A moderator is someone who guides a discussion, indicates when a presenter should speak and stop, and coordinates question and answer periods. If you have volunteered to be a moderator, please follow the guidelines below:
Moderators will be provided with information about the sessions they are guiding, including the abstract names and contact information of the panelists. We encourage you to contact your panelists ahead of time, requesting copies of their slides and/or speaking notes, so that you can give some thought to how the presentations are related to each other. Abstracts in Technical Sessions and Pre-Formed Panels, as well as some of the Multimedia Sessions, were grouped into a session because they have something in common; this could be a topical focus, an approach, a stakeholder group, a challenge facing our field, an innovation or something else.
Moderators should also encourage panelists to include information in their presentation about how their work relates to and advances the main conference themes of:
- What Works (methods, evidence, impact, and how we build a case for SBCC),
- Making Sense of Now (innovation that builds on experience and points to new opportunities for investment of effort and funding), and
- Amplifying Voice (elevating marginalized and disempowered stakeholder groups like youth and women, shifting conventional views of norms, gender, rights and equity).
Be prepared to ask questions that will draw attention to these unifying Summit themes, if the audience is not forthcoming with questions.
All Technical sessions and Pre-formed panels have been allotted one hour and fifteen minutes. In a panel with three (3) presenters, each presenter will have a maximum of 18-20 minutes to present. In a panel with four (4) presenters, each presenter will have a maximum of 10-12 minutes to present. In a panel with five (5) presenters, each presenter will have a maximum of 8-10 minutes to present. The last 15-20 minutes in every session must be allotted to Q&A interaction with the audience. Presenters have been asked to strictly observe these time limits. Moderators are expected to strictly enforce time limits out of fairness to all presenters and the audience who will want time to ask questions and participate in discussion.
During the Sessions
- Please arrive 15 minutes before the session begins
- A table, chairs and podium for the presenters will be provide at the front of the room. Sit in the seat closest to the podium where presenters can see you clearly
- Greet the presenters and brief them on how the session will be conducted. Remind them of the time they are allotted for their presentations. Let them know how you will communicate time warnings throughout the session
- A laptop with a projector and wireless connectivity will be provided in each conference room. Ensure that all presentations and any audiovisual files or online links associated with it have been uploaded to the laptop and tested for functionality
- Please make sure you begin every session ON TIME. This will ensure that every presenter has equal time to present their abstracts
- Start each session by requesting that participants silence or turn off all cell phones
- Ask the audience to withhold their questions until after all presenters have spoken to ensure that all presenters have equal time to present
- Introduce all presenters in the order they appear on the program. Mention the presenter’s name, title and the organization they are affiliated with for this event
- Feel free to offer 2-3 sentences about the unifying Summit theme(s) the panelists will address to help orient the audience to what they will hear, but do not use it as an opportunity to express your own views or agenda. The panel is not about your work; it is about the panelists
- If a presenter does not show up to the session, readjust the order of the presentations accordingly
- Use time cards (5 Minutes Left, 2 Minutes Left, 1 Minute Left, Please End) to ensure presenters are staying on time during their presentations
- When the question and answer period begins, ask audience members to refrain from offering extended commentary or opinions about the presentations and encourage them instead to focus on questions for the panelists
- Always end the session by thanking the presenters and the audience
What to do if…
A presenter will not stop talking: It’s important to establish the rules with presenters before the session. Explain the importance of staying on time. If you have been providing visual time cues but a presenter is still going over time and showing no signs of stopping, stand up next to the person as yet another visual cue. If this doesn’t work, it’s perfectly acceptable – and respectful to other presenters – to interrupt the presenter and ask him/her to stop in fairness to the other panelists.
No one is asking questions to some or all of the presenters: If possible, jot down a few questions that you can ask of each presenter in case this happens.
A presenter does not show up: Contact the room monitor to notify them of any presenters who do not show.
An attendee is being unruly: Establish the guidelines for the session before beginning. If an attendee is being disruptive, ask that questions/comments be held until the end so that the session does not fall behind time. If the person continues to be disruptive, report it to a room monitor or to staff.