Presider Information

The session chair's (also known as the presider or moderator) job is to insure a timely start and stop of each paper, handle introductions of speakers, moderate the question period. The chair is also responsible for filling out an attendance sheet. This is very important as it ensures the division receives a share of the meeting registration revenues. The organizer may serve as session chair, however we recommend this responsibility be delegated to grad students/postdocs who applied to the session but are not speaking in that session.

You should arrive to your session 15 minutes before it starts. Typically, an A/V specialist is assigned to the hallway for each set of session rooms. During this time you should fill out the Session Report Form for your session indicating the date, AM or PM session, the session title, and the session letter. Please record the “maximum” attendance for your session. At the conclusion of your session, please return the form to the COMP Program Chair.

The evening before your session, the COMP Programming Chair will email you a list of withdrawn talks. ACS By-laws require that published presentation times be maintained. It is important that presentations start and finish on time. If a speaker does not show-up for their talk, announce that a break will take place (see below) and the talks will resume at the next scheduled talk. Please indicate on your Session Report Form the speaker and the abstract number of the talk that was not presented.

Photos and Recording of Talks

Information presented in talks and posters is the property of the presenter and may contain proprietary information. Photos and video recording of talks and posters is not permitted without the author's consent. Click here to download a slide displaying this information.

Please announce this before the start of each talk during your session.

Keeping the Session on Time

It is critical that the session chair does not permit a paper to begin before the scheduled time! If a talk is cancelled or does not showup to present, the presider should announce a break, but the session may not advance the next talk. Additionally, presentations non-scheduled talks may not replace (substitute) cancelled or missing talks.

Example of Presider Tasks

Opening of the Session

“Welcome to the SESSION NAME. My name is STATE YOUR NAME and I am presiding over this session. I will let speakers know when they have 5 minutes left in their talk by raising my hand. When 1 minute remains I will stand up. After that final minute I thank you for your presentation and request one quick question. All other questions can be asked outside of the room.”

Introducing Talks


If the Speaker Goes Over Their Allotted Time

“Unfortunately we are out of time and must move on to our next speaker after one quick question.”

Speaker is Not Present

After announcing the title and speaker for the talk and no one appears, make the following announcement, “ACS rules stipulate that published presentation times must be maintained and therefore this session will take a break until TIME OF NEXT PRESENTATION”.