Chair and Speaker Guidelines


CNSF Congress, June 24-27, 2018 Halifax NS


Thank you for agreeing to participate in our Congress and share your knowledge with the wider CNSF community!

Carefully review the following important information for developing your Congress session. It is the responsibility of the Course Chair to communicate CNSF policies, to potential speakers.

Questions on documents below please contact:
Tricia Atkins:  613-238-4075, ext. 277.

Questions on your course's scientific content or focus, please contact either:
Scientific Program Chair, Alex Henri-Bhargava at: alexhb@uvic.caor
Vice-Chair, Joe Megyesi at:

Deadline Dates:
You will receive an email a few weeks before each item is due; along with additional instructions as appropriate.

*Return all forms, course write-up and course notes to:




Course Chair Agreement

Friday, December 15, 2017

Chair Agreement

Review, type in name and date

Chair & Speaker Contact List

Friday, January 5, 2018

Speaker Contact Template

Provide contact information for each speaker



Disclosure Forms

Friday, January 12, 2018

Speaker Disclosure Form



Course write-up including:


• Description
• Objectives

• Audience
• Learning Level
• Learning Format
• CanMeds Roles
• Agenda

Friday, January 19, 2018


If full course content outline is not available, submit what is confirmed.


We need to enter all session information in order to have registration go live in late February.


This content is required for accreditation by the Royal College.

Course Write-up Template & Sample

Complete information required in the template



Speaker Notes or PowerPoint Presentations

Monday, May 14, 2018


Sample Speaker Notes

Create your speaker notes for inclusion on the Speaker Notes web page, accessible by registered Congress delegates

Additional AV Requirements

Monday, May 14, 2018


Overall Congress Learning Objectives

By the end of the 2018 Congress, delegates will be able to:

  • Discuss advances in the management of acute and chronic neurological and neurosurgical disorders.
  • Discuss new findings in neurological and neurosurgical disorders.
  • Describe advances in neurological care and/or neurosurgical techniques.
  • Identify areas where there are gaps in learning (unperceived needs) not realized before attending the Congress and extend this professional learning after the Congress to the enhanced care of patients.

All courses are 2.5 hours with no coffee break. Morning courses will have coffee available 30 minutes prior to commencement. It is the imperative of the course chair to maintain the course duration within the allotted time, including any time allotted for discussions / question and answer. This is very important so that timing of congress sessions may be co-ordinated smoothly.

Every session must have a chair. If the Chair is also acting as a speaker, this person must be included within the list of speakers. 

If you envision a more traditional format for your session consisting of invited speakers who each lecture on specific topics, please consider maintaining the following ratios:

  • 1-2 hour sessions – 2-3 speakers
  • 2.5 hour sessions – up to 4 speakers.

Course chairs may consider a more interactive workshop-style format, which could require more speakers. We do not want to encourage having many speakers who are all rushed to give very short talks, but if your format is best suited to a greater number of participants, please do discuss this with the program committee chair.

As the congress is accredited as a Section 1 Learning Activity with the Royal College, sessions must have at least 25% interactive content. At a minimum, this may take the form of formal question-and-answer periods during the session, which traditionally occurs within the expert lecture format.  Empirical research findings suggest that this may not always be the most effective method for promoting information retention and practice change.  Congress attendees have strongly indicated their desire for even greater interactivity in Congress course sessions. Some alternative presentation formats are offered below for your consideration.

SPC Chair, Dr. Alex Henri-Bhargava, would be pleased to discuss your course proposal with you at any time (

Alternative formats:

You may want to consider whether your course lends itself to a different format than the traditional set of back-to-back lectures. Some examples of alternative formats:

  1. Case-based discussions. These are held in high regard by course delegates. If your topic is particularly clinical, consider anchoring your didactic content to a clinical cases to make the clinical application of your course material more immediate. Course chairs can consider encouraging their speakers to integrate an illustrative clinical case along with their talks. Course chairs can also consider developing out a single exemplary clinical case that is woven throughout all of the talks and helps to tie them together.
  1. Workshop formats. Workshops allow delegates to directly manipulate the information being presented to them leading to higher knowledge retention. Examples of topics that lend themselves particularly well to workshop formats include topics on methodologies such as “critical appraisal of neurosurgical literature” or on examination techniques such as “how to perform a neuro-ophthalmological exam.” In a workshop format, didactic lectures will be complemented by breakout groups with facilitators. In the first example, the facilitators would go through the exercise of critically appraising an article with small groups of delegates. In the second example, a series of stations could be set up around the room where delegates could rotate through and practice different parts of the exam with workshop facilitators.

Tips to make your lectures more interactive:

Traditional lecture formats are acceptable and may be preferred for certain topics. However, there are methods to increase interactivity within traditional lecture formats.

At the most basic level, you should ensure that your courses contain enough time set aside for questions and answers from the audience (25%). This can either take the form of a Q&A section after each individual lecture, or a panel Q&A at the end of the entire course, or both. Speakers are encouraged to trim off some of their material if they fear there will not be sufficient time for lectures. More adventurous lecturers may want to consider incorporating “real-time” questions from the audience into their talks. Web-based apps exist to facilitate such questions, such as Slido and Poll Everywhere.

There are many “interactive classroom” strategies that can be employed to move beyond the standard Q&A. One of these is involving audience members to think actively about your material by interspersing quiz questions throughout your presentation. This format is particularly useful when coupled with case discussion. Such questions can occur with a simple show of hands, but incorporating the use of an audience response system where audience members can see their peers’ answers is a particularly useful strategy. We strongly encourage you to include audience response questions into your presentations. Please consider adding slides to your presentation that include multiple choice, true/false, or other similar questions for the audience into your presentation. We are currently exploring specific technology to allow for interactive audience response and will provide more details closer to the congress.

Other active learning strategies imported from high school and college education can be very effective even at the continuing professional development level. These include brainstorming, “think/pair/share,” “one-minute essay,” etc. A simple-to-read yet comprehensive and useful list of such strategies is found here and is recommended reading when preparing your course material.

Please send any feedback regarding these tips or any questions regarding promoting interactivity in your courses to the chair of the Scientific Program Committee, Alex Henri-Bhargava (

CNSF Membership, Registration, Honoraria, Budget

It is preferred that Course Chairs are a member of at least one CNSF Society (CNS, CNSS, CACN, CSCN, CSNR); however the CNSF recognizes this is not always the case or in the best interests of the Congress, particularly for chairs from outside of Canada or who are not neurosurgeons, neurologists, or neuroradiologists.

This is a volunteer position. No honorarium or expenses are paid except in special conditions listed in course budget below.

Chairs must register for the Congress, however, the day of their course/session is free and they will be provided with a discount to attend the remainder of the Congress.

Additional Speakers
Do not have to be a member of CNSF. However, speakers who are Canadian neurosurgeons, neurologists, or neuroradiologists are encouraged to consider membership.

This is a volunteer position. No honorarium or expenses are paid except in special conditions listed in course budget below.

Speakers must register for the Congress, however, the day they speak is free and they will be provided with a discount to attend the remainder of the Congress

Eligible chairs and speakers will receive an email in February offering the day of their Course/session free or a discount to attend the entire Congress. Note: Due to the nature of the Clinical Case Study sessions, the Lunch 'n Learns and the Co-developed Symposia, there is no Congress registration discount available to their chairs and speakers.  Chairs and speakers for these sessions must register for the Congress at regular rates.  

Information regarding the official Congress hotel will be available in February.

Course Budget
ONLY Chairs and Speakers who are not practicing Canadian neurologists, neurosurgeons or neuroradiologists are provided economy flight and 2 nights’ accommodation and are provided registration (one day free/ Congress at a discounted price). The Course budgets allow for ONLY one of these Speakers per Course; other special circumstances are considered such as courses developed by individuals who are not neurologists, neurosurgeons or neuroradiologists. Requests must be made in writing to Dan Morin.

Courses will be evaluated by Congress delegates and CNSF CPD Auditors to ensure compliance with Royal College MOC Standards

Upon receipt of the signed Chair Agreement, the CNSF will provide previous Congress Evaluation Summaries for your course, if available, in order to assist with planning. Where Evaluations are not available Chairs are encouraged to dialogue with the program committee members who were responsible for the selection of session topics.

Please encourage delegates to complete evaluations as the CNSF program and scientific committees take evaluations into consideration when determining which courses to offer in the upcoming year.

Each course/session room will be equipped witha laptop, LCD projector & screen, laser pointer, microphone and speakers. Speakers requiring additional AV must inform the CNSF, by May 11, 2018, to determine if budget is available for additional requests.

Power Point Presentations
We encourage Chairs and Speakers to provide course materials (summary, slides, etc.) no later than May 15, 2018 for inclusion within the 2018 Congress Online Course Notes web site. Please note the CNSF does not provide or distribute course handouts at the Congress.  If you have not provided a PowerPoint Presentation (or notes) for inclusion in the online Course Notes program, then any course handouts are your responsibility.

Power Point Speaker Notes – Order of Information

Speaker notes should contain:

1)    Title, author name and affiliations on the first page

2)    Learning objectives on the second page

3)    Speaker disclosure statements 

4)    Course materials

5)    References

Authors may simply wish to provide a copy of their presentation materials in lieu of preparing separate course notes. In this case, the pages referred to above should be the first, second, and third slides.

Disclosure Statements
Speakers must complete and return Disclosure Forms AND provide their Disclosure Statement on the 3rd slide of their presentation.

Planning Teams are encouraged to integrate the following content into their courses, as appropriate:

  • Multi-disciplinary Themes
    Please (1): view the Congress schedule to ensure concurrent courses do not compete with each other e.g. Epilepsy and EEG or EEG and EMG, (2): work with other Chairs directly if integrating multi-disciplinary perspectives. This will minimize duplication.
  • CanMEDs Roles
    Congress Chairs and Speakers, please incorporate within your planning and as appropriate CanMEDs roles in addition the Medical Expert Role. Below is a definition for each role. For additional information please refer the Royal College Website

Medical Expert

As Medical Experts, physicians integrate all of the CanMEDS Roles, applying medical knowledge, clinical skills, and professional attitudes in their provision of patient-centered care. Medical Expert is the central physician Role in the CanMEDS framework and defines the physician’s clinical scope of practice.


As Communicators, physicians form relationships with patients and their families that facilitate the gathering and sharing of essential information for effective health care.


As Collaborators, physicians work effectively with other health care professionals to provide safe, high-quality, patient-centered care.


As Leaders, physicians engage with others to contribute to a vision of a high-quality health care system and take responsibility for the delivery of excellent patient care through their activities as clinicians, administrators, scholars, or teachers.

Health Advocate

As Health Advocates, physicians contribute their expertise and influence as they work with communities or patient populations to improve health. They work with those they serve to determine and understand needs, speak on behalf of others when required, and support the mobilization of resources to effect change.


As Scholars, physicians demonstrate a lifelong commitment to excellence in practice through continuous learning and by teaching others, evaluating evidence, and contributing to scholarship.


As Professionals, physicians are committed to the health and well-being of individuals and society through ethical practice, profession-led regulation, and high personal standards of behavior.