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Oral Session Chair Guidelines Before the Meeting


If an author withdraws from an oral session, the session conveners can request that a presentation from the accompanying poster session (if applicable) be moved to replace the withdrawn oral presentation. This can only be done to and from accompanying sessions and only with the poster presenter’s explicit consent. Please send an email to the Scientific Program Team with the details of the withdrawn abstract, the details of the abstract that will be moved into the oral presentation slot and the email or message where the poster presenter has given consent to be moved to an oral presentation.

Note: New abstracts CANNOT be added to fill empty slots in an oral, eLightning or poster session.


Whether this is your first time chairing an AGU Fall Meeting oral session or you are an experienced Fall Meeting oral session chair, you are encouraged to attend the live session chair trainings or to view the trainings online prior to the start of the meeting.

Prior to the live oral session:

  • Check the online program for any changes or updates.
  • Refer to the AGU Ethics and Equity Center for guidance on issues you may face as a convener or session chair.
  • Familiarize yourself with the pronunciation of presenter names and affiliations.
  • Reach out in advance to the presenting authors in your session and review how the session will run and discuss in advance a general discussion topic based on the presentations. This session format provides an opportunity to discuss or highlight some of the larger science questions around the presentations or explore future needs and challenges.


Chair Training Resources


Oral and eLightning Session Chairs: Facilitators of Sessions
Wednesday, November 11; 12:00 – 1:00pm ET
(The link to access the demonstration will be provided to session chairs prior to the training)
AGU is excited to offer virtual event prep training for the presenters and chairs of #AGU20 Fall Meeting. These trainings will offer practical, research-based advice on presenting your work in understandable and persuasive ways, with tips for virtual delivery.

Join Melissa Marshall for the following live training events in advance of the meeting. For more than a decade, Melissa has traveled the world to work with Fortune 100 corporations, global institutions, and the nation’s best research universities. Today, she’s the go-to expert that elite organizations consult when they need to boost their skills in communicating their world-changing research.

Participants will learn the following:
a. How to introduce a session and set expectations
b. How to create connection between topics and tell a story across a session
c. How to keep a session running smoothly and on topic (strategies for dealing with difficult questioners)

*recording will be made available after the live session


AGU Scientific Program Staff “Office” Hours:
AGU staff will be available to answer your questions, on oral, eLightning or virtual poster presentations. 
Wednesday, 4 November 
11:00am – 12:00pm ET
7:00pm – 8:00pm ET

Wednesday, 11 November
10:00am – 11:00am ET
7:00pm – 8:00pm ET

Wednesday, 18 November 
11:00am – 12:00pm ET
7:00pm – 8:00pm ET

*Register here

Additional Chair Training Resources

  •   Presenters or Chairs may choose to use one of the following presentation templates (optional). 
    1. Option 1
    2. Option 2
  • Additional templates, tips, and resources will be available soon.

 Questions? Please contact the AGU Scientific Program Team

Code of Conduct

AGU is committed to providing a safe, productive, and welcoming environment for all meeting participants and AGU staff. All participants are expected to abide by the AGU Meetings Code of Conduct.
Know the code


Oral session chairs will be able to view the list of presenters and their contact information in their sessions. Chairs will also be able to view and download 1-2 PowerPoint slides provided by the presenters for the live session and collate these slides into one slide deck.

Oral session chairs will also be given access to monitor if an oral presenter has uploaded their pre-recorded presentation and assist in the QA process to ensure the pre-recorded presentations are appropriate.