Moderator Guidelines

Session moderators ensure that Oral and Roundtable sessions run smoothly. Review the details below to ensure you are prepared for your role as a moderator at APHA’s Annual Meeting.

Before the Conference

  • Register for the Annual Meeting
  • Use the online portal to review your session and familiarize yourself with your presenters.
  • Complete your disclosure form. 
  • Two weeks before the meeting, reach out to the presenters to introduce yourself and confirm their participation. If a presenter cannot attend, contact the program planner immediately so the presenter can be removed from the program.
  • Watch our video with accessibility tips for moderating a session.

For Oral Sessions

  • Arrive 10-15 minutes before the start of the session.
  • Introduce yourself to the presenters and brief them on how you will run the session (ie, how you will indicate time warnings and the order of the presentation) 
  • Remind presenters that they must verbally disclose any financial support or conflicts of interests.
  • Start on time. 
  • Introduce all presenters in the order listed in the program. If a presenter is missing, simply skip them in the order. Be sure to mention each presenter’s name, affiliation and presentation title.
  • Keep presenters on time. Use the time remaining cards to let them know when their time has expired.
  • During the question-and-answer period, moderators should always repeat the question for the audience.
  • End the session on time. Close the session by thanking presenters for presenting.  
  • Promote physical activity during your session. For example:
    • Have participants stand up when they're asking a question or sharing an opinion/idea
    • Encourage participants to stretch or move around during session
    • Lead a 1-2 minute movement break in between presentations or before Q&A
    • For additional ideas, see APHA Healthy Meeting Guidelines: Physical Activity (PDF).
  • After the session, thank the presenters and share feedback with the program planners.

For Roundtable Sessions

  • Arrive 10-15 minutes before the start of the session.
  • Introduce yourself to the presenters and brief them on how you will run the session (ie, how you will indicate when the attendees should move to new tables.) 
  • Start on time. 
  • Begin the session by introducing the speakers and topics to be discussed at each table and inviting the audience to gather around the table of interest to them.
  • After 30 minutes, indicate that the first part of the session is over, re-introduce the speakers/topics at each table and invite the audience to move to another table.
  • Repeat this process for a total of three times during the 90-minute session.
  • After the session, thank the presenters and share feedback with the program planners.

 

What to do if...

  • You can no longer moderate a session: Let the program chair know immediately so we can find a replacement. Any attempts to locate a replacement moderator will be greatly appreciated.
  • A presenter will not stop talking:  If a presenter is going over time and showing no signs of stopping, stand next to the person as a visual cue.  If this doesn’t work, it’s perfectly acceptable to say something to the effect that you hate to cut such an interesting presentation short, but in fairness to the other presenters, you must.
  • No one is asking questions during Q&A: 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 program chair 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 APHA staff.