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Oral Session Chair Guidelines During the Meeting


AGU would like to assure that all meeting participants feel safe, welcomed and included and that our meetings promote and help reflect diversity, inclusion and excellence in science.

During your live oral session:

  • 1
    Join the session at least 15 minutes in advance.
  • 2
    Provide a brief introduction of the session and introduce the chairs.
  • 3
    Introduce each speaker briefly.
  • 4
    Ensure that all speakers are treated equally and have their fully allotted time.
  • 5
    Use any reasonable means to stop a speaker who has exceeded the allotted time. The session must stay on schedule for both the audience and other speakers, per the approved program.
  • 6
    If a paper has been withdrawn or a speaker does not appear, move on to the next presenter to begin their overview. Please note any “no-shows” presenters on the chairperson’s evaluation, which will be provided in advance of the meeting.
  • 7
    You may interrupt speakers to ask them to speak more audibly, slowly or clearly or to briefly explain the message of an illegible slide.
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  • 1
    The chair, not the speaker, conducts the live Q&A discussion by recognizing attendee questions.
  • 2
    We recommend that each session first allow all the brief presentations to proceed, then to open the session up for discussion. Encourage attendees to type questions during the presentations and select questions to ask during the discussion period. Having a general discussion question ready based on the presentations is also good practice. If there are no audience questions during a discussion period, you are encouraged to ask questions to stimulate discussion, if time allows.
  • 3
    Please be aware of signs of aggressive questioning which may border on bullying, especially if directed towards student or early career scientists. Please intervene in real time if you witness such behavior.
  • 4
    Close the session by thanking the presenters and indicating related sessions (e.g., poster sessions). Remind attendees that they can also reach out to presenters directly including through apps in the meeting platform for discussion. If there is active discussion and questions, you are also encouraged to reserve a “pod” or “chat room for additional discussion.
  • 5
    All highlight or overview slides (1-2 max per presenter) will be uploaded by 4 December and collected in advance and put together by conveners/session chairs.
  • 6
    An online chair evaluation will be sent to you a few days prior to the meeting. Please be sure to complete it as soon as your session is complete.
close up of cracks on a dry ground.

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.


When do I log in?
You can log in to the virtual platform 25 minutes prior to start of session. Please be sure to have joined at least 15 minutes in advance.

What is required of the presenter?
Presenters will give a brief introduction and overview of their abstract and will participate in moderated Q&A with the other authors, chairs and registered attendees in the session.

What is the role of the session chair?
The session chairs will moderate the session, introduce presenters, display the overview slides for each presenter, moderate Q&A with authors and text chat with registered attendees.

Will there be technical support?
Yes, technical support will be available to help with any technical issues, assist in managing text chat and beginning and closing live sessions.

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No Photos icon

AGU’s Photography and Social Media Guidelines apply in a virtual meeting. Screen captures are allowed for personal use unless the presenter indicates otherwise by adding the "No Photos" icon on their poster or slides. Recording is prohibited.

AGU suggests that the chairs confirm that presenters are aware of AGU’s guidelines in advance of the session, so that they can use the “No Photos” icon in their presentation if desired.

Session chairs should also remind the audience to honor a presenter’s preference and refrain from copying images if they display the icon during their presentation.