The primary goal of any panel presentation is to convey information in a cohesive manner. A presentation that consists of one presenter after another is not a panel – it’s just a series of separate, disconnected speeches. There are things you can do as a panel participant to create an informative and engaging experience for your audience.
Be sure to know who your audience will be. What is their general level of expertise? Why are they attending? What do you want them to do with the information after the panel takes place?
Before the event, talk with the moderator. She will know what the overall purpose of the panel is, who else will be speaking, and why you were chosen to participate. During the event, keep the moderator in mind and she will be able to cue you when to start or end your presentation. Talk with the other presenters to learn their positions and determine what makes you and your position unique from the others. Together, you can create some ideas about topics, questions, point/counterpoint, etc.
When the panel is taking place, do your part to be inclusive in the discussion. When it’s your turn to speak, refer to what a previous panelist said as a bridge to your topic or viewpoint. Don’t only speak to the audience – also speak to your fellow panelists. Be aware of how much airtime you are using to avoid dominating the discussion. When addressing the audience, remember to look into the camera as if you were talking to one person.
Being prepared ahead of time and using these ideas will help you create a more dynamic, conversational, and cohesive experience for your audience.