are halfway done. The other half is getting it in your body. Gene Perret used to be a member of the National Speakers Association. He was the head writer for 30 years for Bob Hope and I said, “Gene, once you’ve got your routine together, how important is rehearsal?” And what he said is, “Patricia, it is so important because you have to be able to know whatever you are going to say so well that your words fall flawlessly from your lips.”
So you know it so well, I tell my clients, “You need to know it so well, you can forget it.”
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Kristin Arnold, professional panel moderator, and high stakes meeting facilitator is on a crusade to make all panel discussions informative, interactive, and interesting. Specifically, she wants to help YOU become a better panel moderator. Why? Because 95% of annual meetings have panel discussions – and according to the 2014 Panel Report, it’s a fifty-fifty proposition they are any good at all! Expectations decrease dramatically when your attendees walk in and see the traditional draped head-table with microphones on short stands. There are sooooo many other ways to have a stimulating conversation! So let’s increase the probability of success for your next panel discussion with these resources.
And, you can always go back to the playlist for more Powerful Panel Discussion Tips!