Table of Contents

Tips for Conference Panelists

  1. How Can I Be a Good Panelist?
  2. What Makes a Good Panel Speaker?
  3. What’s the First Thing I Should Do When I Join?
  4. How Do I Introduce Mysel?
  5. How Do I Introduce a Panel Discussion?


Tips for Panel Moderators

  1. How Do I Prepare Questions?
  2. What Are Some Good Questions to Ask?
  3. What Makes a Good Moderator?
  4. How Do I Introduce Speakers?
  5. What Do I Say If I Don’t Know the Answer?
  6. Is There Anything I Should Avoid in a Panel Discussion?


Tips for Presenting at a Conference

  1. How Do I Prepare for a Presentation?
  2. How Can I Be a Good Presenter?
  3. What Should I Focus on While Presenting?
  4. What Is the 10/20/30 Slideshow Rule?
  5. How Can I Make My Presentation More Visually Appealing?
  6. What Are Some Presentation Techniques?


Top Cannabis Conferences


Should You Be on a Panel or Speak On Stage at MJBizCon 2022?

Heading to MJBizCon 2022? Take your attendance to the next level.

Attending a conference without formally participating offers many benefits, but sitting on a panel or speaking on stage at a cannabis networking event allows you to move beyond one-on-one connections and make a bigger impression.

The Hybrid team knows it can be intimidating to participate in a cannabis conference panel discussion, and we’re here to help. 

Our handy guide will show you how to successfully deliver a panel presentation, moderate a panel discussion, and present at a cannabis conference.

Before we dig into the specifics, let’s take a closer look at the world of cannabis conventions. What makes a conference worthwhile? And how do you know if you should participate in a discussion panel?

Tips for Cannabis Conventions

What Makes a Great Conference?

MJBizCon is the biggest and the boldest, but with a growing number of cannabis conferences, how do you know which to attend? 

Just look at the results. 

A great conference will produce strong networks, provide new opportunities, and broaden the body of knowledge for attendees. MJBizCon delivers on all fronts.

What Makes a Great Panel?

So you’ve decided to attend and signed up for a panel presentation. How can you and your fellow conference panelists ensure your conference panel is well received? 

Focus on your audience. 

When you propose panel presentation ideas and organize panel discussions, always keep your audience in mind. What topics interest them most? How can you engage them in your discussion?

5 Tips for Conference Panelists

Whether it’s your first time on a panel or you’re an experienced conference presenter, it’s always good to prepare before you enter the fray. Stand out in a crowded field of fellow experts with our valuable tips for how to be a good panelist.

How Can I Be a Good Panelist in a Panel Discussion?

There are many tips when presenting to keep in mind, but we prioritize the three S’s: study up, keep it short, and stay story-focused. 

Read up on your fellow panelists in advance. Remember that this is a discussion, not a presentation. A thoughtful conversation among experts will highlight your strengths.

Keep your comments and observations direct and to the point. 

And don’t forget that every topic of discussion has a story behind it. 

“If you can’t think quickly and pivot easily, don’t do panels,” says Hybrid’s Jonathan McFarlane. “Other than being an expert on whatever topic the panel is on, there isn’t any great way to prepare for them. So if you need a more formulated, practiced approach to shine on stage, then stick to solo presentations.”

What Makes a Good Panel Speaker?

When participating in a panel discussion, collaboration is key. Prepare questions for panelists that advance the discussion and engage the audience. 

“The best panels feel more like interesting conversations,” McFarlane says. “So be conversational! Ask questions of the other panelists, support their points with your own experiences, and drop in casual comments throughout.”

Treat your panel appearance like a cocktail party. Stay on point and reinforce your ideas with personal experience to captivate your audience.

What’s the First Thing I Should Do When I Join a Panel Discussion?

Connect with your fellow panelists. A good panelist moderator will usually arrange a meet and greet, but if they don’t, reach out to the other panelists before you go on stage.

How Do I Introduce Myself on a Panel?

Keep it short, sweet, and story-focused. Prepare a brief bio beforehand so your audience gets a sense of why you’re there, what your expertise is, and how you can contribute to the discussion.

How Do I Introduce a Panel Discussion?

Your panel moderator will generally take the lead, but if they ask you to introduce some aspect of the discussion, think of a one-sentence thesis that describes the topic, and use that to launch the conversation.  

6 Tips for Panel Moderators

With the right preparation, learning how to host a panel discussion doesn’t have to be difficult. Here are the top tips to remember when you prepare to moderate a panel discussion.

How Do I Prepare Panel Questions?

If you’ve decided to moderate a panel, you know that research is essential. Taking the time to look into the background, expertise, and interests of your panelists will allow you to prepare thoughtful, personalized questions that make for a meaningful discussion.

What Are Some Good Questions to Ask Panelists?

It all depends on your topic. When preparing panel questions, stay focused. Consider the thesis of the discussion, and come up with questions designed to investigate it, highlighting the specialties of each individual panelist.

What Makes a Good Moderator?

Learning how to be a great panel moderator is much like learning how to be a great host. The key is empathy. When moderating a panel discussion, your most important tool is active listening. Take in what panelists say, and use their remarks to connect to the larger purpose of the panel.

How Do I Introduce a Panel of Speakers?

Stick to the facts. When moderating a panel discussion, ask panelists to prepare bios in advance, or you can simply state their names and areas of expertise and give them a moment to introduce themselves.

What Do I Say to Panelists If I Don’t Know the Answer?

Admitting a gap in knowledge is always acceptable. Alternatively, you can use this moment to open the discussion and invite your fellow panelists to share their thoughts.

Is There Anything I Should Avoid in a Panel Discussion?

Unless you’re more interested in headlines than results, we recommend you steer clear of controversy in your panel discussion. Good discussion panel topics should be oriented around the strengths of the group and create a space for collaborative dialogue.

6 Tips for Presenting at a Conference

If you’ve moved beyond the panel and are ready to go solo, congratulations! Presenting on your own is a great opportunity to get your message across, but it comes with its own set of challenges. Here are some helpful tips to make your presentation a success.

How Do I Prepare for a Conference Presentation?

Just as being a good panelist begins with researching your fellow speakers, a successful presentation begins with getting to know your audience. Who are the people you’ll be speaking to? How is your message relevant to them? Understanding your audience will allow you to deliver an exceptional presentation.

How Can I Be a Good Conference Presenter?

Simplicity, consistency, and storytelling are the foundation of a successful presentation. Keep yourself on message, and reinforce factual points and data with narratives to showcase their real-world impact. Stick to the facts, but don’t be afraid to get creative with how you deliver them.

“Audiences are much more engaged when you can include both humor and storytelling,” says McFarlane. “For example, don’t just drop a statistic; make it come to life with a story around how you discovered the data, what your reaction was, and how you used it to make a change in your business.”

What Should I Focus on While Presenting?

The number one rule in presenting: don’t be boring! Stay on message and move quickly to hold your audience’s attention. Don’t be afraid to showcase your unique voice and expertise to keep your listeners interested.

What Is the 10/20/30 Slideshow Rule?

One of the most important guides to delivering conference presentation slides is Guy Kawasaki’s 10/20/30 rule. Your slideshow should include no more than 10 slides, last 20 minutes, and use a 30-point to keep your audience attentive and engaged.

How Can I Make My Presentation More Visually Appealing?

Keep your text short and your visuals colorful. Each slide should have no more than six lines of text. Images can convey your message more effectively than text alone.

What Are Some Presentation Techniques?

Each presenter draws from their own unique set of techniques, but for us, the most important thing to remember is that your audience wants you to succeed. Treating them like friends who are interested in your perspective will help you create a presentation that’s memorable, meaningful, and fun!

Top Cannabis Conferences (2022 & 2023)

You’re so excited by your MJBizCon success that you’re ready to take the cannabis conference world by storm! There are several cannabis conferences looking for experts like you to share their knowledge. Here are the Hybrid team’s top picks for 2022 & 2023. We can’t wait to see you there!


“Hands, touching hands Reaching out, touching me, touching you…”