Moderating Meetings

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We call those individuals "facilitators" to distinguish them from "moderators" that one finds in panels.

Beyond “try to enforce the speaker guidelines", here are specific suggestions:

  • Recognize commenters who have not been heard from or who are most likely to move the conversation forward.
  • Intervene to clarify a point a speaker/commenter makes that may not be widely understood by the audience.
  • End exchanges that get overly emotional/personal.
  • Try to identify points on which there is consensus.
  • Use show of hands/straw polls/humming/whatever to assess the distribution of opinion on more contentious topics at the end of a discussion.
  • Make sure the next step and outcome of the conversation is synthesized explicitly to the audience in the end of the session
  • If a session promised or implied time for questions or audience dialog, make sure there is time for that dialog or those questions
  • Try to stop 'speeches from the microphone', long introductions to questions; ask them to get to the question
  • Be clear whether queue management is in IRC, by standing at the microphone, or both, and if both, be fair between them
  • Watch the IRC for problems the audience is having (e.g. questions about idioms or acronyms, speaking speed)