Thank you for your willingness to present at the Global Conference on Sustainability in Higher Education (#GCSHE). We could not do this without you! And don’t worry – we’re here to help you in any way we can. Below you can find information on how to plan your session, tips and tricks for moderating an engaging Networking & Discussion Session and answers to some common questions or concerns. If you still have questions or would like to chat with an AASHE staff person, sign up to attend one of our Presenter Training sessions (or watch the recordings) or send an email to  


These sessions are an opportunity for topical interest groups, regional networks and other affinity groups (e.g., engineers or community college representatives) to convene, network and discuss issues that are relevant to the group. They are interactive in nature and typically do not include a formal presentation. These 60-minute sessions will take place on a specific date and time during the main conference.


Key Responsibilities for Facilitators

  • Attend the presenter training on using live functionality and designing an engaging session (or watch the recordings).
  • Design your session keeping in mind best practices for creating an engaging session.
  • Log in to our virtual conference platform no less than 10 minutes prior to the start of your session.  
  • Moderate an interactive discussion among attendees via Zoom. You may use features such as breakout rooms and audience polls.
  • End your session at the scheduled time to allow the next session to start on time and enable attendees to get to their next event on time.
  • Plan Your Session
    Develop Your Session

    • Use AASHE’s Get Interactive resource to design an engaging session.
    • Review your goals for the session and develop your presentation around them.
    • Build your session taking into account your time limitation and best practices for online engagement. Networking and Discussion Sessions are 60-minutes long and will need to end on time to allow the next session to begin on time. Please be sure to allow plenty of time for interactive activities and questions.
    • Practice your planned scenario at least once or twice to make sure the session flows well and addresses your goals.


    • Prepare just a few introductory or illustrative slides necessary to support the conversation you plan to facilitate. Slides should be widescreen format 16:9 and you can use #GCSHE Slide Templates for the title slide and presenter(s) information.

  • Prepare to Moderate
    Tools Needed

    • Earbuds with built-in microphone or USB microphone. Avoid cell phones and speakerphones. 
    • Hardwired internet connection
    • Webcam (internal or external)

    Prepare your Space

    • Background:
      • Ensure your background is visually appealing and not too distracting. A plant or two in the background allows for visual appeal without being distracting. Scan behind you to ensure there aren’t any books, posters, or decorations you would prefer not to share with the #GCSHE audience. The more visual clutter or movement that is behind you, the more likely your video recording quality will be poor or a much larger file size.
    • Lighting:
      • Ensure your face is well lit. Natural light from a window is preferred, but you can also move lamps behind your webcam to brighten up your face. Avoid having the only light source come from one side of your face.
    • Height:
      • Make sure your webcam is at eye level. This makes it feel like you’re making eye contact with the audience and keeps them from looking up at your nose. You can raise your laptop up on books or boxes. Tape a picture of a beloved family member or pet next to your webcam to remind you to smile when you look in the camera. Frame your full head and shoulders in the camera picture. The bottom of the video frame should come to the middle of your chest.
    • Noise:
      • Pick your presentation spot carefully, where you will not be interrupted by family, friends or pets. Mute all cell phones, doorbell alarms, and notifications on your computer such as email chimes or meeting reminders. Close the door to your recording space.


    • Choose attire that you would wear if you were attending an in-person conference. Plain-colored shirts and pants are optimal; tight patterns or stripes may not display well on screens. Avoid bright white or black tops as they mess up lighting. 
      • Wear clothing that is the opposite of your background’s tone. Your webcam will work best if it can find a good contrast between you and your background.

    Test & Practice

    • Practice your planned session at least once to test your video and audio quality and ensure you are comfortable with all Zoom features you plan to utilize during your session.

  • During the Live Session

    • Turn off as many programs on your computer as you can to increase bandwidth and minimize the risk of pop-up notifications from other applications during your recording.
    • Mute all cell phones, doorbell alarms, and notifications on your computer such as email chimes or meeting reminders. Close the door to your presentation space.
    • Speak slowly and clearly to ensure attendees can hear you. 
    • Provide a short introduction to attendees to let them know what will happen during your session. Let the audience know how and when they will be able to engage with you and other attendees. Encourage the audience to submit questions and comments through the session chat window.
    • Watch the clock: Please keep a close eye on the timer and make sure your session does not exceed your allotted 60-minute time limit.
    • To respect the privacy of all attendees, these Networking & Discussion Group sessions will not be recorded and therefore will not be available on-demand.

Go Back to Presenter Details
Presenter Details