Best practices for being a moderator

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2013 Computers, Freedom, and Privacy Conference

Moderation Best Practices


Thanks for your proposal and congratulations on being selected to participate in 2013 CFP! Each panel will likely run about 90 minutes (a formal conference schedule will be posted shortly) depending on your topic and the number of speakers. CFP draws an intelligent and enthusiastic crowd and we want to keep them engaged with exciting panel discussions. Below are a few suggestions for the moderators to keep the conversation going and help bring the best out of your speakers


  • Do some homework so you can keep the panel interactive.
  • Limit your panel to 3-4 speakers, depending on how much you plan to participate.
  • Introduce your panel with quick, one or two sentence bios - don't read long bios or trust wiki-bios.
  • Kick things off with a question for each panelist.
  • Come up with provocative questions to keep the conversation going - CFP is about pushing boundaries of the current debates. Your assigned programming committee member can help.
  • No PowerPoint presentations (maybe 1 or 2 slides if a visual is particularly helpful). All materials should be on one computer or device (no switching laptops). Let us know about your AV needs.
  • Get the panelists to engage one another - CFP loves collaboration as well as a good debate.
  • Don't underestimate the background knowledge of your audience - CFP is not a group of dilettantes.
  • Best way to fail? Ensure that each of your panelists talks for 10 minutes and then goes home.
  • End on time.

Please collect a photo and short bio (3 sentences) from each of the speakers on your panel and send to your CFP program committee member.

Provide any PowerPoint presentations or other presentation materials to your CFP contact by Friday, June 21.