A few weeks ago I spoke at a conference on how emerging tech - especially AI - will impact live events. The format was a panel, but me and the other panelists decided to flip it.

Several people said they really enjoyed the session, so I thought I’d share how it came together. Here are 6 things we did:

📓 1. Craft a narrative: Even a 40 min panel can benefit from narrative structure. And we added one to ours. But narrative isn’t story. Stories have closure; narrative is open-ended. And narrative also includes an invitation to participate - listeners can play a role in what the outcome is going to be. 

👒 2. Different Hats: The three of us each played a role: one already using emerging tech in their work; one more cautious; the other an outside practitioner. We didn’t stay rigidly in character throughout, but wearing the hats helped the audience get a sense for for real-world scenarios.

👩🏽‍💻 3. Show, don’t Tell: To frame the ideas, we had a real live use case to share. And to make it feel more possible and accessible, we also included the story behind its creation.

⚙️ 4. Tools: People LOVE resources, tools, frameworks - stuff they can actually use. We shared a bunch of tools they could try - and even better, we showed vs. told.

🙊 5. Interactions: There’s wisdom in the room. Here are 3 simple questions we asked: “Who’s seen this before?”; “How often have you tried that?”; “What do you think about these?”.

🎯 6. Themes & Takeaways: Speaking of three, we included three themes upfront, and flipped them into three takeaways at the end. Here are three things we’re going to cover… and that we hope you’re now taking away.

It was a still a panel - three people (me, Banu Kannu and Dave Gamble) in discussion - but these adjustments shifted the dynamic.

And the interests of Show vs Tell, here’s a quick video walkthrough of the deck we used as a backdrop. Check it out:

6 ways to reimagine a conference panel session

There's something wrong. Great! Check your inbox and click the link to confirm your subscription.