Speaker Guidelines

Thank you for agreeing to present a webinar for the NNLM! The Network of the National Library of Medicine (NNLM) Regional Medical Libraries, Offices, and Centers (ROCs) regularly host guest speakers on a variety of topics. This guide aims to ensure a seamless experience for presenters while providing informative and enjoyable sessions for all attendees.

All webinars should accomplish two primary objectives:

  1. They should tie to the mission of the NNLM by providing health professionals with equal access to biomedical information. 
  2. They should improve the public’s access to information to enable them to make informed decisions about their health. 

The NNLM’s main goals are to collaborate with their members to:

  • Support a highly trained workforce for biomedical and health information resources and data
  • Improve health literacy
  • Increase health equity by sharing high quality information 

Ideally, all webinars will be able to tie at least one of the following:

  • A NNLM Initiative 
  • National Library of Medicine Strategic Goal 
  • National Institutes of Health Priority
  • Target Population 
  • Health Topic 
  • Funded Project, or 
  • Relevant Subject

and include at least one of the following topics:

  • Health information resources and data
  • Improving health, digital, or data literacy
  • Increasing health equity through information
  • Increasing health information access

Whenever possible, the presentation/discussion should connect to NNLM services or NLM resources. 

NNLM webinars may provide Continuing Education (CE) from the Medical Library Association (MLA) or towards Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES)

All NNLM webinars are:

  • Free for attendees
  • Closed-captioned 
  • Recorded and posted to our YouTube channel
  • Hosted utilizing Zoom or Webex conference platforms

Webinar Format

NNLM webinars are typically scheduled to last one hour. The general structure of our webinars are:

  • 2-3 minutes for the NNLM to welcome attendees and introduce the speaker
  • 40-50 minutes for the speaker presentation
  • 5-15 minutes for questions
  • 3 minutes for closing announcements and wrap-up with NNLM staff

This format allows you enough time to deliver rich content while creating an atmosphere for meaningful participation from attendees. This structure may change based on if more time is allotted or if you are asked to speak as a panel presenter. Consult with your NNLM contact to confirm webinar details.


You do not need to monitor chat while presenting. Your NNLM hosts are responsible for monitoring the chat.


You do not need to monitor the Q&A section during your presentation. Your NNLM hosts will read questions to you at the end of the session.

If you choose to read the Q&A or chat for questions, please read the question aloud before answering it. This will benefit those who are visually impaired. 


As you, the presenter, work with your NNLM contact, please discuss all of the technical aspects you may need to know prior to giving your presentation. The NNLM will host the webinar via their preferred webinar platform and establish Closed Captioning.

As a presenter, you are undertaking the following responsibilities:

Promotional Support

  • Submit a photo or graphic, biography, official title, brief abstract of your presentation, and learning objectives to the NNLM as soon as your webinar date and time is confirmed. This typically happens 6-8 weeks in advance of your presentation.
  • You are welcome to promote the upcoming promotion widely to your constituents once available.

Presentation Materials


  • Since we provide closed captioning, we require a copy of the slides at least 2 days before the webinar. This improves the accuracy of captioning. A draft of your presentation is ok.
  • Refrain from placing important content in the lower quarter of the screen, as captions might block that section.

Content Recommendations

  • Your presentation should be educational in nature and not promote any product or service or solicit funding.
  • Your presentation should not contain any material or content that might give rise to third-party claims for defamation, libel, or other injury to the rights of others.
  • Cite your sources! Use royalty-free, Creative Commons-licensed media or media you own.
  • If necessary, obtain permission to use or reproduce content used in your presentation, including audiovisuals which are derived from sources not in the public domain or created by you.
  • A conflict of interest slide, disclosure, and bibliography are recommended for inclusion in your presentation.
    • You are encouraged to use a disclosure slide that includes the following language: “My intent is to promote inclusive learning while avoiding bias. I welcome feedback regarding areas for improvement.” 

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility

  • Review your slides and script for inclusive language and content
  • Ensure that your presentation utilizes inclusive images, speech, and perspectives on the topic selected. 
  • Contact your NNLM host if you would like support with ensuring inclusivity in your presentation.

Support for All Learners

Slides should be accessible so that all learners, including persons living with disabilities can engage with the content. 

Continuing Education 

The NNLM will obtain appropriate continuing education (CE) for your presentation. Participants may receive Medical Library Association CE, and/or Certified Health Education Specialist Credit.


The NNLM will promote the webinar and advertise widely throughout our Network, likely attracting the following audience types: Health sciences librarians, public librarians, health professionals, researchers, community- or faith-based organizations, educators, students, and the general public.


The NNLM may provide assistance by reviewing the presentation and handouts to ensure that all materials meet Section 508 Compliance and are accessible for all learners.

Technical Support 

Host the webinar via webinar platforms and establish Closed Captioning.


Following the webinar, the NNLM will upload the video for public access for a minimum of one year. The speaker may request the removal after 1 year. If you have concerns with the webinar being available for public access for one year, please discuss this with your NNLM contact prior to providing the webinar. 

Your NNLM contact may provide additional responsibilities as part of agreeing to host your presentation. Please feel free to talk to your NNLM contact with any questions you may have.

Service Recognition 

Following your presentation, the NNLM will provide a letter recognizing your contributions as an invited speaker. This can be used for your personal dossier and/or Medical Library Association’s Academy of Health Information Professionals.


  • 6 weeks before the presentation, the presenter submits a photo, brief biography, presentation title, and abstract to the NNLM.
  • 4 weeks before the presentation, the NNLM schedules and promotes the webinar 
  • 1 week before the webinar, the NNLM will have a 5-15 minute run-through session with you.
  • 2 days before the webinar slides, send your slides to your NNLM contact; a draft is fine
  • 2 days before, send any handouts to your NNLM contact

Day of the Webinar

  • 15-minute prior. We will have a quick check that everything is working, then you can step away.
  • Log in to the webinar with the email invitation you received.
  • Your NNLM host will share introduction slides and logistical information for attendees (about 3 minutes). When the host finishes, you will share your slides and move through your presentation.

Post Webinar

  • The NNLM will post your webinar slides on YouTube.
  • The NNLM will share with you a link to the presentation on YouTube so that you may share the recording.
  • The NNLM will make attendee evaluation available (if applicable).
  • The NNLM will provide a letter recognizing your contributions as an invited speaker.

General Tips

  • Speak slowly. This helps the captioner accurately caption and allows participants to take notes and process what you share. We tend to speak more quickly when we can't see our audience.
  • If you ask a question, pause longer than you think you need to for a response.

Recordings may be edited for various reasons, including to remove technical glitches and violations of the Code of Conduct. 

The NNLM Code of Conduct applies to attendees and presenters.  

Speaker Release

By presenting for the NNLM, the NNLM has the right to make, use, or publish in whole or in part any recorded footage in which your name, likeness, image, and/or voice may be included whether recorded on or transferred to video, slides, photographs, audio, digital formats, or other media. This includes, without limitation, the right to edit, mix, duplicate, use or reuse recordings as it may desire without restriction as to changes or alterations. 

The NNLM shall have complete ownership of the recordings in which I or my performance or contribution appears.


If for any reason beyond your control you are unable to give your presentation, you will notify the NNLM as soon as possible and reschedule an alternative date and time. 

Thank you again for presenting! We look forward to hosting your webinar.

Please contact your host with any questions or concerns not covered in this guide.