SICB Annual Meeting 2014
January 3-7, 2014
Austin, TX

Guidelines for Chairing Oral Sessions a

Thank you for your willingness to chair a session at the upcoming SICB Meeting. Your functions as a Session Chair are:

  1. Check the SICB web page prior to the meeting for changes to your session as cancellations/updates are made on a regular basis prior to the meeting. Stop by the Ready Room (California Room, on the ballroom level of the Hilton Austin) about 20 minutes before your session begins to learn of any last minute cancellations, changes in the schedule or announcements that should be made to the audience at your session.
  2. About 15 min before your session is to begin, go to the room. Check the equipment in the room and whether all presentations are loaded. There should be a working computer in each session room. Presentations for each session will be loaded from the Ready Room (Room 619, on the Grand Ballroom level of the Hilton Austin), as well as a working timer and laser pointer. If anything is missing or not operational, contact the SICB registration desk.
  3. There should be two student assistants in each presentation room. The students are responsible for operating the lights, the timer, and providing any additional help needed (e.g. closing the door if the hall is noisy, running to the SICB desk in case of problems). Introduce yourself to the student assistants and go through their responsibilities with them.
  4. A few minutes before the scheduled start time for the first speaker, introduce the session. Introduce yourself and any co-chairs or assistants, make any announcements, and state the session rules. These are generally:

    Every talk is allotted a total of 15 minutes, typically with 12 minutes for introductions, setup and the presentation and 3 minutes for questions. The student assistant will operate the timer and signal when 3, 2 and 1 min remain. Long presentations will reduce the time available for questions. Every talk needs to end on time, and the speaker must leave the podium after 15 min. If time is needed for a speaker to deal with audiovisual difficulties, this comes out of the speaker's time and not the next speaker's time.

    Begin these announcements so that they are finished before the first speaker is scheduled to begin.
  5. Introduce the papers and maintain the schedule times listed in the Program.
  6. Each paper has been given a time designation and is allotted a maximum of 15 minutes including questions. It is ESSENTIAL to adhere to the schedule so that everyone has an equal opportunity to speak. There will be a speaker timer on each podium, visible to the speaker, to help with this responsibility. Please make sure that the timer is set by the student A/V assistant before each talk begins.
  7. If a speaker does not stop at the end of the 15-minute slot, whether in answering a question or in completing the presentation, you must interrupt the speaker and introduce the next speaker and/or begin the scheduled break. If you do not do this, you will disrupt the schedules for every subsequent speaker that day as well as those of audience members moving from session to session.
  8. 6. If a speaker fails to come to the session, or if a paper has been withdrawn, cancelled or is a 'no show,' DO NOT ADVANCE THE SEQUENCE OF PAPERS. Please stay on the schedule shown in the final program by filling their time with discussion/questions or take a short break.
    • a) Ask the speaker to repeat the question if some people in the audience did not hear it.
    • b) If there are no questions from the audience, you should be prepared to ask a question - this means that you should read the abstracts before the meeting and have a question ready. You can access the abstracts through the website prior to the meeting.
  10. There are 20 to 30-minute coffee breaks scheduled during and/or between morning sessions. If your session precedes the breaks, please remind attendees that the coffee break will take place in the exhibit/poster area (Grand Ballroom).
  11. Audio Visual emergency procedures:
    • (a). There will be a student assigned to each room. If any of the equipment fails to operate reliably, ask the student to get help immediately. The student will go either find the on site roving audio visual person or will get in contact with them from the registration desk.
    • (b). If for some reason the student is not in the room at the time of the emergency, follow the procedure yourself.