A coaching client recently asked me to review her timing on the script for a panel discussion. She had it laid out minute-by-minute. Which, in my humble opinion is a bit excessive.
I like to think of a panel discussion in chunks of time or “segments” and allocate the time appropriately.
Let’s use an example from this sample script for a panel discussion where the panel is only 45 minutes long.
0:00 Introduction (4 mins)
0:04 SEGMENT ONE – Newlywed Game/Introductions (8 mins)
0:12 SEGMENT TWO – Moderator-Curated Questions (13 mins)
0:25 SEGMENT THREE – Agree/Disagree Game (7 mins)
0:32 SEGMENT FOUR – Audience Q&A (8 mins)
0:40 SEGMENT FIVE – Closing and Summary (5 mins)
0:45 We’re done!
When you lay out the timing on the script for a panel discussion in discrete chunks, you can see how to allocate your time appropriately. Additionally, when you are actually moderating the panel discussion, you have a better sense of the flow of the discussion, so if you need to expand or contract, you can do so easily!
BTW, some people like the start times on the left side, and others like the total time allotted for each segment on the left side. Makes no difference – you can even do both!