Instructions for Speakers, Session Chairs, and Listeners

Texas Section
American Association of Physics Teachers
Special Instructions for Timed Papers
Speakers, Chairmen, and Listeners

As there are several concurrent sessions of invited and contributed papers, it is necessary to adhere rigidly to the scheduled times to enable listeners to transfer readily from one session to another. To facilitate compliance please follow these guidelines:


  1. Arrange for slides before the start of the session.
  2. Be ready to start your talk on time.
  3. Pace your talk to end at least 3 minutes before the scheduled ending time. This will allow time for questions and discussion.
  4. Answer questions and reply to comments as completely and briefly as seems necessary by the response of the audience.
  5. Obey your chairman’s instructions.
  6. Practice your talk before the meeting. Remember that you are an ambassador of your department and institution and that you will be judged by your audience.


  1. Arrive at the session room in plenty of time to check that all needed projection and auxiliary equipment (including a timer with an audible signal) are present and operational.
  2. Check that each speaker is present.
  3. Start each paper right on time.
  4. Make certain that each speaker is suitably warned when 3 minutes of the allotted time remain.
  5. Stop the presentation or the discussion period right on time.
  6. Keep the discussion periods interesting, lively, and productive.
  7. Do not let any discussion period get out of hand, either on the speaker’s or the questioner’s side.
  8. If no one appears to give a scheduled paper, then either recessthe session or else use the time imaginatively, for example, by continuing the discussion of earlier papers. Under no conditions allow subsequent papers to begin early.
  9. Under no circumstances may the order of giving papers differ from that given in the program, though you may, in your wisdom, see a better arrangement than that determined by the Program Committee.
  10. If handouts are available, arrange to distribute them during the presentation. If materials are to be left in the room, place them near the exits. Do not have them placed near the speaker’s rostrum or in the front of the room.
  11. For contributed papers, use a simple introduction giving the number of the paper, the title, and the author(s). For multiple author papers, find out, in advance, who will be making the presentation.
  12. It’s a good idea to write the number of the paper currently being given in large letters and numbers to be clearly visible from the rear of the room. This will allow people to look into the room and determine the status of the session.


  1. Please arrive at the session room promptly before the next paper is to begin.
  2. Leave a session unobtrusively, preferably either during or after the discussion period, and by a rear exit, if possible.
  3. Do not carry on lively discussions near the exits of sessions in progress.
  4. Provide encouragement and constructive criticism to the speakers and let them know when you have benefitted from their talk.
  5. Thank the chairmen for giving of their time.
  6. Pass on recommendations to any Executive Council member of papers worthy of support to be presented at the national AAPT Summer Meeting.