Panel Discussions are a very popular format – you see them on talk shows, radio shows, and now podcasts. Panel Discussions are a great format to integrate into your webinars as well. Even if you aren’t doing live video where you can see the speakers talking to each other, panel discussions can work really well in an audio-visual (slides/demo) format. Below are some tips on how to make your panel discussion shine:
Consider your Audience – Gather questions/topics from your audience prior to the webinar on the registration form. This will help you hone in on the subjects that really matter to your attendees, and allow your speakers to discuss this together ahead of time and really fine tune the material and how it relates to the presentation at large.
Use Video and Images – Consider having live video of your panelists! Even if they aren’t together in the same location, people love to see the faces of the speakers. If you can’t do video, have the panelists bios and photos up on slides or in a speaker bio widget, so people can still get a visual.
Practice the hand offs and discussion flow between panelists. For panelist discussions, it is important that each speaker not only review their own material they plan to cover, but that they all practice together. In a virtual setting, if panelists are not in the same room, they won’t have the same visual cues they normally would when having a conversation.
Stick to a Timeline – Creating an outline that sticks to the allotted time can be difficult, but try to map out your time in your practices, and remember to leave time for live questions from your audience. They will appreciate you being aware of their busy schedules.