Panels can be used in two ways.  First, you can bring in stakeholders and community partners to serve on a panel and answer pre-assigned questions followed by a question/answer period from your students.  This can provide a dynamic give and take prior to sending students into the community.  Questions should be specific and address immediate concerns students might have prior to undertaking the experience as well as an overarching discussion about the contribution students will be making through their efforts.

Another panel technique has student representatives who have completed their service hours serve on a panel as a culminating activity.  Again, this may be more dynamic and engaging than a simple presentation.  It fosters and dialogue with participants and is less intimidating to the panelists.