D.H. Lawrence Society of North America

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D.H. Lawrence: New Life, New Utterance, New Perspectives

  Guidelines for Chairs and Speakers


In order to ensure the smooth running of the conference and equal treatment for all speakers, we feel it is important that all conference panels should follow a standard pattern. We therefore ask all delegates, and Chairs and speakers in particular, to note a few simple ground-rules, as follows.  To print out a copy of these guidelines, the Word doc is also provided.


1.  Adhere strictly to scheduled times

All panels should begin and end promptly at the precise times specified in the schedule. The conference program is a very full one and many carefully-prepared arrangements (for meals and excursions, for example) will depend on the program running closely to time. It is crucial, therefore, that Chairs act as strict time-keepers for the start and finish of both panels and papers. We would be grateful for speakers and audiences to support the Chairs in this.


2.  Observe standard presentation and discussion times20 + 10 minutes maximum

a) As stated in the original Call for Papers, presentations must be no longer than 20 minutes and we ask Chairs to adhere strictly to this limit. All speakers are therefore asked to check in advance that their presentation will take no longer than 20 minutes.  

b) Towards the end of each 20 minutes, the Chair should give a “two-minute alert” to the speaker to remind them that they should conclude. Once the 20 minutes are up, the Chair should impose a strict guillotine and ask the speaker to stop, whether or not they have finished. (Some people find it effective to use a prop – like a small bell, for example – to signal the end of a paper.)

c) Immediately after each presentation, the Chair should allow a maximum of 10 minutes to lead a short question and answer session on that presentation. We would ask all Chairs(including those of 2-paper panels) to follow this procedure so that we have a standard 20 + 10 pattern for panels throughout the whole conference. This will ensure that every paper is given equal time for questions and discussion, and it will also facilitate the movement of delegates who wish to move to other panels in between papers.  (Delegates who do wish to panel-hop should, of course, take due care to minimise noise and disruption as they exit and enter rooms.) 


3.  Note biographies and abstracts

Chairs should introduce each speaker briefly.  For this, it would be helpful for speakers to supply them with a short biographical note in advance of the panel. Chairs should also consult the relevant abstracts for their panel and perhaps consider preparing a question to start the ball rolling in the discussion following the paper.


4.  Consult on changes to papers

If a presenter wishes to make a substantial change to the paper originally approved by the Program Committee, s/he should consult on this with the appropriate Chair in advance of the panel. If Chairs have any reservations about changes, they should bring these to our attention.


5.  New Chairs

If you are new to Chairing, we hope these brief guidelines will give you an initial frame of reference for your role, along with some confidence in knowing that there is a standard procedure and what it should be. However, if you would like some further advice or guidance, please feel free to ask either of us in Gargnano.



Paul Poplawski, Conference Co-executive Director

Jill Franks, Academic Program Director

Printable version of Guidelines

Program Abstracts in a Printable Word File

Email list for registered delegates can be found in the members-only section of the DHLSNA Directory (You must first login)