This is a resource for session chairs, presenters, and monitors of SMT paper sessions.

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For information on how to create and submit your conference materials, visit the Conference Presenter Guidelines

Virtual training sessions will be available on October 17 & 24 at 10:30 AM CDT (link TBD); we encourage session chairs, presenters, and volunteers to attend one training session or watch the archived video. 

Before the session

  • Paper sessions are run as Zoom webinars, and both Chairs and Monitors will have “host” privileges.
  • Each webinar will have “practice mode” enabled 10 minutes before the session begins. Only the Chair, Presenters, and Monitor should  join at this time. During the 10-minute practice mode:
    • Monitors should instruct Chairs and Presenters to open the “participants” and “chat” windows. This will allow them to see who is in the session and what they are posting in chat.
    • Monitors will need to share host privileges with Presenters who would like to share their screen, and should make sure that Presenters know how to share their screen, if they’d like to do that. 
    • The Chair will remind Presenters of the progression of the session, including presentation order and the general approach to the Q&A. 
    • In the case of a multi-authored presentation, the Monitor should confirm which of the Presenters will be giving the summary so they know which person(s) to unmute for that presentation summary. 

Session Intro

  • The session begins with the Chair giving a brief intro that includes the session’s title, order of presentations, and an explanation of the different functions of the “Chat” and “Q&A window.” 
  • The Chair will also read a brief statement (below) about appropriate language and behavior, and the Monitor will post links to our guidelines on respectful interactions and policies on ethics, and harassment in the Chat and Q&A windows. 
    • "SMT wishes to create a meeting in which all participants feel safe, welcomed and included. This should be a space of respectful and constructive discourse. To facilitate such an environment, we ask that all attendees refer to and abide by our guidelines on respectful interactions and policies on ethics and harassment."

Presentation Summaries

  • After the session intro, the Chair will introduce each presentation in turn, giving presentation title and Presenter(s) name(s) and affiliation(s) only. (Presenter biographies will not be read.)
  • Each presentation will have a maximum of 5 minutes for presentation summary. These comments should be prepared ahead of time to ensure appropriate length. The 5-minute limit will be enforced by the Chair.


  • Following the summaries of all presentations, the rest of the session will be a Q&A.
  • The Chair will field questions in the Zoom Q&A window and ask them directly to the Presenters. Attendees will not be recognized to ask their questions using their own audio or video. 
    • Attendees can ask questions throughout the session—even during the paper summaries. 
    • This will create a log of questions in the Q&A window throughout the presentation that chairs should screen for content. Chairs should keep note of questions they’d like to ask during the Q&A.
    • Chairs will choose the questions and the order of questions and ask them out loud to the Presenters. Chairs may also ask questions directly to the Presenters, or ask the Presenters if they have questions of each other.
    • Chairs should make every reasonable effort to balance the time spent on each of the presentations during the Q&A. 

Session Ending

  • Chairs have a responsibility to end the webinar on time. Most sessions are expected to last 45 minutes. (Exceptions to this are noted below.) Chairs and Monitors have a responsibility to end the meeting on time. If this responsibility is not carried out by the Chair or Monitor, an administrator will end the session so that the next meeting of presentations may begin on time.
  • If there is a session following yours, note that your zoom must be vacant no later than 10 minutes before the beginning time of that next session.
  • If there is not a session after yours, then the conversation could continue until the top of the hour. At that point, it would be appropriate to encourage attendees to continue the discussions through other media. 
  • At the end of each session, chairs should point participants to the asynchronous discussion on Slack, which will be shared in advance. 

Other Session Monitor Responsibilities

Notes on Session Length

  • Sessions that include three papers will be 45 minutes long.
  • Sessions that include only two papers will also be 45 minutes long.
  • Sessions that include four speakers, or “short” alternative sessions (proposed originally as 90 minutes) will be 60 minutes long.
  • Standing committee sessions and “long” alternative sessions (proposed originally as 180 minutes) will be 75 minutes long. 

If You Need Help During the Session

More Information for AMS/SMT 2020

Interest Group Meeting Information

Much as at an in-person SMT, the format of Interest Group meetings is left up to the leadership and members of individual IGs. Nonetheless, we do encourage IG leadership to follow these guidelines.  

Poster Session Information

Poster sessions begin as Zoom webinars, but after introductory remarks from the Chair and lightning talks from the Presenters, each poster presentation will have their own individual Zoom meeting room where they can interact with attendees.

Information for Paper Sessions

After the session intro, the Chair will introduce each presentation in turn. Each presentation will have a maximum of 5 minutes for presentation summary. These comments should be prepared ahead of time to ensure appropriate length. The 5-minute limit will be enforced by the Chair.

Presenter Guidance for SMT 2020

As part of the virtual SMT joint meeting with AMS, conference attendees will have an extended period of time to view papers, posters, and other presentations before, during, and after the conference begins on November 7. To ensure that the Q&A sessions during the conference are as fruitful as possible, presentation materials will need to be submitted in advance.