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There's a bit of a discussion going on about panels. If you've not ever been to one, a panel is basically where four or five authors/experts sit round and discussion a topic, while taking comments from the audience. Joe Scalzi has his take on how to keep a panel interesting, which is with the fist and wild_irises suggests the open palm. However, the most interesting take I think belongs to nihilistic_kid who says "it only works on the basis of [you] not having a personal stake in the discussion."

I am not, by any means, an expert on panels. I don't really like panels from an audience member standpoint, since I find that most artists/whatever are simply performing in safe mode, where they work hard at being audience friendly and family safe and keep their opinions to themselves (and in my limited experience of panelists who aren't like that, they're so full of shit and stupidity that you just want to crawl into the bar). However, in my experience of being on panels, which I don't mind from a performance point of view, the panels that have been absolute ratshit are the ones where the moderator had a stake in what was being said. Where the moderator, ultimately, became a member of the panel.

So I reckon the third opinion is pretty solid.


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Jun. 8th, 2005 01:40 pm (UTC)
It's stand-up comedy sitting down. Be loud, be funny when you have to be, just (and this is the important bit) have an opinion Nothing shits me quicker than being stuck on a panel with a so-called expert who doesn;t have the strength of a conviction, and floats about with whichever way the wind is blowing. I'm always surprised how many of the people I do panels with have no public speaking experience, no personality, and no goddamn opinion.

why the hell are they there?
Jun. 9th, 2005 05:15 am (UTC)
i don't think it has to be comedy. i mean, you can be unfunny and still interesting, but it is, i think, a performance space. you're putting on a public face and you're playing a part.

i'm not surprised that a lot of people have no personality. i meet a lot of people ;)
Jun. 8th, 2005 02:38 pm (UTC)
No, the panels that are absolute ratshit are the ones where people are sitting around talking about either accounting or human resource management.

Going to one of those this afternoon. Pray for me.

Jun. 9th, 2005 05:15 am (UTC)
was it as painful as it sounded?
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