There is an inherent danger in over-preparing the panelists.
Yes, you should talk to the panelists. Outline what you want to see happen on the stage, and share your thoughts with the panelists – ideally in a conference call versus individual calls, or so Denise Restauri believes.
Yes, you want them to feel comfortable, to make the session more of a team sport than of an individual hogging all the glory. Restauri says, “You should talk to them about how they all fit together to achieve the overall goal of the panel. Discuss their thoughts and concerns, emphasizing that the discussion will be about successes, challenges, and the future.”
Therein lies the danger.
Have too cozy of a conversation, then the panel takes place over the conference call or the breakfast in the morning.
A dead giveaway is when the moderator or panelist says, “As we were talking about in preparation for this panel,” or “As we discussed this morning…”
Whoa! Wait, did we miss the juicy bits and you’re giving us the leftovers?
Ba-humbug. It’s a delicate balance: You want your panelists to be prepared as far as expectations, process, and ground rules. Otherwise, you could be heading down that slippery slope of too much preparation for your panel discussion.
Kristin Arnold, professional panel moderator, and high-stakes meeting facilitator, shares her best practices for interactive, interesting, and engaging panel presentations. For more resources like this, or to have Kristin moderate your next panel visit the Powerful Panels official website.