Thank you for considering presenting, chairing, or discussing at a panel at the “Poland First to Fight!” conference on November 19 and 20, 2019. We have assembled some guidelines to help make the process smoother and easier. Please read the relevant section before submitting or joining a panel in any capacity, and contact us with any questions you may have.*


  1. It is your responsibility to make sure that a full panel proposal has been sent in, on time, to the conference office ( The contact person is Prof. Krystyna Zamorska.
  2. If your proposal is accepted, it is your responsibility to ensure that the chair of your panel knows the contact addresses (usually e-mail and telephone) of all panelists and are sent the individual abstracts and short bios of each panelist.
  3. Should a panelist have to withdraw, you should, in consultation with the Executive Committee, make every effort to find a replacement.
  4. It is your responsibility to remind your panelists of the registration cut-off date. Given human frailties, in some cases, multiple reminders are needed.
  5. All panelists in any capacity must register for the conference. However, they don’t need to pay any registration fee.


Please understand that you play a key role, and much of the panel’s success depends on you.

  1. Please be sure to secure, from the panel organizer or the Program Committee, materials submitted by each panelist including his/her CV and abstract.
  2. Please be in communication with your panelists. Each presenter will have only 7 minutes (for a session of 4 papers) or 5 minutes (in those cases of sessions with 5 papers). As chair, it is your responsibility to keep track of time for each panelist and to not allow the session to run over (this may mean cutting off a panelist before he/she is done). Please ring the bell when 2 minutes are left for a presentation.
  3. Please arrive at the assigned room at least ten minutes before the scheduled starting time to make sure that all necessary A/V equipment is in full operating order and that there is water for the panelists. If you do not know one or more of the panelists, please introduce yourself before the session begins.
  4. Please begin on time! Do not wait for late arrivals.
  5. Please briefly introduce each panelist.
  6. It is always good to take notes and be prepared to offer contextual thoughts or questions when the panelists are done. This will encourage a quite audience and give valuable feedback to each panelist.
  7. Audience involvement is a crucial part of these sessions, and sufficient time must be allowed for discussion, and decide and announce in advance that all four/five papers will be delivered before discussion begins, or, decided that discussion will follow each paper. Either way, please strictly keep to the allotted time so that each presenter is treated equitably.
  8. Do not allow any single member of the audience or the panel to monopolize discussion, and encourage a balance in the discussion so that at least one issue raised by each paper or panelist is addressed (if all papers are discussed simultaneously).
  9. Please end on time and encourage further informal discussion, as time and circumstances allow.
  10. At all times insist on collegiality and a tone of respect.


  1. Please keep your comments to a total of 5 minutes.
  2. Remember that this is not an opportunity to show what you know; it is an opportunity to offer constructive criticism and to raise provocative questions.


  • No presentation can exceed 7 minutes, and the Chair must receive your paper in a timely manner (30 days in advance, keeping him/her aware of any substantive changes).
  • Be sure that your paper can be presented within the allotted time. Each presenter will have only 7 minutes (for a session of 4 papers) or 5 minutes (in those cases of sessions with 4 papers). If your paper runs longer, you will run the risk of being cut off, without finishing, and may usurp another panelist’s time. Please be considerate.

Some thoughts on well-presented papers:

  1. Present your thesis, your main arguments, and a few salient details in the hope that you can excite within your audience a desire to discuss this issue with you in greater detail beyond the confines of the session.
  2. Rehearse your paper before an audience—preferably an audience of colleagues. This will allow you to time your paper, to test the rhythms and tone of your presentation, to gauge audience receptivity, to discover possible flaws in your arguments, to anticipate other potential problems, and to experience a bit of feedback from this rehearsal audience.
  3. The spoken word is not the written word. Avoid overly complex sentences, in which you and your audience can find yourselves lost in a maze of verbiage. Write simply and clearly.
  4. Try to avoid a monotone.
  5. Make eye contact with your audience and engage them.
  6. Do not rush through your presentation in a blur of words.
  7. If at all appropriate and relevant, bring handouts for the audience.
  8. If you are using power point or any other A/V device arrive at the room at least 10 minutes in advance in order to make sure that everything is in working order. Many persons who use power point bring not only a flash drive, but also their own laptop with the file on its hard drive—just as back up. If you are a Mac user, it is a good idea to bring your own cables.
  9. In all cases where you plan on using A/V, assume total power failure—could your presentation survive a power outage?
  10. Relax and breathe—your colleagues are supportive of your research efforts and want you to succeed at having an excellent presentation!

* The guidelines are based on general rules proposed by the World Historical Association, WHA (with kind permission of WHA).