COLING 2010 Session Chair Instructions

Dear Oral Session Chairs,

Thank you for agreeing to chair an oral session at COLING 2010. Below are some notes on chairing the session (from Sandra Carberry and Steven Clark's instructions for ACL) :

1. Check your assignment here (including time and room):
http://nlp.stanford.edu/coling10/full-program.html

2. Please review the instructions to speakers

3. As session chair, you have several responsibilities:

A. Session organization:
Please arrive 10-15 minutes early for your session in order to
* check the microphone
* identify each speaker and inform them of how you will indicate how much time they have left for their talk (5 min., 2 min., 1 min., stop)
* make sure that the speakers have loaded their slides onto the laptop being used for the session.

B. Introductions:
* Introduce each speaker, giving their name and title of their talk.

C. Keep the session on schedule:
* Please ensure that all talks start at the assigned time.
* Only 20 minutes is alloted for each talk, followed by up to 4 minutes for questions. Please hold up signs to indicate when the speaker has 5 minutes, 2 minutes, and 1 minute remaining in their 20 minutes. When the 20 minutes have elapsed,
hold up the STOP sign. If they don't wrap up within a minute, you will need to offer strong encouragement to stop. This can involve walking on stage to stand next to them, and in the worst cases telling the speaker that it is necessary to move on to the next talk.

D. Manage the question period:
* Before and after the question period, please thank the speaker and invite the audience to applaud
* Ask questioners to use the microphones or speak very loudly. Questioners should name themselves. If needed, have the speaker repeat the questions.
* If there are many attendees who want to ask a question, you should select from among them. Don't let a single person use all the time. Use up questions from the audience before
asking any yourself.
* Please have a couple of questions ready yourself, and use these questions if the audience has few or no questions for the speaker.

E. If a speaker fails to show up, don't start the next talk early
--- many attendees will be expecting the subsequent talk to start at its assigned time and may miss the talk if it is started early. So inform the audience about what has occurred and when the next talk will begin.

We appreciate your being a session chair!

See you in Beijing,

Chu-Ren and Dan