5 Ways Towards a More Perfect Panel

by Kevin Hawkins on June 25, 2015

The old cliché “You get one chance to make a first impression” still resonates with me, particularly when I attend a real estate conference and listen to panels and presentations Each speaker, moderator and panelist has the opportunity to make a powerful impression with the audience, but to do that right; most people can’t just wing it. Nearly everyone who speaks at a conference needs to take NFL Quarterback Russell Wilson’s advice: “The separation is in the preparation.”  You need to prepare, and not on the plane on the way to the conference. The hubris of so many executives thinking they can pull it off by preparing at the last minute and winging it is incredible because so few can ever pull that off. Recently, I witness a textbook example of how to prepare and present a panel the right way at the recent Real Estate Standards Organization or RESO Spring Conference in Chicago. Marilyn Wilson, founding partner of the WAV Group, organized for the first time a broker panel, How and Why Standards Help Brokers, to showcase that this conference was for more than just MLS geeks. It was a bold move by RESO to showcase this group, but RESO understands how vital brokers are to the success of industry standards adoptions, like the RESO Data Dictionary. The most important thing Marilyn did was to assemble an All-Star cast: Dan Troup of RE/MAX; Michael Garner of Keller Williams; David Grumpper of Michael Saunders; Alex Paine of Pacific Union and Tei Baishiki of NextHome. Now some people would have just let this panel take care of itself, considering the players involved. But if you’ve been doing this long enough, you realize there is a tremendous value in not winging it. So here is Marilyn Wilson’s formula to prepare and present a panel: Corral them all on a conference call BEFORE the event begins. This accomplishes several objectives: Panelist get to know one another, you can review format, discuss topics, run through potential controversial questions and issues, gauge everyone’s style and identify and resolve issues that might present obstacles. The goal is not to rehearse: That could have negative consequences, but to decide what to talk about to make sure there is a takeaway for the audience. Do your homework. It sounds trite, but this advice is vital. The conference call helps make everyone realize the responsibility they have to the […]