Session Chair Handbook

Before you begin - please make sure that you read the following guides:



  • Have a look at the papers in the proceedings
  • Download the Zoom client and prepare your web-cam and microphone (Guide to Zoom setup)
  • Join the Zoom room of your session at least 15 minutes before the session starts. The link can be found in the Agenda on the Whova platform.
  • Fill in your profile with you full name if not shown (see “ How to change my name in Zoom”)
  • The Break Moderator in the Zoom will automatically guide you to the “Speaker Preparation Room”. This is a breakout room where speakers prepare for the upcoming session. (see "How to join/leave breakout rooms.")
  • Besides the presenters, the session moderator will also be present in the breakout room – the session moderator will support you handling the Zoom meeting.:
    • Technically manage the meeting
    • Mute/Unmute speakers
    • Play prerecorded presentations
    • Move participants to the discussion room
  • In the breakout room:
    • Introduce yourself to the speakers
    • Outline the time allocated for all presentations (including questions!) is 20 minutes and how you will remind speakers on remaining.
    • Outline how you will manage Q&A (preferred: after each presentation). 
    • Remind speakers to speak clearly and to use a headset.
    • Remind speakers of accessibility requirements (e.g. verbal description of graphics and charts, providing slides in accessible formats – to be uploaded to Whova if not yet done).


  • Start on time and introduce yourself.
  • Introduce each speaker in the sequence of the program: Name, title, affiliation, background and how the paper fits into the session.
  • For life presentations:
    • Remind speakers if they are hard to understand.
    • If slides are hard to see or to understand ask for explanation.
    • Control time and remind speakers on remaining time. 
  • Manage Q&A after the presentation; prepare one question for each speaker in case no questions are asked by the audience. Questions are asked in Zoom chat, therefore always keep an eye on the chat. (see "How to use the chat")


  • If the session goes on after a break, inform the audience.
  • Close the session by thanking speakers and audience.
  • The session moderator will automatically move you and the audience to the discussion room, where further discussion can be held, however this is not mandatory.

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