Instructions for Session Chairs and Session Assistants

Session Chair Instructions

 The main tasks of the Session Chair are:

  • Introduce the speakers by name and affiliation and then announce the talk title.
  • Invite the presenter to start.
  • Ensure smooth sessions.
  • Keep the schedule according to the overall programme.

 Prior to start the session, the Chair should:

  • Speak with the 'Preview Desk' just before the session to check if a presenter has not uploaded their presentation so any gaps in the programme can be anticipated and navigated smoothly.
  • Arrive at the conference room at least 10 minutes before the session starts.
  • Ensure with the room assistant that AV is available, microphones and the pointer/clicker device is working properly.
  • Meet speakers, ask if the have uploaded their talks in advance.
  • Invite the speakers to sit in the front row to facilitate a quick hand over.
  • Encourage the audience to seat themselves close to the front of the room. If the room is approaching full, point out empty seats to those still standing.

 During the Session

  • Introduce yourself to the audience.
  • Ask people to set all phones on silent.
  • Explain the time allocation.
  • At the beginning of each presentation, introduce the presenter and the title. You should ensure that you know how to pronounce each presenter’s name. Recall its total duration (e.g. 12 minutes + 3 minutes for questions and answers).
  • Make sure the presenter adheres to the time limit. An appropriate warning system is installed in each Session room to assist with this task. If a speaker runs overtime, first stand up, then stand up beside him and interrupt to conclude the presentation.
  • At the end of each presentation lead/stimulate the questions and answers. Make sure that the audience uses a microphone at the Q&A. If the chair should feel contention or grandstanding in a delegate question to the speaker, recommend that the parties may discuss the point privately after the session.
  • If a speaker does not leave time for questions, please proceed immediately to the next lecture, without Q&A.
  • Never start any talk before the scheduled time, even to fill the hole left by a cancelled presentation. Please use the time for questions or a short break.
  • Keep strictly to the time guidelines to allow for audience participation and to allow the conference delegates to move between sessions.

At the end of Session

  • If there is time left, suggest a discussion of topics relevant to the presentations.
  • Thank all the participants and the audience.
  • Formally announce that the session is closed.

 Session Assistant Instructions

  • Arrive at the conference room at least 10 minutes before the session starts.
  • Manage the speaker and audience microphones.
  • Check the countdown timer if it is running properly.
  • Ensure the pointer device and remote control for slide advancement is available and in working order.
  • Assist with attaching the microphone for the next speaker.
  • Assist with a microphone during Q&A.
  • Assist with any general technical issue related to the presentation.
  • If there are technical issues, some rooms will have an AV technician and they will assist, otherwise, place a message on the WhatsApp group chat and help will arrive immediately.

Please note, we already have 'Instructions for Oral Presentations' and it might be helpful to review the information.

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