I was part of a panel today that spoke to high school students on the topic of “Preparing for Adulthood.”
I’ve coached clients who’ve had upcoming panel speaking opportunities, and this situation sometimes feels scary to them unlike a prepared speech they had to give.
Avoid these 3 mistakes to handle the panel successfully:
1️⃣ If you are asked a question you don’t know the answer to or feel you can’t adequately answer, don’t panic and make something up. Here are a couple ways to handle this-
👉🏾Turn it into something you CAN answer that is still connected to the question. “I’m not familiar with that particular incident, so I’ll have to look into that. However, I do know that…”
👉🏾Punt the question to another panelist. “I don’t have experience with that, but maybe Kim or Terry do and can give ideas?”
2️⃣ If the moderator sends you the questions ahead of time (yes!! 🙌🏾), don’t skip on taking the time to read them and coming up with your answers for each one of them. The reality is, you don’t know which questions they’ll ask you so you need to be prepared for all of them.
3️⃣ Don’t give a monologue. Keep it pithy, baby. You don’t want to be that panelist that hogs the conversation and doesn’t let others add to it. Respect the time limits of the moderator. Anywhere from 30-90 seconds at most is always good for answering if you weren’t explicitly told how long you have.
Which one of these was most helpful to you?
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As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
- 1 Peter 4:10-11
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