Photonics in Switching and Computing

27 September 2021 – 29 September 2021
Optica Virtual Event - Eastern Daylight/Summer Time (UTC - 04:00)

The responsibility of the Presider is extremely important to each session. This page contains helpful information to assist you in your role presiding over a virtual session.  Please download and review the directions, How to Preside at a Conference, for more information.


At Least 3 Days Before the Conference - Session Planning

Perform these steps to ensure you are prepared for your session responsibilities

  1. Confirm your acceptance of the assignment via the link in the email you received from Optica Management staff.
  2. Review your session before the meeting. Once you log in and accept the invitation, click the plus sign next to "Session Information" to get a dropdown of all the presentations within your assigned session. Emails are included. Contact Optica Management staff if you are unable to obtain this information.  Contacting presenters in advance is encouraged so that you can obtain seed questions from presenters and encourage live participation.
  3. You can also review the online schedule or the mobile app for general session information. Please note the speaker order and time as these will assist you in running an effective session.

At Least 3 Days before the Conference – Zoom Planning

Perform these steps below to prepare both your computer and yourself for using Zoom. We recommend using a headset if possible to get the best quality audio for your presentation. If you do not have a headset, you can also call in from your mobile phone to Zoom.

  1. Download Zoom to the computer you will be presenting from prior to the webinar here.
  2. Go to and make sure your audio and video are working.
  3. You should plan to appear on camera while presiding over your session, and you can find information on sharing your video on Zoom here.

At Least 15 Minutes before the Session Begins

Presiders will be focused on conducting the session, introducing the speakers, and handling the Q&A by reading written questions. There will be a designated Room Monitor from Optica Management who will assist with getting the Zoom session running, assist with any pre-session questions, and help confirm everything is working.

  1. Log in to Zoom at least 15 minutes before the session starts. Use the ‘Click Here to Join’ link contained in the email to join online.
  2. Have the speaker order and time readily available, as it will assist you in running an effective session. You can access it either through the online schedule or through the mobile app.
  3. Check in with the Optica Management Room Monitor and speakers to ensure that you understand whether the presentations will be given live and/or whether there will be a live Q&A segment.
  4. If you have a question about pronouncing the names of any of the live presenters, the title of the talk, or the name of their institutional affiliation, ask prior to the start of the session. It can be quite embarrassing for both you and the speaker if you pronounce something wrong.
  5. Assure the speakers that you and the room monitor will pay attention to the “Q&A” box and note questions. However, you will provide a reminder to the presenter (using the “chat” function) two minutes prior to the end of the presentation time that he should start to wrap up. They should be conscious of the time and start to wrap up when they see this notice. Suggest they might want to use a timer on their computers if they wish to ignore the chat box.
  6. Alert the speakers that you would like them to remain for the entire session as you may go back to them, if time allows between talks, to ask questions that may not have been addressed earlier due to lack of time.

Starting the Session and Introducing Speakers

  1. The Optica Management Room Monitor will start the broadcast at the scheduled time and will begin with some very quick housekeeping information for attendees, including explaining how they can ask questions, before handing the session over to you.
  2. You may kick off the session by saying a few remarks at the beginning of the session. Introduce yourself and your affiliation, along with the theme of the session.
  3. Introduce speakers and provide basic information about their talks. For each presentation, announce the speaker's name, affiliation, and the title of the talk, and remind the audience to enter any questions into the “Q&A” function.
  4. If a speaker has not joined in the Zoom session and did not send a prerecording, either allow a continuation of the discussion of any of the previous presentations or announce an intermission until the next scheduled paper. The Optica Management Room Monitor will show a slide letting attendees know when the session will resume.

Session Timing

The total amount of time allotted for each paper is listed in the session on the online schedule or on the mobile app. Generally, presentation types follow this schedule:

Presentation Type Presentation Time Discussion Time
Invited 25 minutes 5 minutes
Tutorial  Keynote 55 minutes 5 minutes
Contributed 12 minutes 3 minutes


Please do not start presentations earlier than scheduled.  Individuals may be moving between sessions and planning on attending a particular talk scheduled for a specific time.  If a presenter is a no-show and a video has not been received, the Optica Room Moderator will put up a session intermission slide alerting attendees when they should return to the room. 

Helpful Zoom Hints

  1. Make sure you are in a quiet space for your session.
  2. Test your zoom connection ahead of time, especially your audio and video, with either a colleague or the Optica Room Monitor you are working with. Learn More
  3. Ensure your headset, microphone or speakerphone is near you. Learn More.
  4. Mute your zoom session or phone when not speaking.
  5. Close other applications on your desktop or mute notifications (including your cell phone).
  6. As presider, you will be expected to use video during your session.  For the best video, avoid bright lights and windows behind you. Good light in front of you (on your face) will provide for a better image.
  7. Consider creating a “virtual” background to use if you don’t want to have your home or workplace behind you. Learn More.