Jump to content
Anime Central Forums
Tokoz

First time panelist advice?

Recommended Posts

Tokoz   

I'm signed up to run a panel for the very first time at this year's ACen. I've never run a panel before, ever, so I was wondering if anyone had any tips or advice to help me out? 

I found this post and a lot of the things covered there seem pretty evergreen, but it is from 2015. Are there any new wrinkles that have come up in the last three years?  I think in 2015 panels were just starting to be in the convention center proper instead of in the hotels, are there any quirks of the convention center that a first-timer should be aware of? 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dark Spellmaster really covered most of it! But a few additional tips

Timing is VERY important. If you have a 1 hour panel, and come with only 30 minutes of material, you're in trouble. Likewise, if you have a 1 hour panel and 2 hours of material, you're equally in trouble as you try to rush through it and end up skipping things. Have your panel entirely planned out and then present it, even if you're just talking to an empty room, to time yourself. Rule of thumb is you'll talk faster and cover more in person, so if you time yourself at 50 minutes, you probably only have 40 minutes of material when really presenting. (There's some give and take here, as audience questions/participation may fill in your time gaps depending on the nature of your panel)

And speaking of audience participation, do you WANT your audience engaged? Is this an informative panel where you really only want to talk to them and maybe take questions at the end? (Which is a valid way to run a panel, nothing wrong with it, how mine tends to go!) Or do you want back and forth? Do you want to be having a conversation with your audience? Plan accordingly time-wise and if you want them more engaged, you need questions or whatever else ready to get their attention and make them interact with you! For example "I really felt x way about this scene. Is there anyone who interpreted it differently?" Or a quick thing I'll do with my audience since my topic is broad is show them a picture of the anime/game I'm about to discuss and ask them to name it. I give them a little prize for being correct!

Like Spellmaster said though, the most important things are to be prepared and to have fun. Know your material, but it's okay to admit you don't know something if someone has a really specific question. If you're smiling and having a good time and showing you really care about your topic, your audience will enjoy themselves too! If you're talking monotone, don't seem like you want to be there, or don't know you're stuff, people will tune out.

And lastly, like I commented on the original topic, people WILL leave your panel. It's inevitable. For some it won't be what they thought. Others might have to go to some other engagement. Don't take it to heart. Don't pay them any mind, just keep on presenting for those who are staying and interested :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Tokoz   

Thank you! It's good to know the older post is still good info. :) Hopefully, my audience will be engaged! I'm going over cosplay materials, and I want to have examples to pass around so people can feel and see what they are for themselves. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Zerox20   

Great advice !  I agree.

Enjoy your Panel and we look forward to seeing you at ACen.  if you have any other questions/concerns you can find us at the panel office right on the same floor.  We are more then happy to help.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
zurizip   

Sounds like you have a lot covered, I'd add a few things:

If you're at all savvy, a powerpoint can really help you keep on track and keep everyone interested, as well as being conducive for anyone taking notes.  Be aware of the need for an HDMI cable (I oopsied this pretty bad last year) but otherwise conops is really amazing at getting you set up in time.  If you're not computer/ppt savvy, just write out all the points you want to hit and explain on a piece of paper and then calculate about how long you should spend on each point (for instance, 5 points in a 50 minute presentation would equal about 10 minutes per idea)

Scout out your room ahead of time.  My second year they changed all the room configurations and I ended up running past my own line to get to my panel  because I'd assumed I knew where it was *facepalm* it looked real dumb.

Be ready for both a packed room and only 10 people.  Make a plan for each instance.  A packed room means you need to talk louder, project more, and be pretty structured.  Also decide what you'll do for passing around and questions.  Have people yell?  Go to them and repeat their question?  Have any copanelist do the running and you stay at the front?  If you have a small group, you can take questions at any time, it can be a lot more "Casually talking about a cool thing" whereas a big group is usually better off with "structured presentations and questions afterward."  

Don't feel down if it's a small group!  Small panels have been some of my best, and small panels have been some of the best presented! (a Yuri on Ice panel I went to once had like 20 people but literally the presenters were some of the best I've seen at ACen)  Don't be afraid to ask a small group to move up closer, though, or you might end up with 20 people spread quite far out and still have to yell to make yourself heard.

Anyway, good luck!  You'll kill it!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/31/2018 at 0:51 PM, zurizip said:

Sounds like you have a lot covered, I'd add a few things:

If you're at all savvy, a powerpoint can really help you keep on track and keep everyone interested, as well as being conducive for anyone taking notes.  Be aware of the need for an HDMI cable (I oopsied this pretty bad last year) but otherwise conops is really amazing at getting you set up in time.  If you're not computer/ppt savvy, just write out all the points you want to hit and explain on a piece of paper and then calculate about how long you should spend on each point (for instance, 5 points in a 50 minute presentation would equal about 10 minutes per idea)

Scout out your room ahead of time.  My second year they changed all the room configurations and I ended up running past my own line to get to my panel  because I'd assumed I knew where it was *facepalm* it looked real dumb.

Be ready for both a packed room and only 10 people.  Make a plan for each instance.  A packed room means you need to talk louder, project more, and be pretty structured.  Also decide what you'll do for passing around and questions.  Have people yell?  Go to them and repeat their question?  Have any copanelist do the running and you stay at the front?  If you have a small group, you can take questions at any time, it can be a lot more "Casually talking about a cool thing" whereas a big group is usually better off with "structured presentations and questions afterward."  

Don't feel down if it's a small group!  Small panels have been some of my best, and small panels have been some of the best presented! (a Yuri on Ice panel I went to once had like 20 people but literally the presenters were some of the best I've seen at ACen)  Don't be afraid to ask a small group to move up closer, though, or you might end up with 20 people spread quite far out and still have to yell to make yourself heard.

Anyway, good luck!  You'll kill it!

which yuri on ice panel?  I ran one last year about the characters and someone else did one about ice skating in the show.  I'm running two panels this year.  My advice would be to just go with the flow.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
zurizip   
On 4/2/2018 at 8:36 PM, marybooklover said:

which yuri on ice panel?  I ran one last year about the characters and someone else did one about ice skating in the show.  I'm running two panels this year.  My advice would be to just go with the flow.  

I dunno but I think it was the characters! If you had notepads on the chairs then it was you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×