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.

You will find strong opinions and incisive writing on how to be a good panelist at Paul Kedrosky’s website.  (Remember, I posted his 10 Rules for Being a Great Panel Moderator earlier this week.)

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.

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For more tips, hints, and advice, visit my column Words@Work at Inc.com.

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