By Taffy L Gotora

1. Know the subject and speak up. It’s assumed you are an expert, but refresh yourself prior to the event. Come prepared with examples from your own research and experience. Give specific, rather than general answers, sharing details and evidence based on your own work.Sprinkle in a statistic, fact, or quote from an industry expert to make your opinion, idea, or answer not only come to life, but be more credible.

2. Acknowledge others’ expertise. Let your fellow panelists know that you’ve taken the time to learn about them and their work. Find a way to show appreciation for their contribution to the field.

3.Listen to the Other Panelists. There is nothing more distracting and rude than a fellow panelist not paying attention. Checking your iPhone, looking all around the room, or doodling on a pad while your colleagues speak undermines your professionalism and may prevent you from hearing valuable information that you can refer back to later in your response.

4.Keep it short. A panel discussion is about exchanges, not monologues . You are a part of a team so don’t hog the microphone and dominate the discussion.

5. Speak to the audience and not the moderator when speaking, though perhaps briefly at other panelists when they are speaking.

Taffy L. Gotora is an Author @ 20 Beautiful Women Africa Edition, Speaker, HuffPost Blogger, and Certified Social Media Consultant who has a wealth of experience as a web copyeditor and writer for an international mega-church ministry

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