vp:Moderator's Guide

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Guidelines for Moderators of the Free Conference

Dear Moderator at LinuxTag,

thank you for helping to make this event possible. You as moderator of a track are the main representative of LinuxTag in a lecture hall and act as direct contact for the speakers of this panel. Please read the following information carefully as it contains all basics you need to know about the organisation of the Free Conference, and give you some tips on moderating a session.

We hope this guide provides you enough information to chair one of our sessions at LinuxTag. Thank you again for your support!

Speaker Ressources at LinuxTag

There are two major contact points for speakers: the check-in and the speaker's office located in room TBD.

Speaker Check-in at the Information Desk

We've asked to all speakers with instructions to register at the check-in at the entrance. At the registrations speakers receive

  • Their conference badge and lanyard,
  • an updated version of the conference schedule,
  • information on the speaker's hotel arrangements.

To emphasize it is mandatory for every speaker to register at the check-in at the entrance as we need to mark the arrival of each speaker in our database. Otherwise we might repurpose alleged empty time slots to fill gaps in our program.

Speaker Support at the Speakers' Office

Furthermore speakers should stop by either at the speaker's office or speak to Kester Habermann or Nils Magnus, this year's conference chairs.

The speakers' office acts as the back office of the conference team. In case a speaker needs some assistance this is the first point of contact where they can always find a member of the conference committee that will hopefully be able to help and solve most problems. Please refer speakers with special requests always to the speakers' office.

The Speakers' Office is also your first line of contact in case you need any help. Please stop by at the Speakers' Office on the evening before your session for a tour of the lecture halls. We give you a brief introduction and fill you in with the latest details.

Your duties as a moderator

Before you arrive at LinuxTag

  • It's a good idea to read the abstracts and biographies for the talks you will be hosting.
  • If you would like to contact the speakers beforehand the conference committee can provide you email addresses to enable you to ask the presenter how he or she would like to be introduced.

When you arrive at the Lecture Hall

Please take care of the following:

  • Is there enough water and are there glasses for all the speakers in this session?
  • Contact the technician responsible for the audio and video equipment and agree on a procedure who deals with the microphone set-up and how to handle problems.

Presentation of the Session

Please make all announcements in the same language as the session / the next talk. In case the lecture will be in German, please announce this first in English to give non German speaking visitors a chance to leave the room before the actual start of the presentation.

At the Start of each Session and after the long Lunch Break

  • Welcome the audience.
  • Make announcements if there are any; you'll learn about short notice announcements in the Speakers' Office or at the daily briefings.
  • Outline the thematic scope of the session (only if applicable for the sessions).
  • Name all talks of the session.
  • Draw attention to related talks (if any).

Before each Talk

  • Check if there is a clean glass and some water. Please put all used glassed aside so that a member of our catering team can collect and replace them.
  • Agree upon a sign to hint the speaker at the end of his talk that time is up – for instance, with the signs provided with this guide.
  • Ask the speaker how many slides he is going to show – with this you'll have a better measure towards the end of the talk whether he will be in time or is about to run out of time.
  • The stage should give a tidy impression, some talks will be recorded.
  • Give a motivation for the talk.
  • Introduce the speaker to the auditorium:
    • What's her or his name?
    • Where is the speaker from?
    • What is the affiliation of the speaker?
    • Why is he or she competent in this field of interest?
    • Is the speaker developer or maintainer, or what is his or her connection to this topic?
  • Help to keep a good and friendly atmosphere by finally using sentences like “We are glad to have his/her talk here at LinuxTag please welcome XY with a warm applause!”

Throughout the Talk

  • Please fill out the reporting form (PDF ~45KB) for each presentation:
    • Count the audience (see table below for max. capacity of halls) approx. ten minutes after the talk has started.
    • Add unusual or noteworthy incidents.
    • It would be nice if you could provide us a rating of the talk to help us improving the conference program.

At the End each Talk

You are responsible for time keeping in the lecture hall. We have to keep to the schedule by all means. The talks are scheduled for 30 or 60 minutes. Speakers should present for no more then 20 or 45 minutes respectively. Please help the speakers to stay on time with the signs telling them they have 10, 5, or 1 minute left (download PDF - 30KB).

  • Please give the speaker a sign in the event that he / she has run out of time.
  • After that, you as moderator should enter the stage to thank the speaker for the excellent presentation.
  • Announce that the audience now may ask their questions. Please tell questioners to wait with their questions until you call them or pass them a wireless microphone (if available).
    • It is crucial you manage the question and answer session.
    • Before questions are asked by the audience, you as moderator should pass the mobile microphone to the questioner (if available). If this is not possible, make sure that the speaker repeats the question before answering it otherwise some people may not have heard the question.
    • Questions should be short and to the point. The speaker should also keep their response brief. The questioner may ask one follow up question, but make sure not to allow lengthy discussions. In such a case refer the questioner to talk to the speaker in the lobby after the talk.

In case a speaker over-runs the time limit: ten minutes before the end of the time slot, after several requests by the moderator - as a last resort -, you enter the stage and end the talk by thanking the speaker: “We are sorry to end this talk right now, but the next presentation has to start in the very next minutes. I propose to carry on with this subject outside the hall, where the speaker and interested audience can discuss further details. Thank you for your understanding.” Please start immediately with a Q&A session.

After Each Talk

  • The moderator should thank the speaker again after the Q & A session has ended. After the applause, he should refer to the following event or in case of a lunch break to the keynote addresses in room 'London'.
  • Ensure that there are at least five minutes for the next speaker to set-up his or her equipment. Please offer assistance if required.
  • In case there is still a crowd standing around the previous speaker please ask them to move to the lobby to continue with their discussions.

At the End of a Session

  • Please return all report forms to the speakers office.


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