Notes for Chairperson

There will be two Chairpersons for each session. They should meet before the session to agree their joint responsibility for the smooth running of the session for the benefit of the speakers and the delegates. If possible they should make contact with the speakers before the session to agree topics for discussion in the absence of questions from the delegates.

  1. Please check the programme in advance to ensure that you know the length of each presentation in your session. During parallel sessions the free communications will be of 15 minutes in length, to include time allowed for discussion. To enable delegates to move between lecture theatres and hear their selected papers it is essential that each paper starts exactly at the time stated on the programme. Chairpersons should therefore insist that speakers finish speaking on time, even if they have not completed their presentation. Discussion should not be allowed to extend beyond the time allocated for the presentation. This also applies to keynote speakers. Although they will have a longer time and there will not be a parallel session, any extension of their time will seriously disrupt the programme.
  2. If a speaker does not attend, the time should be left empty. Do not advance another paper, but conform exactly to the programme for the benefit of the delegates. If discussion finishes early, the next paper must not start until the allotted time.
  3. Please check in advance that the speakers are familiar with the operation of the slide projectors, lights, microphones and any other audio-visual aids they wish to use. The projectionist should be able to change a broken projector very quickly, because extra time cannot be allowed for speakers, even if the delay is not their fault.
  4. Introduce the speakers with their correct title, their country, their institution and the title of their paper. No further details are necessary.
  5. Discussion: Questions should be directed to the speaker through the Chairperson who should ensure that the audience have heard the question. In the absence of questions, the chairperson may introduce topics for discussion as agreed earlier. Ensure that the discussion finishes in time for the next speaker to start their presentation on time.

August 1996