Guidance for chairing a session at iPRES 2016

We very much want every session at iPRES 2016 to be as interesting and as engaging as possible for both the speakers and the participants. The Session Chairs have a key role to play in this so we would like to share the following tips with you which we hope you will find useful.


Each session room is equipped with:

  • Projector
  • Screen (16:9)
  • Lectern with microphone
  • Laptop with operating system Windows 7
  • Speaker monitor
  • Remote control for PowerPoint incl. Laser pointer
  • Free Wifi
  • Microphone (at least one) from which the audience can ask questions
  • Signs indicating “You have 5 minutes”, “You have 2 minutes” and “Stop now”

All rooms have volunteers assigned to them. You can ask them to help if you have any problems or questions.

In advance

Speakers have already received the Speaker guidelines.

These guidelines request speakers to upload and test their presentations prior to their session (in the designated areas). This applies to every speaker.

If an announced speaker is absent from the conference, you may ask another person to summarise the paper but please make this clear to the audience. Changes to the advertised programme that are known in advance should be reported to the iPRES 2016 infodesk.

Ten minutes before your session begins

Speakers have been asked to be present in the room where their session is being held 10 minutes before the start so that they can meet you.

Please remind speakers that they should:

  • Speak slowly and clearly.
  • Aim to finish speaking at their allotted presentation time so that there is time for questions and discussion; use the “You have 5 minutes” and “You have 2 minute” signs.
    Long papers last 30 minutes with 20 minutes presentation and 10 minutes questions and discussion.
    Short papers last 15 minutes with 10 minutes presentation and 5 minutes questions and discussion.
    The Online Conference Schedule shows the allotted time of the single papers in the single sessions.

Please also clarify the following details with the speakers:

  • That their presentations have been successfully loaded onto the laptop.
  • That they know how to use the Headset microphone.
  • How you will introduce them.
  • Where they should sit.
  • Where you will display the sign indicating they have only 5 and 2 minutes remaining or they should stop now.
  • What you will do when their allotted speaking time comes to an end.
  • That you will take questions from the audience after each presentation.

During the session

  • Please sit on the stage if you wish or otherwise in the first row.
  • Speak clearly and slowly at all times, avoiding acronyms and idiomatic expressions: many delegates will not be native speakers and may struggle to follow.
  • Announce any changes that have been made to the advertised programme.
  • Let the audience know at the start that they are able to ask questions after each presentation.
  • Briefly introduce each speaker with his or her name and position.
  • If participants ask questions from the floor, ask them to introduce themselves and speak into the microphone. The volunteers will hand the microphones around.
  • Ask questions to the speakers (prepare a couple ahead of time), in case there are no questions from the audience. Ensure there are insightful and useful discussions during the session.
  • Make absolutely sure that the presentations do not run over time, since this affects the sessions following yours. If necessary use the sign “Stop now” and interrupt the speaker to ask him or her to finish; taking up another speaker’s time is discourteous to the other speakers and to the audience.