How to Lead a Panel

So, you’ve been selected or confirmed as a Panel Lead! Congratulations! But you, no doubt, are wondering what we mean by that, and what we expect of you. Don’t worry, it’s not that complicated.

What We Mean

A Panel Lead is someone who either suggested the panel in the first place, or someone we believe knows a fair bit about the subject and can speak on it competently. It’s an acknowledgement of your expertise!

What it Does Not Mean

It doesn’t mean that you have the right to override the discussion. Remember that everyone who is on the panel with you is there because they know something about the subject. You can help your Panel Host by encouraging the other members of the panel to have their say, especially if they’re quiet, by asking them what their thoughts are, or if they agree or disagree with you. Let the Panel Host shut down people who are domineering, rude, or offensive, though — that’s not a job you can do.

Additional Responsibilities

The main responsibility that a Panel Lead has that the other panelists do not is that we are calling upon you to come up with a one-paragraph description of what the panel is about and what you’ll be talking about. It’s meant to be a guide-post to the discussion, and an advertisement directed to people who might want to attend to catch their interest.

If this is something you feel you’re having trouble with, I (Diane/Sable) am available to help you. Message me on the Discord server, or just tag me so I see the message in one of the discussion channels. If you’re not sure about it, because you were asked to lead the panel and didn’t volunteer initially, feel free to work with the person who contacted you to ask what was meant by the panel title, or to let them know how you have interpreted it if you’re not sure.

When you are finished, please send your description to the person who contacted you, by whatever means you are using to communicate (usually email, but might be Discord, Twitter, etc.) We are coming down to a time crunch now — our fault, not yours! — so we’d appreciate it if this could be done fairly soon.

Thank you, once again, for being a part of CONduit! We look forward to hearing your thoughts!