SXSW Interactive 2016

A Panel On Panels: Things We've Learned Not To Do


Panels at conferences have become their own weird sort of performance art, with their own oddball risks. Forgettable adequacy is easy, but how do you come up with a discussion that people will talk about later? How can you work around obstacles presented by conference organizers (getting scheduled in a timeslot of death like right after lunch), fellow panelists (one word: PowerPoint) or the audience (the dreaded "quomment," as in, "I have a question that's more of a comment")? The experienced speakers on this panel will offer guidance on those risks and ways to transcend them.

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  1. What are the best and worst times of day for a panel? How do you work around awful timeslots like right after lunch or just before the reception?
  2. One of your panelists is a bit of an introvert. How do you keep them in the discussion without it looking like you're calling on them in class?
  3. An audience member has a "quomment"--as in, "I have a question that's more of a comment." How do you politely avoid the imminent filibuster?



Rob Pegoraro, Journalist, Prose Hacking, LLC

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