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Conference panel discussion - how to look great

How do you introduce yourself on a conference panel?

November 1, 2017

When you are on a conference panel, how do you introduce yourself?

First impressions count. Conference audiences make judgements about you based on the first things you say.

That’s why your conference panel introduction matters, often as much – or more than – your later contributions.

 

Learn how to introduce yourself properly – it is a worthwhile investment.

As you know, appearing on a panel is a great marketing opportunity. And, you’ll get more from it if you impress from the start.  That’s why we have coached so many great panellists and panel moderators.

 

We’ve reviewed hundreds of panel appearances and identified six things that underpin a powerful panel introduction:

How to introduce yourself on a panel

1. Keep it short

2. Use big bold ideas

3. Name-check yourself

4. Speak out to the audience

5. Show energy & enthusiasm

6. Practise

 

 

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 so that 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 a 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 parks and countryside against future development.”

 

 

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…”

Instead say:

 “At XYZ Ltd we do this; at XYZ Ltd we always…”.

Your audience will appreciate the reminder.

 

I Want To Shine on a Conference Panel

 

 

4. Speak to the audience during your conference 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.

 

 

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.

f you feel nervous, it’s common to lower your voice. Instead, channel your nervous energy into projecting your voice.

 

 

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 practiced 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 organise a conference panel

 

Free Guide: How to Stand Out on a Conference Panel

Download our free guide for conference panelists.

You’ll get eight practical tips that will transform your conference panel appearances.  Even better, contact us and we can help you shine on your next conference panel.

 

 

I Want To Shine on a 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 work with you for just an hour or two via Zoom to polish your pitch and learn the techniques of the masters. 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 conference panel appearances.

Start preparing for your conference panel appearance now. Call Louise Angus today on 020 7018 0922 or email her via louise@nullbenjaminball.com for more information.

It could be the best investment you make this year.

 

I Want To Shine on a Conference Panel

 

 

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Gerry Bastable  Director, Blast Films


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To Learn More…

Contact our
Client Services Director
Louise Angus
+44 (0)20 7018 0922