• Connecting Speakers with Audiences™

panel discussion

Ensuring a Win for Your Audience Is the Best Goal for a Panel Discussion

Ensuring a Win for Your Audience Is the Best Goal for a Panel Discussion 1307 878 I Need A Speaker

By Jeannine Luby, Marketing Communications Consultant

In the words of Principal Ava Coleman, “We have to win this panel.” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1xlSTJjmEDw).

One episode of the ABC sitcom “Abbott Elementary” featured Principal Ava Coleman and her favorite teacher, Gregory Eddie, representing their school at a panel discussion that turns into a competition. Every response delivered was scored based on the audience’s enthusiastic nods and applause, or lack thereof.  Ava was feeling especially motivated, given that her competition was her nemesis and former sorority sister Krystal, the principal from another Philadelphia school.

While this idea of competing to win a panel discussion makes for a humorous sitcom premise, it raises a good question:  What would it look like to win a panel discussion?

What Does a Win Look Like?

Barbara Howard, a kindergarten teacher at the fictional Abbott Elementary offered this advice to Mr. Eddie, “The best response is the one given with a smile.”

That is generally sound advice, as a speaker who smiles appears friendly, warm, and approachable. However, if you’re giving a talk on mortality rates, you might want to save the smile for another time.  Context is important. Facial expressions should match the tone of the topic and your message points.

Mr. Eddie went to the panel with a rather apathetic attitude and the goal of talking with other educators saying maybe he could learn from them.

Learning is always admirable, but connecting with other panelists should not be your primary goal.

A panelist is there to deliver value to the audience. That doesn’t mean you can’t get to know your fellow panelists. In fact, it’s smart to reach out to them prior to the discussion to compare notes.  Repeating key points for the audience’s retention is one thing, but rehashing information is not helpful. Check out our previous post about this.

Focus on your audience’s needs. While it’s great for speakers to find common ground and mutual interest, you have an audience who came to learn something from you. Keep them engaged. You can always grab a drink after the event or schedule a follow-up coffee if you want to talk shop with fellow panelists.

Showmanship vs. Substance

If you’ve watched Abbott Elementary, you know that Principal Coleman is all about style. She could school anyone on glitz and glam, yet she struggled to compete with her counterpart in the panel discussion who shared anthems that rallied parents in the audience.

When asked what the single most important thing is about being a leader, Ava’s response of, “Showing up, looking good, and being on,” was met with silence.

While Krystal’s response of, “Being a leader means asking yourself: Would I follow me?” was met with fervent support and applause.

Slick, sound-bite style answers continued to win over the audience. Does that constitute a win?

Tech writer Aditya Kumar Singh wrote, “In an era driven by social media and instant gratification, the allure of showmanship in the tech and research industry is undeniable.”  While his article published on Medium.com on June 5, 2023 (https://medium.com/@sadityakumar9211/unmasking-the-showmanship-culture-in-the-tech-and-research-industry-all-glam-no-substance-25cc5fb11482), is about a specific industry, his words can apply to any industry.  He wrote “Underneath the glitz and glamour, however, lies a troubling reality: the absence of meaningful work. The showmanship culture often masks a lack of substantial achievements or tangible results. It fosters an environment where style triumphs over substance, and the focus shifts from genuine progress to mere appearances.”

The substance of your panel discussion content matters. That’s what your audience deserves, so bring your A game (no, that doesn’t stand for Ava).

 

 

Photo source: IMDB

10 ways to prep now for success in the future

10 ways to prep now for success in the future 2560 1707 I Need A Speaker

Summer months are often a time to stop working and enjoy leisure time. We believe the slower season is also a great time to prepare for the future. Here are 10 ways to level up as a speaker this summer:

  1. Add some impactful visual or audio aids to your presentations.
  2. Collect updated data and include it in your content.
  3. Create downloadable resource materials for your audience.
  4. Practice, practice, practice!
  5. Record yourself and critique your performance.
  6. Post videos of your presentations online, so event planners can see your performance.
  7. Review previous evaluations to determine where you can improve.
  8. Create or update your speaker sheet.
  9. Write an introductory message to potential clients.
  10. Update your profile on I Need A Speaker.

These steps take little time and can have great impact, leaving you plenty of time to relax.

What do you do to prepare for the future?

 

 

Photo credit: Pexels

Book our speakers now for fall and winter events

Book our speakers now for fall and winter events 2560 1920 I Need A Speaker

Summer is in full swing, and it’s easy to get caught up in outdoor recreation and barbecues. We aren’t rushing you back from vacation, but we do want to remind you that this is the perfect time to book speakers for fall and winter.

Speakers need time to prepare their talks, as well as to customize presentations or plan travel when necessary.

We invite event planners to create a free account on I Need A Speaker (if you haven’t already done so) and contact speakers for your meeting facilitation, panel discussions, classroom guest lectures, keynote presentations, and more.

Whether planning for your vacation or planning for an event, it’s the advance work that makes all the difference.

 

Photo credit: Pexels / Jess Bailey Designs

Browse our speaker directory for several types of events

Browse our speaker directory for several types of events 1707 2560 I Need A Speaker

I Need A Speaker was built to end the pain of repeatedly reviewing personal networks to locate speakers. We are on a mission to amplify new voices.

You can support that mission – and make your speaker event better – by using our speakers for all types of events.

Book one of our accomplished speakers for:

  • podcasts
  • emcee opportunities
  • guest lectures at colleges and universities
  • panel discussions
  • webinars
  • employee events
  • corporate programs
  • training
  • workshops
  • keynotes
  • media interviews
  • conferences
  • fundraisers
  • community events
  • roundtable discussions
  • educational presentations
  • motivational speeches
  • stand-up comedy (for fundraising or corporate events)
  • recognition functions

In today’s virtual speaking space, you’re not even limited to your own country! We now have users in seven countries who can collaborate to help find the right speaker for your event and your audience.

E-mail us at info@ineedaspeaker.com to learn about our fundraising program.

 

Photo credit: Pexels

Fundraising collaboration with Rotary District 7410 underway

Fundraising collaboration with Rotary District 7410 underway 918 310 I Need A Speaker

We’re so happy to be working with Rotary District 7410 (North East Pennsylvania) to increase visibility for the organization, assist with recruiting members, and help raise funds for polio eradication!

Does your group desire greater visibility and fund development for grants, training, scholarship, community outreach, or corporate social responsibility initiatives? Talk to us about a collaboration! Here’s how it works:

  1. Agree to promote I Need A Speaker within your organization.
  2. Members and contacts of your organization join for a special promotional rate of $247* (regular annual fee is $349).
  3. For each person who completes a paid speaker registration with I Need A Speaker using your unique promo code, we’ll give your organization a promotional fee of $50!
  4. Event organizers can search the directory free and contact speakers directly, eliminating costs typically associated with traditional speakers’ bureaus.

There is absolutely no risk! If no one from your group registers, promoting I Need A Speaker won’t cost you a penny. When speakers join using the specific code we provide, everyone benefits! Consider this: if 100 of your members/contacts joined, your organization would net $5,000. If 250 of your members/contacts joined, you would receive a check for $12,500!

E-mail us at info@ineedaspeaker.com for more details. Know someone who would be interested? Pass this along!

Our most-requested topics for speaker events

Our most-requested topics for speaker events 2560 1707 I Need A Speaker

The team at I Need A Speaker is on a mission to connect speakers with audiences to share information and to amplify voices of marginalized groups.

We are proud to work with you to build a directory of credible, engaging speakers and assist event planners with developing events.

Currently, we have users in five countries, and we are excited by the potential to make a positive difference on a global level.

As we move into 2021, our most-requested topics were:

  • diversity and inclusion
  • event planning in a COVID-19 world
  • marketing
  • social media management.

What topics would you like to present or hear about in 2021? E-mail us at info@ineedaspeaker.com to let us know, and we’ll include information about that topic in an upcoming newsletter.

Academics, enhance your faculty activity report with speaker events

Academics, enhance your faculty activity report with speaker events 2560 1708 I Need A Speaker

Higher education faculty are tasked with documenting their teaching, scholarship, and service activities in an annual report.

If you’re in academia, you know that your faculty activity report is instrumental in determining rank and tenure decisions.

One way to enhance your activity report is to book yourself for more speaking events or assist in planning some.

Use our directory to promote yourself, increasing visibility for yourself and your college or university. Or use the I Need A Speaker directory to locate speakers on topics of interest to your audiences.

Zombies are for horror movies

Zombies are for horror movies 1707 2560 I Need A Speaker

What do zombies have to do with public speaking?

A zombie is my nickname for a speech that is resurrected over and over again, without changes. Using a zombie speech is the easiest way to ensure a dull, generic presentation with dated material.

Fight the zombies and bring life into your presentation by reviewing, customizing, and updating each time you speak on that topic. If you don’t, your audience may soon resemble zombies themselves.

Improve panel discussions with one advance step

Improve panel discussions with one advance step 2000 1333 I Need A Speaker

If you’re invited to be part of a panel discussion, take the time to coordinate with other speakers before the event.

Make a quick call or drop an e-mail to introduce yourself  and share your talking points. By doing so, you can coordinate your message and avoid redundancy.

This one step will impress your event planner, who wants to deliver the best possible product, and it will create a better audience experience.

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