SIGCSE 2019 Session Chair Information

Paper Session Chair Guidelines

Each session consists of two or three 25-minute paper presentations. Each presentation is expected to last up to 20 minutes with 5 minutes for questions.

Session Chair Responsibilities

Session chairs should complete the following tasks:

  • At the speaker breakfast, introduce yourself and confirm the following:
    • pronunciation of speaker name(s)
    • speaker’s affiliation(s)
    • speaker’s title(s)
    • speaker’s pronouns
    • if the speaker is a student who will be graduating soon
  • Before the session starts, have speakers check equipment and send your assigned student volunteer for help if needed.
  • When speaking to the session, always use a microphone!
  • Start the session on time by introducing yourself and the entire session.
  • Introduce each speaker using their proper name. Ensure that introductions are consistent for all speakers in the sessions using common titles and language.
  • Keep time and provide five-minute, two-minute, and one-minute warnings before the start of the 5-minute question and answer period.
  • When the speakers is done, say “Let’s thank our speaker” and applaud.
  • Twenty-five minutes is a hard stop. When time is up, stand up, thank the speaker, and applaud up the next speaker.
  • Have the next speaker start to set up about 1 minute before question time is done to ensure a smooth transition.
  • If you need to cut of a questioner or discussion, suggest that the discussion resumes after the session is over.
  • Cut off any questions that are belligerent or insulting. Please let the Program or General chairs know about the issue.
  • If a speaker is absent or if a speaker finishes before their 25-minutes is over, do NOT start the next paper early! Attendees will time their attendance with the start times listed in the program.
  • Come prepared with a question for each speaker! You can discuss this with your speakers over breakfast.
  • At the end of the session, tell attendees what is next.
  • Before leaving the session, sign off on the student volunteer form.

Many of these items are from Emery Berger’s blog post “A Guide for Session Chairs”, which provides more details about useful session chair information.

Thank you for chairing a session at SIGCSE 2019!