The chair is often the key to a successful panel. Experience suggests following these guidelines facilitates success:
1. Introduce the panelists to one another before the session, if possible, and, during the session, introduce them to the audience (Contact information is available through your area chair.)
2. Decide whether to take questions from the audience after each presentation or after the session (to save time, you may wish to take them at the end).
3. Alert presenters of time requirements. Panel chairs of 4-person panels usually allot 20 minutes per presenter, which includes time for questions.
4. Alert presenters if they are running over their allotted time during their presentations. Running more than 5 minutes over the allotted time can seriously hamper scheduling.
The Procrustean Chair–Guidelines for Panel Chairs–by Timothy Madigan, Subject Area Chair of Philosophy and Popular Culture.