Chairs’ guidelines and tips

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Before the day

  • Chairs will receive a detailed outline of their panel, the presenters and their papers in advance.
  • Chairs should familiarise themselves with the location and time of their panel, details of which will be available in the conference programme closer to the event date.

On the day


  • Please start the session on time, even if the audience is still assembling.
  • Please introduce yourself to the audience.
  • Set out the running order for the proceedings. In panels of 5 papers, each speaker will have 15 minutes to present. In panels of less than 5 papers, each speaker will have 20 minutes to present. (If a speaker is nearing the end of their allotted time without showing signs of concluding, please tell them how long they have left. If a speaker reaches the end of their time without concluding, please cut them off. This must be strictly enforced as there is no spare time built into the conference programme.)
  • Welcome the speakers and give brief biographical information about each of them.

Question and Answer Session

  • Once all presentations have been made, please open the floor for questions and comments. Please ask questioners to give their name and affiliation, to ask only one question and to be fairly brief.
  • While you may choose to take several questions at a time, taking one question at a time can be a better way to keep the discussion moving along and retaining audience members’ attention.
  • If a questioner forgets to give their name and affiliation, please remind them to do so.
  • If the panel is well attended, please encourage the speakers to give concise answers so that as many audience members as possible have a chance to ask a question.


  • Please close the session promptly at the indicated time. The conference programme is very full and panels may not run for longer than 2 hours. Panels are welcome to close early!
  • Thank the speakers and ask the audience to show their appreciation.



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