skip to Main Content

SVRI Forum 2022 Presentation and Chair Guidelines

SVRI Forum is an abstract driven event. We received many wonderful and interesting abstracts. To ensure both presenter and the audience get the best out of this opportunity, we have prepared the following guidance to help presenters prepare their Forum presentation.

Firstly, as a speaker we ask that you:

  • Provide a professional quality presentation on the agreed upon presentation abstract you submitted.
  • Allocate time before the conference for a conference call or email exchange with your session Chair and fellow session speakers to discuss the panel.
  • Meet with your Chair 10 minutes before the panel starts to make sure your presentation is uploaded, and everything is ready to roll.
  • Please stick to the time allocated for your presentation. Remember that it is discourteous for a speaker to take time from other presenters.
  • Provide us with an electronic copy of your presentation by 10 September 2022 so it can be uploaded in advance of the Forum. Send your presentation to Label the file using your abstract number and name so we can correctly match the file to you and your presentation time slot.
  • Make sure you have proper approvals for the use of photographs in your presentations.
  • Have fun with your session. If you are having fun, then so are your audience.

Presentation Guidelines

Forum offers three types of presentations: Oral Presentation and Five Minute Presentation. Guidelines for all three are to follow:

Guidelines for Oral Presentations

Things to think about:

  • Presentation length. Times for presentations can range from 10-15 minutes, followed by 5-10 minutes of Q&A. Your time will depend on the number of presentations in your panel and the time allocated for the panel ie some panels are 1.5 hours and others are 2 hours long. Your slot and presentation time will be communicated with you via email.
  • Number of slides. If your presentation is supposed to be 10-15 minutes long, it will be impossible to get through 35 slides. Make sure you time your presentation in advance – there is nothing worse than one presenter taking time from another.
  • Font size. Make sure your slides are readable. 28pt and up is recommended.
  • Your audience. SVRI Forum is home to researchers, practitioners, programme managers, policy-makers, funders, activists – all of us have the power to use the findings presented at Forum to advance and strengthen our work. All presenters, where possible should avoid over-use of technical jargon and if necessary, provide a description of concepts either at the end of their presentation or offer to discuss issues/concepts with delegates during the break.
  • So what? We do this work because we want to create a kinder world, please make sure you detail how your work is relevant to changing policy, improving research, serving survivors etc.
  • Secondary trauma. We work in the field of trauma and many of us are survivors. Carefully consider the types of photos / images you use in your presentation. Avoid use of images that may be upsetting to delegates.

Five Minute Presentations

A Five Minute Presentation is a concise, well-prepared 5-minute description of your research / or programme. FMPs are all about telling a story, which is why this format has become hugely popular at the SVRI Forum.

  • Presentation length. You have 5 minutes to present your work, with no time for Q&A. During FMP panels, up to 15+ presentations will be delivered over 1.5 hour.
  • Slides and visuals. You are limited to only one slide or image during your FMP. Think carefully about what you want to show. We suggest you show one image / words / visual that identifies your research/programme e.g. a picture of your beneficiaries; your curriculum; a key question you are trying to answer with your work.
  • Send in your image/slide. Even though you only have one slide, you must still send it to us in advance of the Forum. Make sure you label it correctly, so we can match the file to you and your presentation time slot.
  • Practice. FMPs, although short, can be powerful ways to share your work. Make sure you practice your pitch, that it is only five minutes long, and that you don’t sound rehearsed. Practice really helps with those nerves as well.
  • Timing. You really do only have 5 minutes. Your Chair will not have time to introduce each speaker. Kindly do so in a short, concise manner once you are on stage. Your Chair will stop you after 5 minutes to ensure you do not cut into other presenter’s time. Make sure you practice – we can’t say this enough.
  • Guidance. See guidance on developing Five Minute presentations:

SVRI Forum 2022: Chair Guidelines

How to be a great panel Chair

A Chair is the driver behind a great panel. We’ve all sat in sessions run by an unprepared Chair – so we know what that looks like. What are the ingredients for making sure you are a great panel Chair?  A great Chair can do much to make a session go smoothly by keeping it on running on time, the audience engaged, and the speakers on target. To follow are some tips for running an awesome panel at SVRI Forum. Moderating a good panel is all about preparation.

In advance of the Forum

To follow are some tips for ensuring you are a great panel chair.

  • The SVRI will introduce you to your panellists. Once we have done so, follow up with an introductory email introducing yourself to the speakers in your session.
  • Read through the abstracts for each presentation in your panel to familiarize yourself with the overall theme of the panel and the focus of each presentation. These will be sent to you in advance of the Forum.
  • Request speakers to send you short bios so you can introduce them. Maybe even practice introducing your speakers, pronouncing their names in your hotel room.
  • Discuss with speakers via email how best to structure the session.
  • Very importantly, agree with presenters on the presentation length and Q&A time available. Discuss if you should allow for question time at the end of each presentation or hold all questions until after all presentations have been delivered? Due to time limitations, we would suggest that for parallel sessions you should hold all questions until after the last presentation.

At the Forum

Things to do at the Forum:

  • Make sure all speakers have uploaded their presentations, equipment is working, and you are all ready to go.
  • Arrange to meet presenters in the room 10 minutes before the session starts to discuss final arrangements
  • Check with presenters how to pronounce their names (if you have not met before and are unsure of how to pronounce their names).

Managing the panel

  • To open the session, briefly introduce yourself, the speakers, the overall topic and how all the session will be structured. For example:
    • introduce yourself and welcome the audience, speakers and session topic;
    • indicate any changes in the panel from the printed programme;
    • individually introduce each speaker/presentation and hand over to the speaker;
    • Q&A – invite the audience and panel members to ask questions and engage with the presenters;
    • closing – make some final remarks and give a vote of thanks to speakers and audience.
  • When you introduce each speaker, give their name, institutional affiliation and the topic of their presentation. Rather than just reading the title of the presentation think about how you can introduce each presentation in your own words.
  • Make sure your session starts on time. SVRI Forum is a packed programme filled with wonderful presentations that presenters have worked hard – please ensure every presenter receives their fair time allocation.
  • Presenting is stressful for many of us. Try make your panel members feel at ease. If you are calm will help the presenters feel calm.

Be strict with time!

  • Time management is the most important role of the Chair. You have all agreed in advance the length of time each speaker has for their presentation. Don’t let speakers go overtime, as this reduces the time available for subsequent speakers.
  • Give speakers 5-, 3-, and 1-minute warnings. If falling behind schedule shorten your introductions to subsequent speakers and ask them to add to your introductions as appropriate; they can do if faster, more accurately, and they won’t be long-winded since it cuts into their presentation time. This may be easier if you remember that it is rude for a speaker to steal time from other presenters.
  • Consider holding questions for the end of all presentations.
  • Although you must carefully manage time, there may be a need for flexibility as well. Not everything runs to schedule. Be prepared to reduce presentation length should the session start late or increase time for question and answers or presentations should more time for the panel come available.

After the last presentation

  • Thank all the speakers and open the session for questions and answers.
  • Prepare one or two questions yourself in case there are no questions from the floor.
  • Be ready to intervene if either a questioner or speaker becomes long-winded or an in-depth discussion/argument erupts; politely insist they voice their question and / or take up the discussion during the break.


  • Briefly summarise the main points emerging from the discussion.
  • Thank all presenters once again for their contribution and thank the audience for their participation.
  • And most importantly enjoy the experience!
Back To Top