Programme items: Tips for moderators
Here is some advice for moderating panels at Loncon 3.
Before the panel:
- Feel free to start a discussion of the panel by email before the con to make sure you are all on the same page. The email addresses for your fellow panellists are in your schedule unless we don’t have permission to share them in which case please email firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll forward a message to them.
- Please ensure all panellists know why they are on the panel.
- If any issues arise before the con, please contact email@example.com.
- Prepare some questions and talking points you can use to keep the panel going if discussion flags.
- Come to the Green Room ten minutes before your panel to meet your fellow panellists, check everything is going well, and collect your free drink.
During the panel:
- There are reserved seats at the front of the room for those with hearing difficulties; please leave these free for a few minutes at the start of the panel so they are available to latecomers.
- Introduce your panellists at the start, or ask them to introduce themselves briefly.
- Ensure that all the panellists have a chance to speak – you may need to encourage shy panellists, or make sure that more confident panellists don’t leap in at every opportunity.
- Please remind the audience that there should be no audio/video recording of the item, and no photography unless agreed with you before the item starts.
- Remind your panellists to use the microphones provided, and to make sure their mouths are uncovered when talking so lipreaders can see them. If there are questions from audience members without microphones, please repeat them into the microphone so everyone can hear.
- You can take audience questions from the start, or wait until partway through the panel, but make it clear at the start when you will be taking questions.
- Panels need to end promptly (after 50 minutes for 60 minute slots, or 75 minutes for 90 minute slots) – keep an eye on the clock and make sure there is time to wrap up the panel
- Encourage the audience and panellists not to linger after the panel, but to continue the discussions afterwards outside so the next panel can start promptly.
- Please do not add anyone to panels at the con without checking with programme ops.