Guidelines for Moderators - Annual Meeting

Please thoroughly review these important guidelines for moderating at the AALS Annual Meeting. This information will be critical to your ability to prepare for and navigate the meeting. 

You are scheduled to serve as a moderator during the AprALS 2021 Annual Meeting – The Power of Words. The moderator is vital to the success of any session and we thank you for taking on this role.

The Role of a Moderator

Moderators play an active role in managing the virtual session, from managing time to fielding audience questions. We recommend you begin your session with a three-minute introduction that offers context to the audience.

Pre-Meeting Coordination

We recommend that moderators arrange the following well in advance of the meeting in order to have the most successful and organized program possible. Please be sure to keep AALS informed of the addition or cancellation of presenters.  

  • Arrange for one of the panelists to be a backup moderator, in case you have any technological issues that prevent you from joining the session.
  • Share phone numbers among yourself and the panelists, again in the event of technological issues.
  • Request any information you need to introduce them, including their personal pronouns and pronunciation of their name. We recommend introductions be very brief since most sessions are 75 minutes. 
  • Coordinate the order in which your speakers will be presenting and share that information with AALS ahead of time so that the A/V team will know who to put on stage and who to highlight throughout the session.

As a reminder, presenters have the ability to share their bio and have it shown to audience members through the “presenter zone”. Make sure presenters complete their bio and upload their PowerPoint presentations.

Time Management

Time management of your session is crucial —remember, most sessions are 75 minutes long. Inform presenters well in advance how long their presentations should take, and let them know how you plan to indicate when their time is nearly up. For example, you might direct message the speaker using the chat feature. Our A/V provider will also provide a countdown clock to be displayed.

Before the session begins:

  • Inform the A/V tech how long each presenter has to speak when you are in the green room.
  • Advise presenters that the conversation will be recorded.
  • Remind presenters to mute themselves when not speaking.

Your session should not continue beyond the announced end time.

Taking Questions

We recommend waiting until the end of the session to do a combined Q&A with all presenters. Moderators should be ready with a few questions for each presenter to encourage audience participation, if necessary.

Questions from the audience will come through the chat, which you should pop out at the beginning of the session and display in a second window on your computer screen (outside of the live broadcast) in order to monitor it throughout the session. Select questions to read aloud for presenters to answer during the Q&A period. Be sure to share a diverse group of questions (to the best of your ability given the format).

Presenter Zone

The “presenter zone” within the eventPower platform is the hub of all information and resources related to your session(s), where you can see the date and time of the session you will moderate, upload presentation materials, and enter your bio. Log into your personal Presenter Zone:  PRESENTER ZONE

Presentation Materials

If you have presentation materials, we recommend that you upload them to your presenter zone no later than three days in advance of your session. If you would like attendees to have access to your materials, select “distribute to attendees.” This will allow attendees to find and download your materials from the schedule. You can also upload materials after your session concludes; we recommend you do so no later than one day after your session. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What if I have technical difficulties during my session?

Each session is assigned a tech support staff member who is there to troubleshoot most technical problems. There is a tech support link on your screen in the eventPower platform at all times (including before login), so you can contact someone even if you are having trouble logging in. You may also contact general tech support at

How can I prepare and get familiar with the platform before my session?

You will be allowed into a virtual speaker ready room 15 minutes before your session begins.

Who can I contact with questions before the meeting?

If you have any general questions about your session(s), please contact Hannah Hershfield, AALS Meetings Manager.

If you have any technical questions related to your Presenter Zone, please contact Marnie Herren with eventPower.