Skip To Content

Presider Resources

3-Days Before Conference15 Minutes Before SessionStarting the SessionInstructional Video

As this Optica meeting will be presented in a hybrid format, the responsibility of the presider is more important than ever. All presiders are expected to be at the conference in person. We ask all presiders to check-in at least 15 minutes before your session begins to ensure each session has a designated presider, and confer with the speakers and room monitor to understand how each presentation will be delivered.

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. Read the entirety of these instructions to familiarize yourself with the Session Presider Instructions.
  3. Review your session before the meeting via the Session Host tool in ScholarOne.
    • In the upper right-hand corner click on Messages (New)
    • Click on Invitations (New)
    • Under ACTION on the left click on Select and select View & Respond
    • Click the + next to Session Information
  4. The session details will display the final order of presentation and total amount of time allotted for each presentation. You can also use the Online Program Planner or the mobile app for general session information.  However, the email addresses for the speakers in your session in only available through the session host tool. Please note: the speaker order may change up to 2 hours prior to the session to accommodate limited permission regarding streaming and/or recording.
  5. Contacting presenters in advance is encouraged so that you can obtain seed questions from them and encourage live participation. Follow step #3 above to obtain the presenter emails, or contact Optica Management staff if needed. 
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 alternating between in person questions and reading written questions from the Zoom Q&A box. There will be a designated Room Monitor from Optica Management who will assist with getting the Zoom session running for remote speakers and registrants, assist with any pre-session questions and help confirm that everything is working.

  1. Arrive in your session room at least 15 minutes before the start of your session.
  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 the mobile app.
  3. Check in with the Optica Management Room Monitor and speakers to ensure that you understand how the presentations will be delivered 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. Alert the on-site speakers that questions will be asked by the audience in the room, and that you will also be reading off questions from the Q&A box within Zoom. 
  6. Assure the remote 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 they 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.
  7. 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 two minutes prior to the scheduled start of the session to allow remote registrants to join the session and receive some quick instructions on participating in the live Q&A segments. 
  2. Once the video has started, you may go to the podium and prepare to start the session.
  3. Once the instructional video has concluded, close out of the introduction PowerPoint. 
  4. Start the session with a few remarks -- introduce yourself and your affiliation, along with the theme of the session.
  5. Introduce the first speaker, how they will present and provide basic information about their talk.
    • If the speaker is in person, they will come to the podium to present
    • If the speaker is remote, the Optica Management room monitor will come to the podium to start the presentation.
  6. You will preside over the rest of the session from your designated table outfitted with a computer and microphone.
  7. During the Q&A segment, remind the audience to enter their questions in the Q&A box. On-site attendees may choose to ask questions from the room instead. Please ask that they make their way to the aisle microphone to do so. If they fail to do so, please repeat the question into your mic. 
  8. 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.
  9. 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 display a slide letting the remote attendees know when the session will resume.

Please note that a room monitor is assigned to each room. The room monitor will track whether the author presented or was a no-show to the session.

Instructional Video

Please view our instructional video on how to preside over a session, presented by Ben Eggleton, University of Sydney, Australia. This video will give you a basic overview of best practices for a presider. While it does not address the additional challenges of a hybrid meeting, it does provide basic information and guidance.

Image for keeping the session alive