Sunbeam through rocky archway

Oral Session Chair Guidelines During the Meeting


Oral sessions and eLightning sessions at the AGU Fall Meeting, will make use of  Zoom Webinar. In joining these, all attendees will be offered the option of using a web browser rather than the Zoom app. Most major participant functions are supported in the browser, including sharing screens, chat, and breakout rooms. For a full list of functions and information on supported browsers, see here

The live Q&A sessions will be recorded and available to view in the online program approximately 48 hours after the session and throughout the meeting. This is so attendees can view the presentations and discussions on their own time schedules.

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 30 minutes in advance. Session chairs and presenters will be provided with the direct link to the session 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    If a paper has been withdrawn or a speaker does not appear, move on to the next presenter to begin their overview.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.
tropical island with a steep rock formation
  • 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



Pre-Recorded Content for Oral Presenters

Session chairs, thank you for all that you’ve done to plan, collaborate, and share your science in this global event. As a chair the responsibilities are greater in a virtual platform, please review the information below to ensure that you have all you need to deliver your session at the Fall Meeting. 

  1. Session chairs can now review each pre-recorded presentation directly in the online program. Please note: you must be registered to view all meeting content. If there is a pre-recorded presentation missing, the author may not have uploaded the file or there may be technical issues with the file.
  2. Presenting authors will also prepare up to three slides, in PDF format, that provide an introduction and summary of their pre-recorded presentation. Presenters will upload these overview slides via the Participant’s Corner. by 4 December. 

    Oral session chairs are able to view the list of presenters and their contact information in their sessions via the User PortalTo view and download and the presenters overview slides, click on “My Account”, session title, then select “View Abstracts (Excel)”. You will be able to download the files directly from the Excel report from the links in the column next to the abstract text.


  3. Session chairs will then collate the individual presentations into one final PDF file and upload this file to the Participant’s Corner at least 24 hours before the session. Session chairs will display this file during the live overview/Q&A session.

    You may utilize the title slide templates here. After you have all the overview slides, collate the final deck for the live session, and upload your final deck here via the Participant's Corner via the User Portal

For more information on what to expect during the meeting, please visit the "During Meeting" webpage.  


Where do I find the session schedule?
Please view the online program/schedule to view the schedule of your session. Each presenting author has been allocated a short presentation time during the live session, with either a:

      • short Q&A period to follow each author's presentation OR
      • longer, general Q&A period to close out the session.

When do I log in?
You can log in to the virtual platform 20 minutes prior to start of session.

What is required of the presenter?
Presenters will give a brief introduction and overview of their abstract and pre-recorded presentation and will participate in moderated Q&A with the other authors, chairs and registered attendees in the session. Pre-recorded presentations will NOT be displayed during the live sessions. 

What is the role of the session chair?
The session chairs will moderate the session, introduce presenters, display the collated, 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.

Sunset in the desert with joshua trees


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.