Tips for Discussion Leaders

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  • Secure all necessary information from Speakers beforehand.  Plan your introductions; make your introductions interesting, informative, and brief.

  • National Sleep Foundation staff and AV staff will be available to familiarize discussion leaders with the microphone systems in the lecture room, and direct the use of the auxiliary microphones by members of the audience.  The discussion leader should make sure all audience members use the microphone.
  • Discussion leaders will also have to remind the conferees to give their name and affiliation when asking a question.  This is necessary so that conferees can identify each other for further discussion of a point of interest.
  • Manage time throughout the session and ensure that the session begins and ends on time.
  • Monitor the discussion from the floor to avoid any monopolizing, redundancy or "blank spots".
  •  If too few questions come from the floor, you may volunteer questions to elicit further interesting information from the Speaker.
  • When necessary to call an end to discussion, remind attendees that afternoons are available to continue informal discussions and suggest that the particular point of interest be explored further at that time.
  • At the end of the session, thank the Speakers and participants and announce the topics and Discussion Leader for the next session.
  •  Experience has shown that speakers and discussion leaders reinforce each other.  A good discussion leader cannot salvage a poor presentation, but a poorly prepared discussion leader can prevent a good talk from achieving its maximum value.