common mistakes panelists make during a panel discussion
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The title of your panel discussion is your first chance to capture your audience’s attention. An intriguing title signals your intent to be lively and engaging instead of dull and boring. A catchy and effective title should:


  • Be appropriate to the occasion or tie into the conference theme
  • Provide enough information about the subject so that potential attendees can tell whether this is likely to be of interest to them
  • Be succinct and to the point
  • Pique the interest of the reader or potential listener

Perhaps you are like me: I acknowledge that I need a lively title, but I can’t always think of one! So I look at magazine titles for inspiration.  Magazine editors have been attracting readers for years, so browse your magazine rack for ideas.


My colleague, Sam Horn, is renowned for helping individuals and organizations create intriguing ideas and original approaches that help them break out versus blend in. In her book, POP! Create the Perfect Pitch, Title and Tagline for Anything! [Perigee-Penguin, 2009], she suggests you identify your Points of Distinction or “PODs”. What is a common truth about your topic? Don’t bore people by featuring that in your title or description. Saying the same thing as everyone else is a prescription for blending in.  How can you say the opposite instead of the obvious? A panel discussion entitled “The Customer is NOT Always Right” that delves into how employees can deal with chronic complainers who consistently break the rules is more likely to elicit interest. Many people would welcome what promises to be a “tell-it-like-it-is” panel discussion that address a real problem without a Pollyanna approach.   So next time you are putting together a panel discussion, make the title intriguing and interesting – and then deliver on the promise!


What are some examples of intriguing titles you have used to describe the topic the panel is going to discuss?


Related Articles:

How to Get Your Panel Discussion Proposal Approved by Conference Organizers

Do You Need to Have “Panel” in Your Title?

The Anatomy of a Powerful Panel

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.


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Kristin ArnoldKristin Arnold
KRISTIN ARNOLD, MBA, CSP, CPF|Master has been facilitating meaningful conversations between executives and managers to make better decisions and achieve extraordinary results for 25+ years. She's a leading authority on moderating panel discussions and passionate about finding the perfect olive to complement a vodka martini.

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