Plenary Presenter Guidelines

Plenary presentations will be conducted using Zoom Webinar. Attendees will view the presentations via the Conference App.

Talk Length

Talks should be 25 minutes, plus 5 minutes of questions.

Presentation Time

You can look up your presentation time on the Schedule of Events. All presentation times are shown in Eastern Daylight Time/GMT -04:00/UTC -04:00.

You should be prepared to present your talk at any time during your session. If a presenter that precedes you is unable to present, the session chair may decide to move your talk to an earlier time within the session.

Plenary speakers have the option of pre-recording their 25 minute talk (talk only; Q&A will still be live). If you would like to pre-record your talk, please contact Suzy Brown (sbrown@genetics-gsa.org) by March 5. Your talk should be uploaded no later than March 19.


Please register for the conference by March 5 to receive the speaker access link.


All oral presentations will be recorded and made available to registrants through April 22, 2021.

Technical requirements


Make sure your connection speed is 2 Mbps upload/4 Mbps download or better. You can test your internet connection speed at SpeedTest.net. Please do the test in the location where you will be presenting, since connectivity may change with distance from your router.

Zoom Client

We strongly recommend that you download or update the Zoom Client for Meetings in advance of your presentation and test your sound and permissions prior to the day of your talk (see below). If you have attended a Zoom meeting recently, you likely already have the client installed. You’ll want to make sure you have the desktop client or mobile app: version 5.3.0 or higher.

Zoom Access Link

To access your assigned Zoom Webinar session as a speaker, you will receive a special link via email from Zoom the week before the conference. This link will not work until 10 minutes before your session. Note that you cannot use the links in the Conference App to access your session as a speaker.


You will use your own device for your presentation. You should use a laptop or desktop computer, rather than a mobile device if possible. If you would prefer to pre-record your 25-minute talk because of device or connectivity issues, please contact sbrown@genetics-gsa.org. The five minute Q&A will be live, even for pre-recorded talks.

If you are using a Mac, you should, in advance of your session, test screen sharing at https://zoom.us/test so that you can confirm you have granted Zoom the appropriate permissions. Doing so requires you to restart the application (which you won’t want to do during your session).


You should present in a quiet area without background sound and use a headset if possible. You can use https://zoom.us/test to test your Zoom audio in advance.


We recommend that you share your camera during your presentation, so that attendees can see you while you present.

Privacy and Recordings

All oral presentations will be available for registered attendees to view online until April 22, 2021. Although sharing of results without permission is a violation of the Code of Conduct, you should be aware that we cannot monitor whether attendees take photographs, screen shots, audio recordings, or video recordings during your presentation.

Code of Conduct

All registrants agree to abide by the GSA Conferences Code of Conduct. Our Code of Conduct was established to communicate a transparent set of standards and guidelines for acceptable behavior at GSA Conferences and to provide a positive, safe, and welcoming environment for all attendees.

Note that all sessions will be moderated and actively monitored for disruptive behavior. Any attendees disrupting the session will be removed from the webinar by technical support staff.

Checklist – Before the Conference:

  • Register for the conference by March 5.
  • Three days before your talk, you will receive an email with a speaker (“panelist”) link from one of the following email addresses: droszoom1@genetics-gsa.org; droszoom2@genetics-gsa.org; droszoom3@genetics-gsa.org; or droszoom4@genetics-gsa.org. If you have not received your email by two days before your presentation, please email gsaconferences@genetics-gsa.org.
  • You will also receive a check-in email from alerts@ATIVsoftware.com with instructions on how to check your technology. Please click the confirm button once your check is complete.
  • Set up the Zoom client on your computer.
  • Use https://zoom.us/test to test your sound and screensharing/video permissions.
  • Use SpeedTest.net to test your connection speed.
  • Look up the name of your Session Chair on the Schedule of Events so that you are able to send them chat messages during the session if needed.
  • Attend a rehearsal session in the week of March 8. You will receive an email from sbrown@genetics-gsa.org with more information.

Checklist – During the Conference:

10 minutes before your session (not just your individual talk) starts

  • Click the special Zoom presenter access link emailed by Zoom.
  • Turn on your camera and mic.
  • Open the chat window.
  • Test your sound by unmuting and speaking to your Session Chair/s. Mute yourself once you have finished testing.
  • Check that all other windows, notifications, and sounds not related to your talk are turned off.

During your session

  • Chat window
    • Open the chat window so you can send and receive messages from technical support in case of problems.
  • Giving your talk
    • Unmute your microphone and share your screen as the session chair introduces you.
    • Assume that everyone can see your screen and hear you unless the session chair tells you otherwise (no need to say, “can you see my screen?”)
    • When your talk is over, mute your microphone and stop sharing your screen.
  • Timing
    • The session chair can alert you as follows, if you would like:
      • After 25 minutes, “5 minutes remain, start Q&A”
      • After 29 minutes and 30 seconds, “30 seconds remain, wrap up”
      • After 30 minutes, “STOP”
  • Answering questions
    • Your session chair will select and read attendee questions that are submitted in the Q&A window. You will answer using your microphone. Remember to mute your microphone and stop your screen share when you are finished.
  • Contacting live technical support
    • You can reach technical support staff (Zoom Host) during the session via the Zoom Chat window. You can also email gsaconferences@genetics-gsa.org.
  • Asking questions during other talks in the session
    • As a speaker, you cannot enter questions in the Q&A window. If you have a question to ask of another presenter, send it to the Session Chair via the Chat window instead.

After your talk

  • Stop sharing your screen and mute your microphone.
  • Enjoy the rest of the conference!
  • Check your abstract entry in the app for any additional questions you might have received during or after the session.