I am a former BBC radio and TV journalist, now running my own media services agency (AMROS Media Solutions www.amros.eu) out of Rome. I have worked as a professional moderator for almost a decade, with experience spanning small-scale events for 50 people to large international gatherings with more than 500 participants.
Over the years, I have chaired debates at major European Union showcases such as the annual Green Week conference in Brussels (invited every year since 2006 to moderate multiple sessions at this event organised by the European Commission’s Directorate General for the Environment) and the European Development Days forum. Subjects covered by my moderation work include Healthy Oceans Productive Ecosystems, animal welfare, REACH chemical legislation, endocrine disrupters, LIFE nature projects, energy efficiency and civil protection, to name but a few.
My moderating experience covers the entire range of activities, from chairing speed-pitching sessions for projects to introducing VIP speakers and handling interactive brainstorming sessions. I am adept at chairing question and answer sessions with the audience, and also handling contributions sent in by those watching live online, or questions arriving on Twitter. I have also co-chaired entire conferences, not just sessions within an event, working as a “double-act” with a fellow professional.
I like to work closely with the organisers to establish their priorities and needs early on. I always seek to create a direct rapport with my speakers before the actual event, to discuss the most effective approach for lively and effective presentations. I am able to deal with all kinds of contributors, including government ministers, international VIPs, business leaders, farmers, scientists and representatives from NGOs. I know how to put speakers at their ease on stage, helping them to give the best possible performance.
I am well versed in all the practical aspects of moderation, such as collecting speakers’ presentations, biographies and photos before the event, briefing contributors about working with interpreters, devising creative approaches to make sessions more interactive and engaging the audience at the event, as well as providing feedback to the organisers for future conferences. I am highly organised and a strict timekeeper, ensuring speakers keep to their allocated times and that sessions always finish at the allotted hour.
“I believe my role as a moderator is to facilitate discussion. Depending on the specific event, I always try to give the maximum possible time for audience involvement, creating an open and inclusive forum for debate between all the players. I believe in fostering an upbeat and positive atmosphere where both speakers and delegates have the opportunity to share ideas and expertise”.
“Thank you so much for shaping the session in the way you did and allowing for a true discussion. I enjoyed it a lot. I felt it worked out well with the 3 speakers and the different aspects touched upon”.
Katja Rosenbohm (Head of Communications, European Environment Agency) regarding moderation at Green Week 2014
“I really enjoyed working with you — your professionalism , grasp of the subject as well as attention to the organisational details were of great support”.
Anne-Laure Gassin (Policy Officer European Commission Directorate-General for Health and Consumers Innovation and Sustainability) regarding moderation at Green Week 2014
“A special thank you to Rick Thompson and Aminda Leigh, for their great contributions as moderators throughout the conference”.
DG Environment staff organising HOPE conference on Healthy Oceans, Productive Ecosystems
“Thank you for the very professional, smooth and natural way you have taken the lead of my and Ger’s session. I really enjoyed it, and it was a success”.
Rita Van Dingenen, Scientific Officer, European Commission Joint Research Centre regarding moderation at Green Week 2013
“Thank you for this excellent session, it was a pleasure to work with you. You quickly and perfectly understood the dynamic between Commission services and NGO and managed to keep speeches and questions on the right track without allowing conflicts to undermine the session’s main message of cooperation”. Timea Moreau-Tepliczky (session organiser, DG AGRI) regarding moderation at Green Week 2012
“We would like to thank you for preparing the session very carefully and well in advance, for providing guidelines and comments for the presentations, for being ready to bring questions and trigger discussion and, of course, for keeping it perfectly on time. The way you moderated was very professional and also intimate and the atmosphere during the session was both stimulating and relaxed. You gave us many good ideas on how to chair meetings and steer discussions”.
Anna Cheilari (DG Environment) and Nikolaos Zampoukas (Joint Research Centre) regarding moderation at Green Week 2012
“The way you moderated the session was very good and I look forward to working with you again in the future”.
Christel Musset (Director, European Chemicals Agency – ECHA) regarding moderation at REACH conference, September 2011
“We have received very positive feedback from both audience and panellists about your excellent moderating skills. Professionals like you are essential to the success of the event”.
Marc de Fleurieu (organiser) regarding moderation at European Development Days in 2007