Panel Discussion Tip #197 with Patricia Fripp: How Far in Advance a Panelist Should Prepare

Professional Panel Moderator Kristin Arnold asks Patricia Fripp, Executive Speaker coach and member of the Speaker Hall of Fame, to share her thoughts on how far in advance a panelist needs to adequately prepare for a panel discussion at meetings, conferences, and conventions.


Video Transcript

Kristin: How far in advance should I begin preparing for a panel discussion?

Patricia: Our great friend, the most creative person in the National Speakers Association is Brian Walter. And I quote him all the time because he says, “You do not actually write a speech, you develop a speech.” If your remarks, be they 5 minutes of answering questions or a 45-minute speech, you start developing the ideas and you keep a file or a notepad. When you have a thought or an idea or something you have a conversation that might go in or a specific example comes to mind, you’ve saved these ideas.

Because if you mark out two o’clock on Friday to finalize and put together your script, you will find never in your life have you felt less creative. Because that’s the way. You do not know how you are going to feel; you will just know when you marked calendar.

However, if you develop the file, the ideas, the notes, and as you are driving or on the treadmill. I sit on planes with my eyes closed and I talk to myself, just to get the words comfortably in my mouth. If you have done this, when you come to actually put it together, most of the work is done. In other words, whether your role is 5 minutes or 50 minutes, 5 hours or 5 days, you cannot start too early preparing for any appearance.



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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!


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