Your Job as a Moderator

Before the symposium

  • Become familiar with all abstracts in your session.
  • Contact each presenter and introduce yourself as the moderator. Request a short biographical summary from each presenter, make arrangements and set a deadline to have the presenter get you their PowerPoint presentation ahead of the symposium.
  • Remind your presenters that they are limited to 20 minutes total to give their talk and take questions. In no case will you allow a speaker to go past their allotted time slot.
  • Remind your presenters that we are providing a laptop at the podium loaded with Microsoft PowerPoint, a laser pointer and an LCD projector. Internet access will not be available in the meeting rooms.
  • When you receive their presentations, check to make sure they run as intended.
  • We have discouraged any use of extensive animations, video, audio, internet access or software demonstrations. Make sure to check with your presenters that they understand this. If they are adamant on using anything beyond the basic presentation it is at their own risk and we will not compensate their presentation time if anything goes wrong. Presenters will not be permitted to use their own laptop to provide the presentation. If a special situation exists it would need to be approved by the program chair ahead of time and the presenter must agree that their laptop will have the proper viewer software loaded and be designated to be used from the start to the finish of that session.
  • If the presenter is using many symbols, bullets or uncommon fonts suggest that they embed their fonts in their presentations. They do this by using the “Save As” function and before saving, click on the “Tools” drop-down menu of the save window and select “Embed TrueType Fonts.” Also select “Embed characters in use” if no further editing is expected as this saves file space or select “Embed all…” if further editing is expected using a different computer than the original.
  • The computers in the session rooms will be Windows-based. PowerPoint presentations created both on Windows and macOS platforms should work, but verification of proper performance is essential. MacOS users should be sure to include the “.ppt” extension in their file names.
  • Stress the fact that each presenter should focus their talk on the uniqueness of their approach, their results and findings, lessons learned and transferability.
  • Please remind your presenters that NALMS does not endorse specific products or services. Therefore, papers presented by individuals representing corporations or projects conducted by corporations should avoid the use of trade or brand names and refer to the products or services by a generic descriptor.
  • Encourage your presenters to bring back-up copies of their presentation on a USB flash drive.
  • Finally, arrange to meet your presenters in the assigned meeting room 20 minutes or more before your session. This gives all of you time to meet briefly, go over the presentation order one last time and make sure all presentations have been uploaded to that room’s laptop and open without any trouble.


At the symposium

  • Approximately 20 minutes before your session, all presenters should meet in the session room to make sure all presentations have been loaded to the symposium laptop and are displaying properly. Review the presentation order and let your presenters know how you will signal them for presentation time remaining. Time cards flashing 5 minutes, 3 minutes, 1 minute and STOP will be provided for your use.
  • At the beginning of your session, you will have just a short period to state the session’s title and briefly introduce yourself and each of the presenters. This will not be enough time to read each speaker’s biographical sketch so jot down just a few sentences about each. Please remind everyone to turn off their cell phones.
  • Volunteers will be checking in to each session as they start to make sure all is going well. They will identify themselves to you before the start of your session. They can provide a replacement projector or computer if one fails.
  • During the session, you will need to keep time for the speakers and cut them off when their time has ended. It is extremely important to make sure each speaker sticks to their allotted time since symposium participants may switch rooms during sessions. If one of your presenters does not show up for the session, do not move another presentation into that time slot. You may open the session to discussion to fill that 20-minute slot, or end the session early if the missing presentation is scheduled for the end of the session.
  • After each presentation, open the floor for any questions to the speakers. You will need to limit the questions to avoid going over into the next presenter’s time.
  • At the end of the session, you will be responsible for making sure that the presenters have been applauded for their presentations and for closing the session on time.

Again, thank you for taking on the role of Session Moderator at NALMS’ International Symposium. We are looking forward to holding what we hope will be NALMS’ most successful and engaging symposium yet. With your help, we’re confident it will be!