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Session Chair Guidelines
Before Your Session
- Check the Program
Prior to departure for the meeting, check the program on the symposium website to determine the number and order of the abstracts to be presented, the time allocated to each abstract, and if there are any supplementary abstracts assigned to the session you are chairing.
- Check the Program Changes Board
When you get to your meeting, check the "program changes board" near the Symposium Registration Desk to see if any change has been made to the session you are chairing; for example, if any abstract has been withdrawn.
- Arrive Early
If possible, arrive at the meeting room about 15 minutes prior to the start of the session and familiarize yourself with the controls for lights, microphones, A-V equipment and the timer. If you encounter problems, immediately alert the Symposium staff at the Registration Desk or Information Booth, and/or an A-V technician.
During Your Session
At the beginning of the session, briefly introduce yourself and explain the timing system to the audience, and as often during the session as you think necessary.
- Start on Time
Start the session on time - announce the first abstract and author.
- Check the Microphone
Make sure the speaker has the wired or wireless microphone working properly. In case of a lavaliere microphone is used make sure it is placed no lower than 6" below his/her chin.
- Stick to the Schedule
Adhere to the time schedule listed in the Program so that simultaneous sessions are as closely synchronized as possible. Many attendees move from session to session in order to hear specific abstracts.
- Allotted Times
Check the allotted time for each presentation. Normally the last 5 minutes of allotted time is reserved for questions and answers from the audience.
- Timing Speakers
Speakers must be asked to stop when their allotted time is up in a courteous but firm manner. Keep in mind that the session must end on time, and that the last speaker has just as much right to an audience as does the first speaker.
NOTE: Any time used by speakers and/or technicians to set up laptops or any other equipment is deducted from the speaker's total time allotment. Time the speaker from the moment he or she comes to the front, not when he or she begins speaking.
- Absent Speakers
Should a speaker fail to appear, do NOT continue with the next presentation but recess the session until it is time for the next scheduled abstract or allow the preceding discussion to continue.
- Session Problems
If any problems arise that you are unable to handle while continuing to chair the session, either go, or immediately send, someone to the registration desk to alert the Symposium Staff.