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Get to know the presenter and their expectations

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Prior to the session, you should be introduced to the presenter for whom you will cohosting/moderating. Using your presentation meeting room, because it is an excellent opportunity to practice using one, get to know the presenter so that you can give a brief introduction if they would like one and discuss with the presenter any specific expectations they have about how they would like to collaborate with you to help the session run smoothly.

To help you prepare to introduce the presenter ask them if they have a prepared introduction that they would like read. If they don’t have a prepared introduction consider asking them about any of the following:

  • which pronoun they use: he, she, they
  • their work location and type of work,
  • education history,
  • relevant accomplishments like publishing a book or article, presenting other sessions, teaching for a number of years, etc..
  • family,
  • hobbies
  • title of the workshop

The following fill-in-the-blank example can be used to create an introduction:

It is my pleasure to introduce _______ (name), who works as a(n) _______ (profession) in _______ (location). He/she/they has _______ (relevant accomplishments). He/she/they is/are a _______ (mother/father/aunt/uncle/etc.) of _______ (number) children and _______ pets. In his/her/their free time they enjoy _______. Please welcome _______ (name) who will be presenting _______ (title of the workshop).

Clarifying roles and expectations

Most presenters will want you to monitor the chat and raised hands for questions, while other presenters may want you to help control the room features like polls and annotate.

Ask the presenter:

  • What they would like you to do and not do, where they would like help and when you can relax and enjoy their session.
  • If you can have a copy of an outline of the major points/topics that they will be presenting or a copy or slide deck because it will enable you to know what is coming up and so you can respond to questions in the chat feed with, “they will be touching on that topic later.”
  • How they would like questions managed. Would they like participants to:
    • raise their hand and then turn their mic on and ask the question when called upon, and/or
    • type their question into the chat so that the presenter or moderator can read the question allowed, and/or
    • have regularly scheduled times to stop and ask questions.

Finally, it is important that you familiarize yourself with how to operate the different features in Zoom as you may need to help to the presenter and/or attendees during the session. The next section of this how-to course will train you on how to use Zoom.