Tips for room hosts

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A few tips for room hosts (usually the track manager). Please feel free to add more tips!

  • Count heads: Four the statistical purposes, note the number of participants at each talk, and the gender distribution. Hand in your statistics to the conference manager at the end of your track.
  • Introduce the speaker: Before the talk, briefly introduce the speaker. If you are unsure how to present the speaker, ask them before the talk. Be brief.
  • Ask the speaker to use the mic: This often improve the experience for the live audience and makes a big difference in the recording. Do not ask would you like to use the microphone, it should be an opt-out parameter.
  • Make sure the speaker hold the mic properly:
    Mic yes.jpg
  • Ask the speaker to repeat the questions: questions are often directed toward the speaker and hard to understand if you sit behind the person asking the question
  • Start on time, not before: It may be tempting to start before the set time, but try to avoid that, in order to minimize the risk for stragglers interrupting the speaker.
  • Help the speaker to keep the time. You may want to give him or her a sign 5 minutes before their time is up.
  • Moderate the audience, if needed.
  • Inform participants about lunch, dinner and evening activities (such as workshops, lightning talks, concerts etc.) at suitable times.
  • Prepare a question for the speaker: After the talks there is generally time for questions. Questions from the audience is a good way of showing interest and appreciation for the speaker, but being asked to provide this feedback can sometimes come as a shock to the audience, who may not have formulated their questions yet. It can also be agonising going first, and it is therefore a good idea as room-host to have a question prepared, in case the audience have none. A silly question is better than no question at all - the point is to break the ice for the audience. See this as part of your job as room-host.
  • Thank the speaker: Invite the audience to thank the speaker before and after the questions, by way of a round of applause.