Do’s & Don’ts of Panel Discussions

Written by Ellie Thien

September 13, 2017

Don’t arrive unprepared

While panel presentations are often more informal and conversational, that is not an excuse to under prepare. You should always be prepared with an opening and closing, a few key points to share, and answers to any challenges or tricky questions.

Do research other presenters

Research the other participants on the panel. What are they bringing to the discussion and how can you interact with them? Knowing their credentials will make the dialogue flow more easily.

Don’t act like you’re on stage alone

This is not a keynote presentation where you get the stage all to yourself. Make sure you’re interacting with others, responding to their statements, and allowing them room to speak.

Do be engaged

Be aware of your body language and facial expressions while you’re on a panel. While others are talking, make sure to look at the speaker, keep a smile or engaged expression, and keep body language open. You want the audience to know you’re excited to be there and are engaged with the topic.

Don’t only agree with everyone else

There is nothing more boring than a panel of experts who agree on every point. While being polite is important, it’s okay to challenge or question someone else’s contributions. A lively debate will be much more interesting for everyone involved.