Speaker Information


Dear Speakers & Panelists,
 
Welcome to the AFP Speaker Information page. We are looking forward to this year's exciting new conference program! Last month, we received feedback from you about which session format you preferred to follow, and you chose either "Live Stream" or "Straight Zoom with Breakouts". This letter provides more detail about what is expected given your preferred session style.
 
For those who chose to present a Live Stream session, this means that you chose the format that is recommended by our virtual conference partner Blue Sky eLearn. A Live Stream session can be fully live or partially live and will include a Live Q&A component at the end when you can speak directly with your audience and address their questions. Live Stream allows you to practice and prerecord the presentation portion of your session in advance of the conference, without compromising live interaction with the audience. It allows you to participate in both the recording and the actual event on conference day. This is a good format to choose if you have information to impart to the audience and/or a PowerPoint presentation. It is also the best type if you have a video component to display. However, it is not the best format to choose if you want your session to be fully driven by audience discussion or a workshop-style session where the audience will mostly do work with one another in breakouts.
 
For sessions that will be based primarily on audience breakouts, we recommended that you use a Straight Zoom style instead. In a Straight Zoom session, you can run breakout sessions throughout. However, there cannot be pre-recorded content, and video content is not recommended as video does not run optimally in a Zoom meeting.
 
Both a Live Stream session and a Straight Zoom/Breakout session will be supported by Blue Sky eLearn and administered on AFP's Zoom accounts. The format chosen by your group has been outlined in a letter to your group dated November 30 (See Format).
 
For those who chose a Straight Zoom style, this will be held live on the day of the event and will not require a lot of upfront support from the staff at Blue Sky eLearn. A Blue Sky support person and AFP support person will be assigned to the call to assist. Personnel can run the breakouts according to your instructions unless you have someone on your panel who has volunteered. AFP does not recommend using Zoom's "pre-assigned" breakout technology as this requires you to know every audience member in advance of your session. Instead we recommend using Zoom's random breakout feature. This is a user-friendly, easy-to manage feature and is reliable. Please note, 10:00 AM sessions are 75 minutes long; 2:05 PM sessions are 55 minutes long; and 1:10 PM sessions are 50 minutes long.
 
For those who chose a Live Stream style, AFP recommends the following schedule of events for December:
 
1) Arrange a Zoom call with your panel for one or more rehearsals, using your own Zoom account, and work in this way until you feel your presentation is ready for prime time.
2) Once you are ready to be recorded, arrange a date and time with AFP MA office at info@afpmass.org. The recording will be done on an AFP Zoom line and recorded by AFP personnel. This will be done preferably by December 24.
3) On recording day, you will be joined by an AFP support person who will start the meeting, provide a few housekeeping tips to the group, and then formally prerecord your session including slides. We recommend that your prerecorded content be not more than 45 minutes to leave time for Live Q&A. It is up to you how long you want your prerecorded content to be versus your Live Q&A. Please note, 10:00 AM sessions are 75 minutes long; 2:05 PM sessions are 55 minutes long; and 1:10 PM sessions are 50 minutes long. You will have a chance to view your recording before it gets submitted to Blue Sky eLearn.
4) The full panel should also plan to attend on event day at your assigned session date and time (this is outlined in your confirmation email dated Nov. 30). On event day, you will watch the live-streamed recording with your peers, and be present for the Live Q&A that begins immediately after.
 
Please note, Blue Sky eLearn is presently building out AFP's virtual conference application, based on the full conference schedule. By accepting this speaking engagement, you are agreeing to deliver the presentation on the date and time specified in your Nov. 30 confirmation letter. We wish we could accommodate time changes along the way however this will not be feasible in a virtual program. Thank you in advance for your understanding.
 
As a next step, you can expect to be introduced to the conference operations chair Myriah Kulin who will manage support of the implementation of all sessions between now and conference day.
 
Other Tips to Think About: Our virtual conference partner has told us that the average person’s attention span for a virtual session is much shorter than it is for a live lecture. 30 minutes is ideal; 45 minutes is probably the longest you should do. They also said that the most successful virtual presentations start with the punch line, then use the rest of the time to provide proof of it. This is as opposed to a live session where you might start with some basic information and build up to the punch line. They also said if you are using PowerPoint cut your number of pages in half or more, and cut your bullets per page in half or more. Detailed presentations don’t go over well in a virtual conference.  Also, provide the email of one of your speakers in the chat so people can follow up with questions.
 
Sincerely Yours,
AFP Conference Committee

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