Panel discussion script example

Penny Haslam Panel Discussions - The Ultimate Guide - By Penny Haslam

Panel discussion script example

This is a panel discussion script example from an event I hosted at the Stockport Chamber of commerce in the UK. The theme of the event was borrowing and investing. The event timetable was:

  • 7.15am - Registration & Networking
  • 7.40am - Welcome
  • 7.50am – Breakfast – Round Table networking
  • 8.20am - Panel Discussion on SME funding and finance - hosted by Penny Haslam.
  • 9.00am -5 x 60 second pitches – GM Chamber Updates
  • 9.15am - Networking & Close


8.20am Panel discussion - Moderators script example

Good morning, thank you to Tony etc..

We are ten years away from the credit crunch that tore up the rulebook for lending and investing in business in this country.

Over-leveraged companies who’d become over reliant on Venture Capitalists, and cheap money from banking institutions - who’d grown and expanded too quickly for comfort were found wanting. Closures on the high street were commonplace, and then everyone who was a lender took their ball home and said they couldn’t play anymore….

A lot has happened since then and TODAY the British Banking Association estimates that 80% of small and medium sized businesses applications for finance in the last quarter of last year were approved. Total lending to SMEs stands at around £110 billion pounds.

HOWEVER, smaller businesses, those with fewer than 50 employees, are still finding borrowing difficult, with 50% of applications from companies younger than five years being rejected.

And according to the Chamber many companies don’t really know where to turn if they receive a rejection from a main high-street bank….

SO WE’RE GOING TO DISCUSS all that as well as the why, where, what and how to – are four esteemed members of the banking and finance sector…

It’s also a chance to ask your questions, or put your points to the panel in a while, so do get thinking about what your business needs to know…

(This opening is 230 words and takes 1min 16 sec to read. Word count / 3 = total duration in seconds)


08.21am - Introduce the panelists - Moderators script example

Joining us today are:

 A man who leads the Debt Advisory team at Duff & Phelps that helps businesses refinance, restructure or renegotiate their debt. The team works with over 400 businesses a year across all sectors and typically in the £1M to £5M space.

Prior to joining D&P in 2010, he worked in corporate banking for 25 years from the age of 11 (that’s what it says here anyway!)… please welcome Paul Smith.

Question to Paul: Re-structuring debt is your specialty, have things settled down now, 10 years after the credit crunch?"

And we’re also joined by a NatWest Director in Commercial Banking...

Having spent the past 29 years in banking, with a number of years' experience as a frontline relationship manager lending to SME's, Andrea Kelly now leads a team of 10 NatWest managers and their dedicated support staff. They work with SME customers across the Greater Manchester region offering a range of accredited sector specialists: her team focus on helping people achieve both their business and personal ambitions, for example by facilitating growth, suggesting ways to increase efficiency and / or mitigating/reducing risk within the business.

Question to Andrea: You work with mid-tier businesses, what sorts of things do they want to raise money for at the moment?

 Rachel Craft, from Regency Factors is here, she works with small to mid-sized businesses, helping their cash flow with invoice factoring.

Question to Rachel: It’s simple isn’t it Rachel, just explain what invoice factoring involves?

 Adam Gillet, is the senior Equity Fundraising Manager at CrowdCube – which as the name suggests is a crowdfunding business.

Question to Adam: Can you give us the definitive answer on this, what is crowdfunding?

(The script to introduce all the panelists takes1min 30 seconds including their questions but not including panellist replies. They were told in advance to keep these initial replies pithy and short.


08.25 am - Example questions for discussion

  • What situations cause firms to find additional money? What are they borrowing/seeking VC/crowd funding for? Trends at the moment?
  • What's available to businesses? Traditional borrowing, how it's transformed over last 10 years.
  • When should a business owner think about seeking finance?
  • When should businesses definitely NOT borrow!?
  • Barriers to entry? Current economic climate/confidence in future?
  • Perceptions of finance - are they usually wrong/right?
  • Research from the British Business Bank suggests that equity funds are focused heavily on London & SE, with 71% of investments going there. Do northern businesses have to head to London to get in front of investors?
  • Start up/Scale ups - when's the right time?
  • (Don't want to but should cover it off although as briefly as possible) Brexit impact - risk averse, big capital expenditure down?
  • Final question to you all – what’s the climate like right now for businesses in the room who are thinking about borrowing, favourable?

08.50 am - Audience questions

Wrap up. Many thanks to:

Adam Gillet, Andrea Kelly, Rachel Craft, Paul Smith

09.00 am - End

Panel Discussions is the ultimate guide to moderating and appearing on panel discussions. 

  • Prepare for success and drive a dynamic panel discussion, as a moderator.
  • Confidently share your expertise and insight as a relatable and memorable panellist.
  • Engage your audience and speak so people listen, both from the stage and through the camera lens.

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