Whenever I’ve been a panelist, I start out thinking it’s easy—a no brainer—and then, as I get closer to the event, I change my mind. I begin to realize that I will be on display for all to see and hear and that it represents an opportunity to create a positive impression and contribute to the dialogue in my industry.
Because I have yet to meet a moderator who is willing and able to coordinate, prep, and coach his/her panelists, I am determined, if I ever moderate a panel, to ride herd on my panelists because I know that the lively interaction of many minds depends on strong leadership.
My advice? Don’t look at the job of panelist as a walk in the park. In truth, you’re giving a presentation, you’re debating ideas, and you’re marketing yourself and your business. Step into it, full tilt boogie.