Hosting a Panel or Presentation: A Guide for Streaming Writer’s CONduit

Welcome to CONduit, and thank you for volunteering to stream part of the event on your channel! The following is a guide for what expectations are, what you’re going to need, and maybe a few helpful tips to make it all easier for you.

Setup

A CONduit streamer package with CONduit-branded assets has been provided for you. You are not required to use them–they are only available if you want to use them. However, at a minimum, we require that at least one of the official CONduit logos be visible on every scene in your stream, so that people know they are in the right place.

Your stream title should include “Writers CONduit” and the title of the panel or presentation you are showing.

ie. “Writers CONduit: #OwnVoices Neurodiversity in Fiction”

If you can put this on your visible scenes, all the better, but it’s not strictly required. We’d like the title to appear in your active talk screen where you are featuring the panel or presentation at the bare minimum–again, so that people know they are in the right place. If desired, you can use the title plate we have provided.

We’d also like you to indicate who the panelists are in some way on the talk screen. You can use our name plates if you like, or you could use text in your overlay. Either way, viewers want to know who the person is that is talking to them.

Closed Captioning

A special note — when possible, we would like to provide some form of Closed Captioning for our events. There are a few options for this, and you are welcome to experiment with whichever works best for you. Google Meet and Zoom both provide integrated Closed Captioning, and they work pretty well. Stream Closed Captioner is a plug-in you will find in Twitch Extensions (be aware there has been some lag and delay when used with Chrome since the last major Chrome update, and it has crashed my stream a couple of times, so I’d suggest you use another browser or Discord if you go that route.) Google Speech Recognition also has a Closed Captioning plug-in.

If you can make one of those work for you, add “(CC)” to the title of your stream.

ie. “Writers CONduit: #OwnVoices Neurodiversity in Fiction (CC)”

If you can’t, we understand! Some of these can be hard on technical requirements. We just ask that you do your best, and please don’t advertise your stream as being Closed Captioned if it’s not.

Questions

There are two ways that you can approach fielding questions from the audience. One is by having them type “QUESTION: ” in ALL CAPS, and then the question.

ie. “QUESTION: Where do you get your ideas? (All panelists)”

The other option is to create a Channel Point Reward (we suggest making it worth a single channel point, so that it is easily accessible to everyone) with a required text field so that people can type in their questions, and make it easier for your Moderators to pull out and get to you.

Channel Point Rewards

In order to make finding questions easier, and in order to avoid interruptions, we advise that you DISABLE all other Channel Point Reward options. You might consider keeping such things as Hydrate, Posture Check, Stretch, and things that see to the care of you and your guests.

Streaming Categories and Tags

We suggest you stream under the Special Events category, but use the Writing tag. We believe this is the most likely combination that will help people on Twitch to find us!

Chat Bots

We strongly recommend that you set up a few chatbots prior to your stream.

Required:

Optional:

  • A bot announcement and command that states the panel or presentation you are running, along with its description – please use !Thisevent as the chat command with a message in this format: “You are currently watching Writer’s CONduit: [title] – [description].
  • A bot announcement and command for each of the panelists or presenter(s) that states their bio and where they can be found on the web. With luck, you should be able to copy this directly from the event website – please use !Panelists as the chat command with a message in this format: “This panel features; [list panelists] and panel lead [panel lead].” If you are running a Chill & Chat stream, you should disable this bot for that stream.

Don’t worry if that all seems overwhelming: we hope to have individual cheat sheets, with exactly what your bots should say for each stream you are hosting, in your hands before the conference.

Preparation

We suggest that you begin the group call with your panelists (their contact information will be provided to you) at least 20-30 minutes prior to going live for tech checking and other issues. There are staging channels provided on our Discord server for this purpose. This will also give you an opportunity to move the text or plates around on your stream layout, when you see how they appear on your scene.

Work with people to the best of your ability on audio and other tech issues, but timing is tight, so if someone is not ready to go by 10 minutes to the hour, proceed without them and let them come back in if and when they figure it out. The show, after all, must go on.

If the person having trouble is the presenter in a presentation or workshop, notify the Planning Committee member on duty immediately that you need to cancel your stream.

If you are the one having problems, contact the Planning Committee member on duty immediately, and they might (no guarantees!) be able to take over the stream for you. If this is possible, host the alternate stream on your channel, so that viewers can still find the panel they want to see.

Don’t stress about any of this too much, however. This IS Twitch. Tech issues happen, and we all know and expect that. If things are going wrong, keep calm and just do your best. No one is going to judge you.

The Format

During the active hours of the convention, there should (usually) be three panels or presentations, and one chill room, hangout room, or sprint lobby running simultaneously. That means there will be you and three other CONduit streamers who are streaming at the same time. You will be provided with a schedule, and a list of the other channels that are live with CONduit events at the same times that you are.

If you are one of the first streams of the day, be sure to mention the CONduit Code of Conduct as detailed on our website. This is a time it might be handy to have the website bot command built in, so you can encourage people to go read it for themselves.

When beginning your stream, introduce yourself, welcome people to the convention, and announce the panel or presentation title.

ie. “Hello, and welcome to Writers CONduit! I’m Diane Morrison, known in the community as Sable Aradia, and this is the OwnVoices: Neurodiversity in Fiction panel.”

Then, introduce your panelists, or let them introduce themselves. Remind them ahead of time that their intro should include information about why they are on this panel, and that they should be brief. (If it’s an #OwnVoices panel, it can be assumed that part of the reason is that they are a member of the group in question.)

Next, tell your viewers about the other events that are running simultaneously to yours, and where you can find them.

ie. “Just before we get started, we’d like to remind you about the other events that are going on at this time. Indie vs. Traditional Publishing is happening at twitch.tv/authorgoddess, Streamlabs 101 is running at twitch.tv/lethann, and there’s a chill sprint lobby happening at twitch.tv/theclosetforge, if you just want to hang out with other writers and maybe get some writing done.”

It may be helpful to add some bot commands for the duration of the stream, so that you can just call the titles and links up quickly in the chat. However, it is also important that you repeat the titles and channels verbally, using the Twitch URLs, so that people can still find the events they want, even if they are listening on audio only or are visually impaired.

The Program

As a Panel Host, it will be incumbent upon you to serve in the role of what, at a typical convention, is called a “Panel Moderator.” Note that this is NOT the same as being a Twitch moderator! It will be your responsibility to manage the discussion, keep the conversation flowing, and keep anyone from domineering or getting out of hand, while encouraging the quieter panel members to speak up.

It helps if you know something about the panel subject, but if you don’t, feel free to ask your panelists ahead of time about the kinds of questions that you should be asking. Nobody knows their subject better than they do, right? The panel description, which should have been prepared ahead of time by the Panel Lead, should give you all a place to start. Don’t be afraid to throw in your own questions if you just want to know something, either! If you have a question, viewers will likely have the same question.

If you are hosting a presenter, then you don’t need to worry about any of this. Turn the show over to your presenter, make sure your mutually-chosen form of screen presentation is working, and stay out of the way while they do their thing.

Run Time

Most panels and presentations are scheduled to run for one hour. That means you have about 40-45 minutes to talk, and 10-15 minutes for questions from the viewers. Try to wrap up 5 minutes before the hour; some panelists are scheduled back to back, and they may need to run off to the next panel. If you happen to be streaming one of the rare two hour events, make sure to leave at least 20 minutes of that time for questions afterwards.

Make sure you coordinate with your Channel Moderators regarding questions. We have no idea how many people will be in your audience, this being our first year, and you could end up with the chat blowing by really quickly. Make sure you can see the questions at all times, and get your Moderators to do the same. To draw attention to them, we suggest you either ask the viewers to type “QUESTION:” in all caps when they are asking a question, or have a minimal-cost channel point reward with a text box requirement for viewers to ask their questions. Be sure to tell the viewers what method you will be using when you introduce the panel.

If you end up with the reverse problem — a quiet chat that is moving slowly — feel free to ask whatever questions are there, and give the panelists a chance to expand on anything they might want to expand on to fill the time.

Make sure to leave a couple of minutes after the questions for the panelists or presenters, and yourself, to let your audience know where they can find you and your panelists or presenter(s) on the web. If anyone has a major project going on (ie. Kickstarter, book release, further appearances) they can have a brief moment to plug it. Limit this to one major project per person. You might consider using chatbots and commands to post whatever you and your panelists want about this in your chat, but again, it is also important that it be stated verbally.

Chat Moderators

You are welcome to use your own Channel Moderators to moderate the chat, but if you need support (ie. you don’t have any Moderators, or yours are unavailable) please let us know ahead of time. A number of people have signed up to help with chat moderation for the convention, and we can match them up with you. You will need to grant them moderator permissions in your channel, at least for the duration of the convention.

In the event of a bot or horrid troll attack: You or your mods should set the stream chat to Subscriber Only (or turn it off completely) and direct chatters to the social room in our Discord associated with the event. This information should be provided in your package, and it will also be on the Event Calendar and Event Listings on our website.

We suggest that you add some of the Planning Committee as moderators to your channel for the duration of the event, so that we can help you out in the event of a problem! You may wish to add the following people (by their Twitch names):

  • AuthorGoddess
  • CoffeeQuills
  • Itanshi
  • Lethann
  • Mezz09
  • SableAradia
  • ShyRedFox

Ending Your Stream / Raiding

Your stream is part of a “track” of events within the convention. This is part of the reason that we are trying to have three events going on at any given time, and whenever possible, each will focus on different subject matter. Unless you were one of the first streams of the day, someone raided the con-goers into your channel, and you will raid them into the next channel on the list. This information will also be provided to you so that you know where to send people.

Before ending your stream, thank your panelists or presenter(s), and thank the viewers for attending. Give them a heads-up about where you’re sending them before you send them off, and make sure to mention the other events that are happening and the channels they are happening in (again, a list will be provided to you.)

ie. “Thank you, AuthorGoddess and StoryGirl for speaking with us today! And thank you to everyone who attended! We’re sending you off to the next panel on our list now, which is Building a World Without Racism. Also on the schedule, we have Building Your Author Brand at twitch.tv/shyredfox, and Plotting with the Snowflake Method at twitch.tv/writergreg.”

Note that you don’t have to mention the sprint lobby or meeting room; viewers can get that information in the next stream.

Feel free to mention your own name and brief info if you want.

ie. “I’m Sable Aradia. We do writing and RPG related streams everyday but Monday, and it’s been a pleasure doing this with you!”

If you want to use your own raid shout, feel free to do that too, but don’t feel any obligation to do so.

If something goes wrong, and the stream you are scheduled to raid is unavailable, give them a maximum of 5 minutes to go live. If they don’t come up, please raid into one of the other live events, or into the CONduit channel, so that people can figure out what they want to do from there.

Aftermath

Afterwards, it would be helpful if you would be willing to download the streams you hosted so that we can upload them on a Writer’s CONduit YouTube channel for others to see if they missed the conference. We’d appreciate as many of these videos as possible, but we understand if tech limitations make this impossible. We will have further ideas of where and how to share them after the convention, which we will discuss on the Discord.

Thank You!

That’s it! Thank you, once again, for being a part of CONduit. None of this would run without you, and we really appreciate you for all the work you do! If you have any questions or need any help, do not hesitate to contact the Planning Committee, and we’ll be happy to help you.