Symposium Code of Conduct

The North American Lake Management Society commits to promoting a welcoming environment while fulfilling our mission of forging partnerships among citizens, scientists, and professionals to foster the management and protection of lakes and reservoirs. We intend to do this during daily operations, which includes the annual NALMS symposium, by fostering environments that are safe, collaborative, supportive, and productive for all members and attendees, including sponsors, exhibitors, guests of members, invited speakers, and members of the media. We intend to conduct our business in a fair, honest, and ethical manner that values the diversity of views, expertise, opinions, backgrounds, and experiences reflected among our membership and all conference and event attendees.

All attendees, speakers, sponsors and volunteers at our conference are required to abide by the code of conduct. Organizers will be available for those that need to report an incident or concern.


Your Job as a Moderator

Please understand that being a moderator is not an honorary position; it is a real job and one that can make or break a session. How you handle the speakers and the crowd makes a big difference. Please consider the following guidance carefully.

Before the symposium

  • Become familiar with all abstracts in your session.
  • Contact each presenter and introduce yourself as the moderator. Request a short (3–4 sentences) biographical summary from each presenter, make arrangements and set a deadline to have the presenter get you their PowerPoint presentation ahead of the symposium.
    • If for some reason a presenter cannot provide their presentation to you in advance, please arrange to meet with them early at the symposium to obtain their talk on a flash drive.
  • 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(s) 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.
  • Please set up a folder on the laptop home screen with the session number and title, and within the folder talks from your session presenters should be labeled 1-presenter last name, 2-presenter last name, and so on, for ease of finding and opening talks in sequential order per program layout.
  • Be sure you know how to control the lights in the room or that a volunteer is present who knows how to control the lights. Take whatever steps are necessary to ensure appropriate light levels.
  • Test the microphone and take action if it is not working properly. If there is a mobile microphone, assist presenters in attaching it to themselves. Demand that all presenters use the microphone so that everyone can hear them.
  • Remind everyone to silence their cell phones or any devices that could interfere with the presentation.
  • 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 extensive biographical sketches. Please use the 3-4 sentences you obtained from each presenter to introduce them at the start of their talks.
  • 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. Sit in front of the presenter in the first row so that they cannot avoid seeing the time warnings you hold up at the appropriate times. Stand up to cut them off if they continue past the allotted time.
  • 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, but do not change the order in any way. People not yet in the room may be planning to hear one particular talk and the start times in the program must be maintained.
  • After each presentation, open the floor for any questions to the speakers, only if time allows. You will need to limit the questions to avoid going over into the next presenter’s time. Ask the speakers to repeat the question into the microphone so that everyone knows what question is being addressed.
  • As moderator, you should have one question for each speaker. Do not use your question unless no one else has one or there is time to fill but be prepared to ask a question of each speaker.
  • 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. There may be a few minutes in a 90-minute session with 4 20-minute talks to allow some discussion or further questions, which you should moderate.
  • Please remember to return any USB drives to the presenters if you have them in your possession.
  • Before you leave the room, delete the folder you created with the talks from your session off the home screen of the laptop (double check to make sure you delete the correct folder, as some moderators may have preloaded talks to the laptop for sessions later in the day).
  • As a moderator you might be approached by session attendees and asked to sign off on an attendance sheet for those who are obtaining recertification credits for attending session. Remain in the session room long enough to handle all such administrative duties.

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!