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Asia-Pacific Management Accounting Association

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  Guidelines for Moderators, Discussants and Presenters
           Tips for Presenting Conference Papers


Guidelines for Moderators, Discussants and Presenters


The APMAA conference consists of a plenary session, a panel session, parallel sessions and a company and cultural visit. For parallel sessions, here we provide some guidelines for moderators, discussants and presenters. The intent of the guidelines is to create sessions that benefit both the authors and the audience. It is particularly important that everyone pays attention to their time allocations.


Arrive at the session room ten minutes prior to the scheduled starting time and introduce yourself to the presenters and discussants.

Begin the session (on time) by welcoming the audience and stating the session title. Tell how the session will be run, notifying the audience how many papers will be presented, how long each presentation will be and when there will be time for questions. Keep your own comments to a minimum-stick to introducing presenters and their paper titles. It is crucially important that you keep presenters to their allotted times.

Moderators have a variety of different ways for communicating time use to presenters. One way is to sit in the front row after introducing a speaker, where you can be seen by the presenter when he or she looks up. Bring along time cards which can be read from that distance. As a minimum, have a 5-minute card and a wrap-it-up card. Regardless of your preferences, be tough with presenters who try to continue past their allotted time.

After the papers have been presented, introduce the discussant, who will comment on the papers. Keep track of the discussants time, alerting him or her when time is running out as you did with the paper presenters. After the discussion, open the session to questions, where you will serve as a traffic coordinator. In managing the question-and-answer-time, please ask questioners to identify themselves and to keep their comments as short as possible to allow the presenters to respond in full.

In case you are presenting a paper yourself during the session you are moderating, we strongly recommend you present at the end of the session, even if this means altering from the printed program slightly.

Finally, make sure that the session ends on time so that the next group can get into the room on time.


Arrive at the session room ten minutes before the scheduled starting time and introduce yourself to the moderator and the presenter.

Before the session, read the papers and prepare your comments on PPT slides in order to have a vivid discussion.

Try to mention the strengths of a paper, besides your suggestions for improvement. One of the big challenges for a discussant is making points that are useful to the authors, yet interesting to the audience. Try to avoid an ‘insider’ discussion that probes small details of a paper.

Finally, make sure to wrap-up on time and keep an eye out for the moderators’ time cards


Arrive at the session room ten minutes before the scheduled starting time and introduce yourself to the moderator and the discussant

While developing your PPT slides, consider what information is necessary to guide the audience through key points of your paper. During your presentation, quickly go through the literature, concisely describe your methodology, and spend the bulk of the time on results, discussion, and conclusions. Try not to overwhelm the audience with a lot of tables that each takes much time to interpret. In a nutshell, interpret your research rather than simply lay out the facts.

Before the session, go over your PPT slides to have a sense of how much time required, and then adjust according to your allotted time. The moderator will use time cards to remind you the amount of time left. Please wrap your presentation up on time.