Information for Speakers

Session Guidelines

Most sessions last for two hours. Sessions in the two Saturday morning slots are one and a half hours. Presentations, panelists’ remarks, and comments should conclude 30 minutes before the scheduled end of the session to allow for discussion with the audience.

Presentations should be delivered in an engaging, lively, and timely manner. The role of the presentation, whether describing new research or exploring a professional issue, is to stimulate discussion. All presenters must get copies of their presentations to the chair and commentator a month in advance, to give them sufficient time to prepare their remarks. Presenters should also provide the chair with a short biography.

It is important that sessions conclude promptly. Remember that it takes approximately two minutes to read one page of double-spaced text. Chairs should warn presenters if their paper obviously exceeds the time allotted to it.

Presenters speaking extemporaneously (with or without notes) should rehearse their presentation to ensure it will fit in the alloted time.

Whether you are new to presenting or an old hand, we recommend taking a look at this pdf for suggestions about planning and executing a successful academic talk.

For further information, review the Annual Meeting Guidelines and information on time limits and other issues on the Session Logistics page.


Guidelines for poster presenters, including instructions for requesting access to an electrical outlet, can be found here. Presenters can begin setting up their posters half an hour before the start of the poster session.

Presenters are expected to remain with their posters to engage in discussion with the audience.


Session organizers were required to indicate if audiovisual equipment would be needed when submitting the session. AHA staff will contact organizers in the fall to confirm orders.

Please note that due to the high cost of rental, the AHA cannot provide computers for sessions. Those requesting computer projectors for PowerPoint presentations must supply their own laptop computers. The process works best if someone on the session volunteers to bring their laptop and allows those who are using the projector to load their presentations on that computer. Please ask presenters to email their presentation in advance or bring a USB stick with their presentation on it to download. Otherwise, time is lost as presenters switch laptops.

Mac users: Because there several different types of Apple display ports, we strongly recommend that Mac users provide their own adaptor for connecting to a VGA cable.

Presenters may wish to arrive at the meeting room half an hour before the scheduled start of the session to check the equipment, which will be placed in the meeting room approximately one hour before the session is scheduled to begin.

Problems onsite? The staff in the AHA Headquarters Office, located in the New York Hilton's Americas I, can help. Workers in AHA t-shirts will circulate throughout the meeting hotels and check each meeting room to make sure that equipment is in working order, that rooms are at a comfortable temperature, and that water is available for the speakers. Feel free to flag them down if you have any problems or concerns.

Speakers on Affiliate Sessions

Affiliates are responsible for ordering equipment for sessions solely sponsored by the organization. Policies vary by organization, and some affiliates do not provide AV equipment for sessions. Please contact the organization sponsoring you session in advance to confirm whether equipment will be available.


Speakers should be aware that there may be a raised dais in larger meeting rooms. Please let us know if this would pose an obstacle. The AHA is committed to providing equal access to the meeting to all participants. If you need reasonable accommodations, please contact us with your request by December 15.

Speakers should engage the attention of listeners, including those with disabilities. Please review our guidelines for making your presentation accessible.

Recording Policy

The AHA and the press occasionally record sessions for use in broadcast and electronic media. Presenters who do not wish for their session to be recorded may opt out when submitting a proposal to the Program Committee, or by contacting Anyone who wishes to audio or videotape must obtain permission of participants. The AHA is not responsible for unauthorized recording, but does reserve the right to revoke registration of anyone who records sessions without appropriate permissions.