Session Coordinator Best Practices – Planning Guide to Keep Your Session on Track
Planning and Kick-off:
- Mind the Deadlines: Recruit speakers by the deadline established by the Society of Actuaries (SOA) professional development administrator. Communicate confirmed presenters to the SOA so its staff can reach out with logistical details. Reach out to your SOA representatives as soon as possible if you have issues with recruitment and need additional help.
- Reliability Matters: Choose speakers who you believe will live up to their commitment and deliver a good presentation. Session coordinator should hold a 45-60-minute conference call as a session kick-off meeting with all speakers. Establish time frames for speaking, session’s direction and any extra engagement tools (i.e. polling, buzz group, trivia, TED talk)
- Adhere to Presentation Guidelines: Keep the session level in sight (beginner, intermediate, advanced) when developing it with the presenters. The theme should fit the description you provided to your potential audience. Sequence the material so the first session covers general or introductory aspects and grow from there.
Two Weeks Later:
- First Draft Review: Hold a second meeting to allow speakers to present a first draft of their PowerPoint presentation for review and discussion. Ideally, half of the presentation will be complete at this point. Presenters must be aware that final presentations are due long before the actual date of the meeting.
Three Weeks Later:
- Review and Finalize: Hold a third meeting to review and discuss presentations that are almost finalized. Make sure all presentations adhere to time allowed, including time for Q&A and audience interaction. Encourage speakers to practice and time their presentations. Speakers that go over the allotted time will be asked to be seated.
Day of Presentation:
- Moderators will seat beside the podium and keep speakers on time. Have some questions prepared in case the audience is reluctant to ask questions. Make sure sessions last the fully allotted time so participants can claim their Continuing Professional Department credit.