Speaker Guidelines

Speaker Guidelines

Below you will find information to help you prepare for and deliver your oral presentation at our virtual conference. GTM2020 will be managed via Whova conference management software with Zoom as the “behind the scences” videostreaming technology. The Whova guide for speakers can be accessed at https://whova.com/pages/whova-speaker-guide/

As a speaker, you will enter your session using the Whova web app link (like “https://whova.com/portal/webapp/…”), simply click the link to go to the web app. Please make sure to sign in with the email address you used to register for the event as an attendee. Once you click into the session on the web app, your browser may ask whether you want to launch the Zoom app, or join in Whova app. Choose to join in Whova. More technical details of the integration of Zoom and Whova are at the bottom of this web page. You may also wish to review the Session Chair Guidelines to understand their role in guiding you.

Detailed timeline of session

  1. In preparation for your presentation, CLOSE all applications on your computer EXCEPT for your internet browser (with Whova web app open) AND your presentation file, ready in presentation mode. 
  2. Enter your session via the Whova link 10 minutes prior to the start of the session. Important: All presenters for a given session should enter the session waiting room 10 minutes prior to the start of the session. Your Session Zoom Host will let you in.
  3. The Session Zoom Host and Chair will trial screen-sharing with all presenters. When it is your turn:
    1. You will first be asked to TURN ON VIDEO and UNMUTE
    2. The Session Zoom Host will “Spotlight” you as presenter
    3. Make sure your presentation is in presentation mode and ready to go
    4. The Session Chair will then ask you to “Share Screen”
  4. At the session start time, attendees will enter and presentations will begin following the same procedure.
  5. At 3 minutes (for short oral presentations) or 5 minutes (for long oral presentations) before the scheduled end of your presentation, you will briefly be interrupted by the chair to remind you of the time you have remaining to finish.
  6. During the Session Q & A, audience members can “raise their hand” in the Zoom window. The Session Zoom Host and Session Chair will decide whether to read from the Whova Session Q&A OR to unmute attendees and allow live questions on a first-come-first-serve basis. Either way, you can then respond directly to the question as the camera is still on you.
  7. The Session Q & A is scheduled to take 3 to 5 minutes, followed by 2 minutes hand-over time for the next presentation.
  8. The entire session will be recorded and posted on Whova, accessible for viewing by any attendee who missed the presentation.

After your talk

In addition to the questions that come up in the Session Q & A, attendees can ask questions or give constructive feedback via your presentation’s channel in Whova. So make sure to check your Whova channel throughout the duration of the conference, and reply to any further questions or conversation threads.

Preparation Check List

• Download the Zoom client onto your PC/laptop (if you haven’t already for previous virtual meetings)
• Test that your camera, microphone and screen-sharing works… we recommend doing this with a friend or colleague
• Conduct a dry run of your talk. Speaking in front of a camera feels different from speaking in front of a live audience. Make sure that you are not going over, 8 minutes for short oral presentations and 15 minutes for long oral presentations (sharp!)
• The host will keep time for you, but we recommend having a timer next to your screen, such as a mobile phone or watch
• We recommend using a laptop or desktop PC, not a mobile device
• Speak directly to the ‘camera’ i.e. laptop or desktop
• Please consider what can be viewed in the background when you are on camera, as this will be broadcast to conference delegates e.g. don’t have any personal items or distractions such as posters in sight
• Try to make sure the main light source isn’t coming from behind you. If you are filming in front of a window please make sure you are not in silhouette or in darkness.
• Consider if you are most comfortable sitting or standing while presenting and position your laptop accordingly!
• Please close all apps (other than Whova) on your PC or laptop during your presentation
• Switch off or silence your phone
• Make sure other people (family members, roommates etc.) know that you are giving a presentation; ideally, they should not be using too much bandwidth (no streaming)
• Err on the side of larger font size for your presentation

Zoom and Whova

  1. Whova with integrated Zoom is optimized for use via the Chrome web browser on a MS Windows (vs Mac) computer/laptop. If you use an alternative, (e.g. Firefox) you may have to update your browser security settings in order to allow access to your video and/or microphone.
    1. Firefox – When you select the “live session” (Zoom) link in Whova you will also see a dialogue box asking if you want to launch Zoom. THIS IS NOT NECESSARY. If you say yes and launch the Zoom app, you will be in the conference session twice and cause interference.
  2. The conference session livestream (Zoom) window is embedded in the Whova session webpage and may appear small. You will see familiar Zoom controls.
    1. For the best experience, focus on using the Whova capabilities
    1. If you click the “Full Screen” icon, remember, you will “cover up” Whova and other desktop apps. Exit Full Screen to access Whova/Desktop/Zoom controls.
    1. Zoom chat will NOT be monitored. Please use the Whova Session Q&A
  3. All attendees will be added to each session with their video OFF and microphone OFF (muted).
  4. If you lose sound, i.e. cannot hear who is speaking, try “refreshing” your browser
  5. Don’t panic, leave and then re-enter

Questions? We will offer “tech drop-in sessions” the week prior to the conference and you can also use our Help Centre during the conference. If you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us. You may also leave a comment below.