Instructions to Session Chairs

  1. Keep to the scheduled time for talks. The SOC considers it very important to allow time for questions and discussion of each talk, and also to preserve the break durations for personal interactions. Nominally, 15-minute talks should allocate 12 minutes for the presentation plus 3 minutes for discussion; 20-minute talks, 17+3; and 30-minute talks, 25+5. You can allow an extra minute, but then please stand up and make it clear it is time to stop. Use your judgment and be aware of the overall time: For example, you can be slightly more lenient if we are ahead of schedule.
  2. Moderate the discussion. Two people will carry microphones to those asking questions. We shall ask them to look at you so that you might indicate who is to be called upon next. If a questioner starts without a microphone, you or the speaker may need to repeat the question. Tell the speaker the question if you understand it and he/she doesn't hear or doesn't understand. Again using your judgment, try to limit multiple "debate" type exchanges between the speaker and a particular questioner, and allow more or less discussion based on the audience response and the overall schedule.
  3. Check that all speakers in your session have loaded their presentation onto the conference computers, prior to the start of the session. There will be a tech support person to bring up each presentation on the screens while you are introducing the speaker.
  4. Introduce the speaker and title. (If uncertain, you may want to verify pronunciation of the speaker's name prior to the session.)
  5. Lead the applause at the end of the talk if necessary. Some speakers just stop talking, and you may need to cue that he/she is really finished.
  6. Try to ask a question or make a pertinent comment to start discussion if there is none from the audience. Please avoid comments such as "Well I guess that was perfectly clear." When there are no more questions, or if we are a couple minutes over time, end discussion with "Let's thank again", lead applause again, and introduce the next speaker.
  7. Thank all speakers at the close of the session and make provided announcements or instructions to audience. For example, remind speakers for the next session to load their presentations onto the Symposium computer during the break, if they haven't already done so.