6 Things To Prep So You’re More Memorable On A Panel
Last Thursday I ran a Corporate Workshop designed specifically for panel speakers and interestingly, on the same day, I sat on a panel myself.
So, I thought it would be useful to share what I prepped in advance and what I recommend my clients prep too.
If you have a panel interview coming up, or if you’ve always second guessed how to respond in a memorable way, then this is for you.
#1 – EXPECTATIONS
Whilst you will no doubt be sent the Topic of the panel, to me that doesn’t give the background as to why the panel was setup and what organisers want to get out of the discussion itself.
So, I would always recommend you ask the organisers why this topic was chosen for the panel or what the ideal outcome is. I.e. The whole point of the panel in the first place.
I did this and it gave me the clarity I needed to prep the below points ahead of the session.
#2 – YOUR POSITION (ON THE TOPIC)
It’s important to determine what *you* think about a specific topic.
- How do you frame it in your mind, at a high level?
- Do you think it’s broader or narrower than they’re posing?
- Do you feel there’s any common misconceptions about it?
- What’s your experience led you to believe? etc
#3 – INTERESTING SOUND BITES
Just like when you’re on a Podcast, or when you’re delivering a Conference talk, you want your advice to be remembered.
Let me tell you…
“Long winded responses, with lots of information and use of fancy words will not easily be remembered.”
The things that will stick in people’s minds are responses and sentences that are simple and/or catchy.
The power of a great panel member is your ability to distil complicated information and opinions into something very simple.
I now try and boil down my opinions or views into 1-Word points as well!
Here’s an example
I attended a Conference a month or so ago where there was a panel on The Power of Data.
People were responding to questions, but they were simply talking through their responses. Sharing lots of information. The problem was, I was getting a bit lost in all the detail.
Until one of the panelists responded to a question (about the relationship between Data and Enterprise Risk) with a one-word point.
“It all comes down to curiosity”
Then she went on to explain what she meant.
As soon as she said that, I thought
It was so simple, but it really resonated and helped me follow along.
It’s also still stuck in my mind weeks later. Powerful right!
#4 – SUPPORTING STORIES
You will no doubt be asked to share a little bit about yourself. Whilst you could share different bits of information, it’s way more interesting to string together a short story. Something that summarises how you got to where you are, but in a chronological, narrative format.
Apart from your own back-story, the best way to bring to life the points that you’re making is also with a story. It’s also one of the most memorable ways to answer a question.
If you’re unsure of what stories to even tell, ask yourself this.
“Do I believe this point I want to make?”
If the answer is yes, then ask yourself this.
“Why do I believe this? What have I experienced that has made me realise this, or has reinforced it for me?”
The answer will be a story!
I shared lots of stories in my panel interview and at the end of the panel I was thanked for the “stories you shared”.
Note I wasn’t thanked for the *information* I shared………
#5 – RELEVANT ANALOGIES
One of the best ways to explain something is to share an analogy.
Our brain always likes to be efficient (this must be part of evolution). This means we like to make sense of new / complex information by relating it to something we already understand and is perhaps simpler.
So, when explaining your point of view, of explaining a concept, have an analogy ready to share along with it.
I recently compared the way we get stuck in a bad mindset as similar to “holding our hand on a stove”. I explained that we’d never do that in the physical world. We’d take the lesson and then remove our hand swiftly. So we need to do the same with our emotional state.
Someone commented at the end of the panel that this point was the key thing they were taking away. That they were no longer going to “Keep their hand on the stove”.
To me that was a good indication that I’d made that point memorable through the use of an analogy.
#6 – SHOCKING STATISTICS
Statistics are great because they can’t be argued with. They prove how bad something is without question.
Also, if you can share a trend with a statistic, that’s very powerful. Whether you comment on what that statistic used to be, or where you see it heading in the future, that’s a great way to get people really thinking and spark discussion.
If you have a panel coming up, don’t just think about the information you’re going to share. Set aside 30mins to brainstorm the above 6 items. They’ll help you make an impact and ensure your message sticks in the minds of your audience, long after the panel is over.
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Until next week,
Emily Edgeley is a Public Speaking Coach for the Technology industry. Since 2017 she’s run over 100 group coaching sessions, coached more than 200 people privately and formally supported first time and experienced speakers at 10 Conferences, covering 1000+ people across the globe.
She’s on a mission to help anyone in the Tech arena learn how to speak with clarity, impact and confidence. So they can share their ideas, boost their brand and start to enjoy public speaking.
She’s also a regular podcast guest, a writer, a single mum of one, a massive dog lover and a fan of cryptic crosswords.
Emily Edgeley | PUBLIC SPEAKING COACH | www.emilyedgeley.com