Session Chair Information


Speakers will be advised to copy their presentations on the presentation laptop/desktop computer in the room prior to their session. Only for special reasons (such as software presentations) should speakers use their own laptops and test them before the session starts.

Your tasks as session chair:

  • Appear in the room at least 10-15 minutes before the session starts.
  • Bring your program at a glance (handed to you with the conference bag) to have the speaker names and titles of their talks ready.
  • Bring a watch or phone or similar for keeping the time.
  • Prepare a list of the planned end-times of each talk. Typically in every regular parallel session, each speaker has 18 minutes, of which 15 are intended for the talk and 3 for questions and changing speakers.

At IMPS 2019, our policy is that all chairs stick to the time slots announced in the program.  This means:

In case there are less than five talks in your session (as indicated in the program in advance or due to unexpected no-shows), do not extend the length of the other talks and do not allow the presenters to begin earlier than their designated time.

In case of no-shows, leave a break for the absent speaker, inform your audience about it, and have the remaining talks start at the time slot announced in the program. This policy ensures that attendees can rely on the time slots announced in the program and can move between sessions.

Tips for First Time Session Chairs

  • Welcome the presenters when they come into the room.
  • Assist the speakers to copy their files to the laptop and show them how to use the equipment. (Plan to familiarize yourself before the speakers arrive.)
  • Ask presenters how to pronounce their names.
  • Let presenters know how you will help them keep the time (see below per the bulleted information noted “signal to the presenter.”)
  • When the session starts, briefly announce the plan for the session (e.g. “Welcome to the session on X. We will allow 15 minutes per talk and 2-3 minutes for questions.”).
  • If you have no-shows among the presenters, tell the audience that you were asked to stick to the schedule nevertheless (e.g. “The second presenter is not here. Following the conference policy, we will leave a break during this slot and resume with the remaining talks afterwards, so that people can switch between sessions.“)
  • Briefly announce each presenter.
  • Signal to the presenter when they are getting close to the end of their allotted time. In the room you will find cards to signal 5 minutes and 1 minute remaining for the talk itself (which should last 15 min. maximum). Hold the cards up until the speaker signals that he/she has seen them, e.g. by nodding. In case a speaker does not come to an end after 15 minutes, stand up to signal the end of the talk.
  • If there is time for questions:
    • Invite the audience to ask questions.
    • If there is silence, consider asking a question yourself. For this it is helpful that you note down potential questions during each talk in case you need them.
    • Let the audience know when there is only time for 1 (more) question.

Thank you again for volunteering to chair this year. We hope you enjoy the conference!

Log in