Yes, I will accept a slot on your panel discussion at your aforementioned event – but only on one condition: I will not participate in the scheduling, planning or execution of a conference call with the other panelists before the event.
I will not suffer through a 37-email chain as you attempt to nail everyone involved down to a time that works for the call.
I will not dial in to a ten digit number and frantically toggle back and forth between iPhone screens to locate and type in the meeting ID number, PIN number or the instructions about whether I should hit the 1 or the pound sign or “star star”.
I will not listen in on the call as the panelists all introduce themselves when a glance at the site could tell me everything I need to know about their bio in half a second.
I will not discuss what I plan to discuss at the live event itself so that the other panelists have the opportunity to come ready with refutations or adornments of the brilliant things I plan to say.
I will not stand by, my ear to the receiver, as the conference organizer/panel moderator attempts to weave together a thread of discussion while simultaneously and surreptitiously second-guessing whether or not they’ve assembled the right people for the stage.
I will not go through the charade where I put the phone on hold to take other calls and then click back in, pretending to have been listening the whole time.
I will not send a follow-up email to the people on the pre-panel conference call about how excited I am to work with everyone.
If you can understand this, my only condition, then yes, I wholeheartedly and enthusiastically accept your invitation to participate in the panel discussion, thanks for having me!