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Moderator, Chair & Speaker Guidelines

It started in 2007

The below guideline is for classic panels. CPDP welcomes alternative types of sessions such as roundtable discussions, workshops or formats with more interaction between the participants than a traditional panel. In that case the chair and moderator roles can be given a twist.

Chair Roles & Responsibilities

The chair introduces the main topic of the session. S/he lays the ground rules, including setting the time limits. S/he reminds the audience that there will be time for questions. S/he sets aside at least 15 minutes for audience Q&A. S/he makes sure the panel starts and ends on time and follows the time frames on the agenda. S/he makes sure everyone's voice is heard and that there is no bias toward any particular side or person. The chair meets the panelists in the venue at least 10 minutes before the session is due to start.

Moderator Roles & Responsibilities

The moderator acts as the facilitator. S/he sets the agenda, keeps the discussions on track, balances panelist participation, brings out differing opinions by asking the right questions and clarifies any confusion and intervenes as needed, especially if one of the panelists is dominating the conversation. The moderator starts working with the panelists several days in advance. S/he informs the panelists about the structure, flow and timing of the panel discussion. S/he discusses with each the points they will cover in order to ensure a meaningful discussion and to make sure their presentations do not overlap.

Speaker Roles & Responsibilities

In order to prepare for the session, the speakers talk with their panel organiser and moderator and discuss what is expected in terms of content, presentation length, session format. Presentations should not exceed 15 minutes or, if shorter, the time is decided by the chair. Speakers can use visual material (PowerPoint presentation) to support their presentation. They are expected to keep the audience engaged during their presentation. Speakers arrive to the venue at the latest 15 minutes prior to the beginning of the session.

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