Session Chair Guidelines

Thank you for being a session chair. Your role as a session chair is to assist the smooth flow of your session, including ensuring that:

  • The session environment is free of distractions
  • The equipment for speaker support (lighting, audio-visual equipment, and microphones) is satisfactory
  • The speaker talks follow the program schedule and stay on time
  • Distribute the Best Oral Student Presentation grading sheets to appropriate people noted below in paragraph 2.


Operational Procedures 

  1. Please familiarize yourself with the audio-visual equipment in the room and with the accompanying “Presentation Guidelines” that all authors have received.  You should plan to be in the room 15 minutes before your session and during scheduled coffee breaks to help authors who may need assistance in setting up their personal equipment.  A microphone and a laser pointer will be available. Please leave these items in the room for the next session. 
  2. EMC has a Best Oral Student Presentation awards competition. Student papers may be scored by EMC committee members, invited organizers, session chairs or experts in the field identified by the session chair at his or her discretion. Paper copies of score sheets for student papers are provided to session chairs for distribution in their room. Session chairs are strongly encouraged to identify five eligible individuals to provide student scores prior to the start of the session (a minimum of five scores are required for students to be eligible for the competition, individuals should not score papers if they are the faculty advisor or co-author). Scorers should enter the scores via the online system after finishing all grading at the conference. Instructions for accessing the online grading site are on the back of the grading sheets. If they need assistance accessing the online grading site, have them contact Marla Boots at [email protected].
  3. Consult the Session Sheet (given to you and posted outside your meeting room) for the latest program information. It is the most up-to-date program schedule.
  4. At the beginning of your session, make any general announcements, including any known program changes. At the beginning of each talk, introduce the Speaker. If a presentation is by a student, please note that it is a student presentation when introducing.
  5. Presentations are for a total of 20 minutes (17 minutes presentation and 3 minutes for questions.) As a courtesy to attendees and other speakers, interrupt the speaker if he/she is not finished at the end of his/her time. It is important to maintain published program times in order to maintain the alignment of parallel sessions. 
  6. If you have a “no show,” do not rearrange the schedule of presentations. Use the open time slot for discussion or review. Start the next presentation at the time indicated on your session sheet.


Conference Support

National Science Foundation