Conference Chair

The success of any conference largely depends on the effectiveness of its chairperson. A fresh and inviting opening address can set the tone for the whole – often long! – day. A well-timed audience interaction can immediately raise the energy levels. Equally, if a discussion is moderated badly, with the microphone in the hands of the wrong person for too long, energy levels can quickly plummet.

Experience and profile

When chairing events, the first thing I do is try to be relaxed. Friendly and expert: that is how I like to fulfill the role of chairperson. Strict where necessary, of course (with one eye on the clock), but always flexible where possible (improvisation is often unavoidable). In this, I have learned to apply some simple tricks, including holding up little signs marked 5, 1 and 0 to indicate the time remaining in minutes. It is all too easy for speakers to lose track of time.
I also ensure that I am fully informed in advance about the purpose of the conference or symposium. A major in-service training event calls for a different approach from the chairperson than a meeting between opinionated researchers and policymakers. I therefore always make sure that my contribution as chairperson is in line with what the conference organizers want.
In terms of subject, I am fully at home in the worlds of medical science, healthcare in the wider sense and in higher education. You can find details of my conference experience, including as chairperson under Conference presentations.

Moderator

As well as for conferences of different sizes, you can also hire me for specific types of discussion or interviews. I am trained moderator of what are known as ‘mirror meetings’. It is a method developed at the Amsterdam Academic Medical Center (AMC) to enable groups of patients to provide feedback to their care providers. I am also available to supervise focus groups as part of qualitative research and for other small-scale types of discussion or interviews.

If you would like to enlist my services as a chairperson or moderator, email me at: