Guidance for Speakers and Reporters at BHS Meetings

Notes for speakers and reporters at national and regional meetings:


1 Introduction

The Society arranges a variety of meetings: national, regional and joint meetings with other organisations. The success of a meeting depends upon many factors, among the most important of which are the clarity and relevance of its content.  These notes are intended to assist speakers in preparing their presentations for the maximum benefit of their audience.


2 Form of meetings

National meetings will vary in character, but the majority will feature several speakers (up to 5 or 6) in a one-day programme. In contrast, regional meetings are normally expected to involve not more than 3 speakers whose presentation will occupy some 30-45 minutes.

The Society attaches particular importance to the stimulation of good discussion, and meetings must be planned to allow adequate time for audience participation.


3  Summaries and abstracts

A short summary/abstract (about 100 words) of their proposed presentation may be requested by the organiser. The summary should normally be circulated with the advance notice of the meeting in order to give members an indication of the scope of each topic.


4 Presentations

Speakers are requested to pay particular attention to the following points:

Speakers should send to their meeting organiser some biographical notes (say a paragraph), one week before the meeting, to assist the session chair with his/her introduction.

Speakers should be absolutely clear about how long they have been allocated for their presentation, and how much further time will be available for questions. Speakers should NOT under any circumstances exceed the time allocated for their presentation; they should be concise and emphasise the main points in their synopsis. As a guide to planning, a reasonable rate of speaking is about 100-150 words per minute and a slide or transparency can take from 2-3 minutes to explain adequately.

Speakers should take good care to ensure that their supporting visual material will be legible at the rear of the lecture room. The use of at least font size 18pt is recommended. Graphs and diagrammatic material should be as free as possible from fine detail. Contrasting colours can be helpful.

Speakers will normally meet the chair person of their session some 15 minutes before the meeting in the presentation room to be used in order to discuss arrangements.

Speakers should ensure that they use any microphones provided and, if not, should project their voices to the back of the meeting room to ensure that they are heard.

Speakers to indicate to meeting organisers if they would allow their presentations to be posted as PDF files, with a watermark, on the BHS website.


5 Meeting reports

A reporter will be appointed for each meeting to prepare a summary of the main points of the presentations and subsequent discussions for publication in Circulation, the Society Newsletter. Publication should be in the edition immediately following the meeting except in exceptional circumstances. The report should not exceed 2000 words and selected images from key presentations are especially welcome.

If illustrations are included in the report, the length of typescript should be reduced by some 300 words per diagram. The originals of illustrations shown at the meeting should be obtained from the presenters. Permission to reproduce such material should be obtained from the originator and acknowledged in the caption.

As a matter of courtesy, the reporter should where possible show his or her account to the listed speakers. However, the need to meet a Circulation deadline is a key consideration.

Major contributors to the discussion may be named, but in doing so the reporter must where possible ensure that the named person is in agreement with the remarks that have been attributed to them, and that their full name and affiliation is given.

Reports should be prepared as soon as possible after the meeting and forwarded to the Honorary Secretary and Editor by a date to be agreed with the Editor, bering in the copy date of the next appropriate issue of Circulation. Copies should be sent by e-mail.