How to Introduce Yourself on a Conference Panel / Webinar
November 01, 2022
When you next appear on a webinar or a conference panel, how will you introduce yourself?
You want to look good and sound good from the start so that your audience will listen. That means you’ve got to get your opening words just right. How you introduce yourself on a webinar panel really matters, often as much – or more than – what you say later. A great introduction is a great investment.
As you know, preparing for a conference panel is an incredible marketing opportunity. And, you’ll get more from it when you impress from the start. That’s why so many great panellists and panel moderators call us for support. Learn how to moderate a panel like a pro.
We’ve reviewed hundreds of panel appearances and identified six things that make a panel introduction stand out:
How to Introduce Yourself on a Conference Panel
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1. Keep your panel introduction short
Be succinct. When you say less, you get to the heart of the matter faster. Plus, when you use fewer words, each word carries more weight. You’ll find it’s more effective to deliver a great 15-second introduction (approx. 30 words) than a rambling two-minutes (250 words).
For example: “I’m Ben, the founder of Benjamin Ball Associates. Business leaders use us to transform their pitches, presentations and talks. When they work with us, they stand out.”
2. Use big, bold ideas in your introduction
One strong idea is worth more than 20 vague concepts. Say just one thing, and say it well. Make it relevant to the main topic that the panel will be debating. You’ll make much more impact than someone who bores the audience by sharing too much.
For example, “At ABC Ltd, we measure the real value of public open spaces. This helps all of us protect open spaces against future development.”
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3. Name-check yourself in your conference panel introduction
Help the audience remember your organisation, by referring back to your company name.
Rather than saying:
“We do this; we believe that…”
“At XYZ Ltd we do this; at XYZ Ltd we always…”.
Your audience will appreciate the reminder.
4. Speak to the audience during your panel introduction
The chairperson may speak first, but don’t direct your response towards them. Speak to the audience. Smile to convey warmth and confidence. Then, make eye contact with different people across the audience as you deliver your introduction.
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5. Show energy and enthusiasm in your introduction
Your natural passion for your topic will be dulled by the gap between you and the audience. To compensate for this, dial up your energy and enthusiasm. It might mean ‘performing’ a bit more than feels natural, but that is what looks good on stage.
If you feel nervous, it’s common to lower your voice. Instead, channel your nervous energy into projecting your voice.
How to rehearse for a conference panel
Best advice for rehearsing to prepare for a conference panel
6. Prepare beforehand for a memorable introduction
A great introduction is not easy. It comes from the time you spend perfecting and editing what you plan to say. The more practised you are, the more natural, confident and engaging it will look. The more your prepare your panel, the more natural you will look. That’s one of the reasons why we film our clients during our coaching and training. Straight away, they become more objective about their performance and can see the impact they make.
How to Prepare For A Conference Panel
If you are on a conference panel this year, make your attendance more successful with essential preparation. These six conference panel tips will help you look more impressive, interesting and impactful.
1. Conference Panel Preparation Tip: Plan well in advance.
With your chairman and fellow panellists, work out what you are going to talk about. The best panel discussions stick to a few large questions; don’t get bogged in detail. Start your conference panel with a strong introduction and end well. Plan where the big debating points are going to be. Prepare your stories and your advice (see below) well in advance.
How to prepare for a conference panel
2. Conference Panel Tip: Be useful to your audience.
Does the conference audience genuinely want to hear your every thought? Or can you turn your experience into useful tips for them? Plan what you say to be valuable to your audience. Give advice and illustrate with examples. One great piece of advice is worth a dozen opinions.
3. Conference Tip: Stick to a few big ideas.
It is always tempting to have an opinion about everything. But it is better to have a few ideas and continue to reinforce them. Don’t speak unless you can really add value.
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4. Prepare for a Conference Panel: Tell personal stories.
Avoid the abstract ideas where you can. Illustrate your thinking with real stories. The more personal, the better. Your audience will find stories more memorable and more interesting.
5. Conference Panel Tip: Disagree.
The worst conference panels discussions are when everyone agrees with each other. Aim to disagree – create a debate – discuss the issues. It’s more interesting for you and for the audience.
6. Prepare for a Conference Panel: Speak Up.
Finally, remember you are on stage. Use all the great tips and tricks that great presenters use: Speak louder than usual. Use pauses. Short sentences. Eye contact with the audience. Smile. Open and positive body language. It all helps you be recognised as an interesting and useful person to work with.
If you want help preparing for your next conference panel, do give us a call. With just an hour or two on Zoom or in face-to-face coaching, we can help you prepare a compelling panel discussion.
We’d be delighted to help you look confident, composed and compelling
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Free Guide: How to Stand Out on a Conference Panel
Download our free guide for conference panellists.
You’ll get practical tips that will transform your conference panel appearances.
Even better, contact us and we can help you shine on your next conference panel.
If you want to look and sound impressive on your next conference panel, call us
Get support to refine your key messages, strengthen your delivery and stress-test your performance.
We can give you expert presentation skills coaching for an hour or two via Zoom to polish your conference or webinar panel. You’ll feel calm, confident and ready to stand out. Our award-winning training, coaching and advice has helped hundreds of Senior Executives transform their leadership communications, including pitches, presentations and panel appearances.
Start preparing for your conference panel appearance now. Call Louise Angus today on +44 20 7018 0922 or email her via firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
It could be the best investment you make this year.
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About Benjamin Ball Associates
At Benjamin Ball Associates, we help clients to communicate better.
Over 15+ years the award-winning BBA team has coached thousands of senior executives globally to present themselves powerfully. You get access to a transformational toolbox of techniques to help you become a clear, confident communicator.
We’ll help you create a powerful first impression that hooks and engages your audience immediately, and we’ll transform you to deliver clearly, confidently and with impact.
Speak to Louise on +44 20 7018 0922 or email email@example.com to find out more and discuss your upcoming speech or presentation.
Contact us for a chat about how we can help you with your presenting.
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