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PSA 2024 Presider and Presenter Information

Information on the Role of Presider

The presider role varies slightly by type of session. For formal research and research-in-progress sessions, the presider generally:

  • ·       Communicates to the PSA executive office if there are any problems with the room, including technology issues
  • ·       Ensures that the session begins on time
  • ·       Briefly introduces the session
  • ·       Briefly introduces the presenters (optional; many presiders have the presenters introduce themselves)
  • ·       Keeps time for each presentation (and gives the presenter a 2-minute warning when he/she is about to approach the time limit)
  • o   The time allowed for each presentation will vary by the number of presenters. With 5 presenters, each person is allotted ~12 minutes. If there are 4 presentations, then ~15 minutes are allowed. With three presenters, each person will have ~20 minutes to present.
  • ·       Moderates the open discussion at the end of the presentations
  • ·       Counts attendees, fills out session information form and returns to registration area
  • ·       Ensures that the session ends on time

In panel discussions, the presider generally:

  • ·       Communicates to the PSA executive office if there are any problems with the room, including technology issues
  • ·       Ensures that the session begins on time
  • ·       Briefly introduces the session
  • ·       Briefly introduces the panelists (optional; many presiders have the presenters introduce themselves)
  • ·       Guides/moderates the discussion (this usually involves having some questions prepared in advance of the session)—although this function is often completed by panelists or the session organizer.
  • ·       Counts attendees, fills out session information form and returns to registration area
  • ·       Ensures that the session ends on time

NOTE: The presider role for other types of sessions, such as video sessions, author-meets-critic sessions, etc., is simply a slightly modified version of the roles described above. Presenters, please review the Presider Information Document (link below) prior to arriving to the conference. 

Link to Presider Information Document

Information for Students Presenting in Undergraduate Roundtable or Poster Sessions

Roundtable Sessions Roundtable sessions are organized thematically. These sessions provide undergraduate students an opportunity to present completed research in a semiformal setting. A faculty or advanced graduate student discussant will preside over each session. Once a student paper has been accepted for presentation, you will be instructed to send a completed copy of your research to the discussant for review. Discussants will provide constructive feedback to students regarding issues associated with but not limited to the quality of the writing, literature review, the research methodology, and conclusions.

Typically, about seven roundtables run at the same time, in a large ballroom. Look for the table designated for your topical area.  You and usually four or five other students in your roundtable will have approximately 15 minutes each to present your research. Once all presentations have been made you will have an opportunity to receive feedback, ask questions, and have general discussion.

No technology is provided for roundtables! You do want to come with a prepared presentation, so that you are organized and ready to share the important points of your paper. You should not simply read your paper. If you have data you need to show your tablemates, you may want to bring a few handouts or printed material with graphic representations. Do not bring a large poster.

Although people who want to hear the presentations of undergraduate students at the roundtables are welcome to come and stand around the table (or sit if there is space), the focus is for the student presenters to be in conversation with each other and their discussant, rather than presenting to any larger audience. Listeners are asked to just listen, unless they are invited to join in the discussion at the end of the session.

Poster Sessions Poster presentations are very informal. There is no discussant assigned to your poster session, and you will not get faculty feedback regarding your research. There are no required guidelines or formats to follow. Two examples: Poster templates. You can find many resources online to create your poster. You will have a maximum of 4 X 8 feet of space to present information about your research. Think about how you will bring your poster and keep it free of creases.  When you arrive at the session location, you may choose where to hang your poster. PSA will provide boards and tacks for you to hang your paper.  Then you need to stand by your poster, explaining your work and answering any questions to people who come by to see it. Poster sessions are held in high traffic areas to encourage attendees to come and talk with you.  Most visitors to the poster session will want to roam through and look at various posters, so they will likely spend just a few minutes with you before moving on.

Although it is great for your friends to come and visit your poster, you want to make sure that you are available to talk with other folks.  It is okay if you have some moments of just standing there, waiting; that is often a cue to visitors that it is a good time to come talk with you.

Link to FAQ Document for Students

Information for Graduate Students, Faculty, and Others Presenting in Formal Paper or Research in Progress Sessions

These guidelines are for presenters in regular sessions (formal paper or research in progress paper sessions), to help you prepare to present your paper at PSA.

Length of Presentations:

The amount of time you have for presenting depends on how many papers are in your 90 minute session.  Please keep in mind that it takes time to transition from paper to paper, including accessing any powerpoint presentations you have, and that you need to leave time for questions. The Presider will have to cut off presenters who go beyond their allotted time.

  • For sessions with 4 papers, please limit your talk to 15 minutes.
  • For sessions with 5 papers, please limit your talk to 12 minutes.
  • For sessions with 3 or fewer presenters, please limit your presentation to 20 minutes.

It is best to take questions after all have presented, rather than after individual presentations, to ensure ample time for all papers to be heard.

Session Information:

Each session has both an Organizer and a Presider.  The Organizer is the person who put the session together; they may or may not be present at the session itself.  The Presider is a volunteer, often one of the presenters from the session, who is responsible for helping the session run smoothly–reminding presenters of time guidelines, usually introducing each presenter, and also communicating with PSA if there are any technology or other problems. If for some reason the Presider does not show up, someone else will need to take on these tasks.


PSA provides a laptop and video in each presentation room (except for undergraduate roundtables and poster sessions). Each presentation room has a laptop and video (either TV or projector). Rooms with TVs do have the option for sound though you should plan for your room to not have sound. There are a limited number of labtop speakers available for check-out at ine Info/Registion Desk which should be returned immediately following the session. Bring your presentation materials saved on a thumb drive; in the break before your session starts, download your presentation to the PSA laptop. Then when it is your turn to present, you simply open and start your presentation.

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