Session Chair Guidelines

Thank you for being a Session Chair! This role has a great opportunity to bring out the best from the speakers and their interaction with the audience, and is an important contribution to the overall experience for every attendee.

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Before the Conference

Check the online program to confirm your
session date, time and location.

The session is the full time slot between one break
and the next (e.g. all consecutive presentations
from the end of morning tea until lunch).

Read the Diversity and Inclusion Guidelines that help ensure representation across multiple areas

You must start and end on time to avoid impacting
other sessions and activities in the program!

Before Your Session

Review the presentation abstracts and speaker BIOS and develop a 1-2 sentence introduction for each speaker.

Familiarise yourself with the layout/equipment. Session Chairs and presenters sit at the front.

Arrive 15 mins before the session starts and confirm the speaker has uploaded their presentation.

If your speaker is a “no show” don’t change the session times, use the time for questions/discussions.

Greet the speakers and review the timekeeping process (inc. timecards & bell).

During Your Session

Start and end on time! Don’t wait for anyone!

  • Presentations are 15 mins + 5 mins for questions.
  • Lightning talks are 5 mins each, with discussions at
    the end after
    all talks are complete.
  • BoFs are 40/60/80 minutes as per the program.
  • Solutions Showcases are 15 mins (inc. questions)

Make housekeeping/program updates if provided.

Introduce the speaker via the lectern microphone.

Time for questions? If presenters use all the time, there is no time for questions. Otherwise ask for questions – kickstart with your own if needed.

Enlist a microphone “runner” for larger rooms.

Got issues? AV technicians are on hand to help!

At the end of Your Session

Take a quick headcount of the audience

Thank every speaker via the lectern microphone.

Note that instead of individual speaker gifts, we are donating a maths teaching kit to children in need through UNICEF.

Highlight other sessions related to the speaker or topic and encourage people to attend

Advise attendee numbers/no shows via or the registration desk