Panel Instructions & Zoom Guidelines

Here are some tips and and strategies for moderators, presenters, and observers to ensure that the conference runs smoothly.

Moderating a Panel

  • The moderator should join the channel (via the appropriate zoom link) 10 minutes before the presentation begins and meet with one of the conference organizers and the presenters to ensure that everything for the panel is appropriately set up and ready to go. Once the organizing team makes sure you have everything you need set-up to run the panel, we will make you the host of the zoom meeting.  Moderators will be hosts of the panel (on zoom), and in charge of meeting rooms, meaning once they believe it is okay to start the panel, they can let observers into the panel. 
  • A member of the technical team and one of the organizing team members will be present during the panel for any technical issues that may arise. If there are disruptive participants, don’t worry:  the organizing team will deal with the situation.  You can continue to focus on the event and conversations.
  • The moderator will introduce the panel and presenters by reading the title and presenter biographies found on the conference program. 
  • The moderator will then remind everyone about the blog, which is a space where participants can continue the conversation. Any participants interested in generating content for the blog should reach out to the conference organizers at If you want to learn more about the conference blog, see the section “How to Engage with the Conference.”
  • We want to leave sufficient time for conversation after the presentations, so it is essential to keep time for each presentation. Panel presentations are up to 8 minutes, and the R/T presentations are 3-5 minutes. Note: if a panel has four presenters, presentations should be kept to 5-6 minutes. 
  • Moderators should inform the presenter when they are out of time via the private chat function on zoom (see instructions for private messaging here). If presenters do not see the chat and continue to go over their allotted time, the moderator can use the “thumbs up” reaction button to indicate that the presenter is out of time (see how to use the “thumbs up” reaction here).  
  • For the question/answer period, we want to ensure that there are 25-30 minutes for discussion. Tell participants to use the “Raise Hand” function if they want to speak (see how to use this function here). Alternatively, audience members can write their questions in the chat. Please check the chat for any questions.
  • Be mindful of whether or not a social break follows the panel, and remind everyone of a link to that channel.
  • Should you need more information about the options and functions of managing participation during meetings on zoom, please see here.

Presenting Your Paper

  • If you are a presenter, please ensure that you join the channel (via the appropriate zoom link) 10 minutes before your presentation. Here, you will meet with one of the organizers to make sure that everything is properly set up. You will be able to run through your slides and resolve any technical issues at that time.  
  • You will be able to control your Powerpoint presentation and can get it ready on your own computer. The copy you sent us is for backup, or if you prefer, we manage it for you. You will share your presentation using the Share Screen button (to learn how to share your screen and read the instructions here).  Given the short length of papers, we would advise you to keep slides to a minimum and avoid text-heavy slides.
  • Panel presentations are between 5-8 minutes in length and roundtable presentations are 3-5 minutes. If you are on a panel (not a roundtable) with 4 speakers, please keep your paper to 5-6 minutes so that you will all have ample time for shared conversation among you and the audience.
  • Please note that moderators will indicate to you when you are out of or overtime via private chat (see instructions for private messaging here). If you have gone over time, the moderator will use the “thumbs up” reaction button to indicate that you need to end your presentation. Please keep to time.
  • Keep your microphone off when you are not presenting or asking a question.
  • Reminder: this conference is about pedagogy, so we anticipate that presentations may include information or examples about your past or current students. We ask that you take all necessary steps to ensure that any information about your students has been completely anonymized to preserve their privacy and integrity.
  • To ensure that there are 25-30 minutes for discussion, use the Raise Hand function (see how to use Raise Hand here), or  write your question in the chat, and the moderator can draw attention to it (see how to use the chat here).

Attending or Observing a Panel

  • For those attending a panel, you will choose the appropriate channel for the presentation and join via the zoom link. Once you join the zoom panel, you will be in a waiting room until we are ready to begin.
  • If you want to contribute to the blog, reach out to the conference organizers
  • Once you enter a panel, please remain in this session for the duration of the panel, and be sure not to switch between panels. It is difficult in an online environment to move between video streams. Use the blog or Twitter to see what is happening in other sessions.
  • Make sure to have your microphone muted unless you’ve been invited to speak.  Finally, we ask that all panel attendees avoid interrupting sessions via audio or the chat feature; all questions or comments must  be reserved for the q & a portion of the session.
  • Question/Answer segment: to ensure that there are 25-30 minutes for discussion, use the Raise Hand function (here). Or,  write your question in the chat, and the moderator can draw attention to it.

Recording and the Use of Images

Recording live sessions is not permitted on the platforms we are using. While we can intervene if people try to record sessions via Zoom, it is technically possible for folks to use alternative technology to record sessions without anyone knowing. As a result, if you are concerned about the potential risk of being recorded, please turn off your screen, use an alias for your name and use any other online precautions that you feel will assure your anonymity and safety (see how to change your name in a meeting here). 

We will honour whether or not participants have granted the organizers permission to take photos and share them on social media and/or other electronic communications. If you did not grant permission, the life writing team would not take or use any photographs where you are present, for social media purposes, or any future communication regarding the conference.