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MTP Moderation Guide

A quick guide to moderating digital conference sessions

As a session moderator, you have an important job! You will introduce the speaker and be present throughout the session. Your aim is to support the speaker and troubleshoot any problems in the chat. Read on for our quick moderation guide.

  • Accessing your session keyboard_arrow_right

    We will provide you with the link to your session in advance of the conference, by email. This will enable you to enter the session with the speaker before any attendees.

     

    Steps:

    1. Using the link provided, go to your session 20 minutes before it’s due to start to see if your speaker is there/needs any help. 
    2. So they can see you and so that you can speak to them, you’ll be prompted to ‘Share Audio and Video’. When your speaker arrives, they will do the same and you should then be able to see and hear each other.

     

    Note: This link won’t work until the conference is live.

  • Important speaker checks keyboard_arrow_right

    Speakers are given the opportunity to rehearse and get used to the space but at live events, it’s always possible that things can go wrong. To avoid any problems, there are 4 important things to discuss with your speaker:

     

    1. Their introduction

    We do tell speakers that they will be introduced but it’s a good idea to remind them and to introduce yourself in advance.

     

    2. Tech checks

    Check your speaker can share their screen/presentation. Here’s some advice if they need help:

      1. Presenting Slides (make sure they have given permissions in Mac settings for chrome to share screen – see link
      2. Sharing computer audio

     

    Hopin will generally ask for access to mic & camera, but it doesn’t request access to your screen (obviously necessary for sharing your slides). This is generally only an issue on Macs, in which case you just need to update the screen privacy settings to permit “screen recording” for Chrome.

    3. Bringing people ‘on stage’

    Check they know how to bring people on camera if they’d like to. Only you and the speaker can give people access to the stage. If they/you wish to do so, people can click to share their audio and their name/photo will appear beneath the main window. You can click to add them.

     

    4. The Q&A

    Ask how they would like to manage the Q&As at the end of their talk. Here are some options you can offer them:

      1. They can read the questions submitted on the Q&A tab
      2. You read out the questions submitted on the Q&A tab for them
      3. They/you can invite people to share their video/audio to come on camera to ask their question

    Explain the speaker controls

    You’ll find these at the bottom of the session screen. 

    • Camera. Toggles your webcam on and off.
    • Microphone. Toggles your microphone on and off.
    • Screen share. Opens a screen-share menu.
    • Settings. Opens the hardware selection menu for you to choose the camera and microphone for this Session.

    Plus, you can click on Leave at the top right corner to leave the Session at any time.

  • Introducing your speaker keyboard_arrow_right

    Introducing your speaker should be simple and straightforward. Here’s a quick guide:

     

    1. Please take a pause before you start your introduction. This better enables us to edit the video before your intro starts. If you and the speaker are chatting we might have to cut a large section out to create a clean beginning.
    2. Welcome the audience
    3. Explain which session they’ve come to
    4. Tell them a little about your speaker. This can be brief (even their job title and where they work is ok). You can find bios for all speakers here.
    5. Once you’ve introduced your speaker, leave the stage. To do so simply click the ‘Leave’ button at the top right of a session’s screen. This will not take you out of the session, just off-screen. You can click ‘Share audio/video’ to return at any time if your speaker needs you to.

     

    Here is a dummy intro example:

     

    “Hi everyone, thank you for joining us. Shortly I’m going to hand over Joe Bloggs for this session on alignment. As I’m sure you already know Joe is VP Product at Google and he will be using this session to talk about the importance of developing alignment among your stakeholders. Feel free to engage with Joe and each other in the chat during the talk. At the end, we’ll have a Q&A session so please get your questions ready. Joe will be inviting you on screen to ask them after the talk.”

  • Moderating the chat keyboard_arrow_right

    At times you might need to offer support in the chat. For example:

    • If people don’t know where to put questions
    • If people are having technical difficulties
    • If people have questions about the talk itself

     

    If someone is having problems that are taking over in the chat, open a new conversation with them in private chat to prevent it from distracting the conversation for other attendees.

     

  • General moderation advice keyboard_arrow_right

    When it comes to moderating the session (or anywhere in the event) in general, here are a few key points:

     

    • Everything will probably be fine (knowing our audience)
    • You should be ready to step in (if need be) to help make sure attendees feel safe, heard, and kept in the loop. You should also be ready to call out any unwanted behaviour. This include:
      • Threats, whether explicit or thinly veiled
      • Harassment based on race, age, gender, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, religion (or lack thereof) etc
      • Sexual harassment such as deliberate intimidation, stalking, harassing recording (e.g. during a 1:1 video chat), inappropriate and unwelcome sexual attention
      • Constantly criticising a speaker in live chat while they’re presenting

     

    How to react

    In the (hopefully) unlikely event that you spot behaviour in public that appears to be crossing the line into harassment or threats, or the apparent tone of a conversation starts to feel aggressive/confrontational/personal:

     

    1. Check in with the attendee who was on the “receiving” end of the interaction, and make sure they feel comfortable
      1. We don’t need to be overbearing, but even something like “Wow, that got intense! How’re you feeling?” to gauge their mood is a good way to open (we are as prone to misread tone as anyone)
    2. If the attendee clearly feels comfortable with the interaction, no further action is required.
    3. If they are clearly uncomfortable, gather some context, grab a screenshot of the interaction in question, and ask if they’d like us to take discrete action. If they confirm that they would please loop in a member of the MTP team.

     

    If you feel unsure of how to deal with these things, reach out to a member of the MTP team.

If, at any point, you feel unsure or need help, reach out to a member of the Mind the Product team. 

 

You’ll know it’s us because it will say ‘organiser’ next to our name. Find us by searching for ‘Mind the Product’ in the ‘People’ section of the chat window.