HomeSpeakers ▶ Session Speaker Instructions
Session Speaker Instructions


International Conference planners and presenters have diverse interests and relationships that contribute to the success of the Conference but may also cause “conflicts of interest” (COI) that must be disclosed and managed to comply with Accreditation Council on Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) requirements. ATS COI management strives to ensure public confidence in the scientific integrity of ATS activities, not to create barriers to collaboration between clinician-scientists and industry. To accomplish this in the context of a large number of Conference sessions and diverse topics, ATS must rely heavily on each Program Committee, session organizer, chair, and speaker.

Please ensure that the following requirements are met as you organize and carry out your presentation:

  • Independence, balance and scientific rigor.
    • All participants in official ATS activities, including conference session organizers and speakers, are required to uphold the highest standards of professionalism and ethical conduct.*
    • Content must provide objective information based on scientific methods generally accepted in the medical community, and be free of commercial bias.
    • Data presented should not be outdated.
  • A balanced view of therapeutic options
    • Use of generic names will contribute to this impartiality and is preferred. If the presentation requires trade names, where available trade names from several companies should be used.
  • Disclosure of relevant conflicts of interests (COI) to ATS and learners
  • Disclosure of any “off-label” uses of substances or products cited in the presentation (i.e., uses not approved in the United States), and/or the status of substances or products that are being investigated for such use, is also required.

*See related ATS policy at http://conference.thoracic.org/speakers/index.php  


Formal Disclosure to ATS and Learners by Session Chairs and Presenters and Formal Review of Relevant COI

  • After session chairs provide ATS with their session program and confirmed speakers, instructions for completing or updating the 2019 ATS COI questionnaire will be emailed to the chair and speakers in all session designated for CME credit. COI questionnaires must be completed online at the ATS COI website by the end of January 2019*.
  • Chairs of sessions designated for CME credit will also be instructed to return to the ATS COI website during February 2019 to review summaries of the disclosures submitted by their session speakers and use a simple drop-down menu to evaluate any relevant conflicts of interest that were disclosed, and then confirm to ATS that they will be managed according to requirements. Chairs can contact ATS COI Staff if they need assistance. Staff will contact the Program Committee Chair of the sponsoring Assembly if the session organizer and staff are unable to resolve a matter.

*See ATS COI management details at http://conference.thoracic.org/speakers/index.php 

Disclosure to Session Attendees at the Conference:

  • ATS will post a summary of disclosures on the conference website before the start of the conference.
  • Speakers are also required to disclose relevant conflicts of interest onsite at the start of their presentation through an online Disclosure Form.
  • As part of our assuring audiences of the transparency and scientific integrity of Conference speakers’ collaborations with industry, when your disclosure slide appears prior to your presentation, please orally note any commercial relationships particularly relevant to your talk, and if you wish, assure the audience that your findings and recommendations are free of commercial bias.

Please note:

  • The ACCME prohibits the use of employees of commercial interests such as medical device manufacturers and pharmaceutical companies as presenters in accredited CME activities if the content of CME that the employee controls relates to the business lines and products of the employer. Any sessions accepted by ATS that do not meet this requirement will not be eligible for CME credit. ATS staff will contact organizers/chairs that state on their Workform that involvement of an industry scientist is necessary, to discuss options.
  • The ATS prohibits persons affiliated with the tobacco industry from organizing, chairing or presenting at conference sessions.

*International Conference requirements for COI management may be found at http://conference.thoracic.org/speakers/index.php


Prior to the Conference:

  • Complete and submit the online ATS COI Disclosure questionnaire for ATS 2019
  • When preparing your talk, refer to the session objectives and title for your presentation
  • Adhere to the time allotment specified by the session chair; and leave time during this allocated time for a general discussion with the audience after your talk
  • Prepare your PowerPoint presentation.
  • To ensure visuals are consistent in format, please see the Procedures for Electronic Presentations available on the ATS website
  • Do not use industry logos or brand names in your PowerPoint presentations
  • Upload your PowerPoint presentation online prior to the conference
  • Complete the online Presentation Recording Permission and Disclosure Forms

Photography During Presentations:

Attendees are prohibited from using flash photography or otherwise distracting the presenters or members of the audience. However, photographs may be taken during sessions or poster presentations, provided that the photographs are strictly for personal, non-commercial use and are not published in any form.

ATS requests that any speaker who does not want their content posted on social media or shared on other websites, make an announcement to attendees at the beginning of their presentation. Presenters may also add the request to their presentation.


All chairs and speakers must register for the conference through the regular registration process. 
The ATS office will not register you. 

Presentation and Conference Attendance:

  • ATS member speakers are required to pay the member general registration fee and respective fees for courses, seminars and workshops accordingly.
  • Non-member speakers who plan to attend the full conference are required to pay a discounted non-member general registration fee and respective fees for courses, seminars and workshops accordingly. 

Presentation Only:

  • Non-member speakers planning to attend the conference just for the purpose of giving their presentation, and do not plan to attend the other conference sessions, are eligible to register for a one-day complimentary pass. 


  • Visit the Speaker Ready Room prior to your session to be sure your PowerPoint presentation is running correctly
  • Orally note any commercial relationships particularly relevant to your talk
  • When speaking to the audience:
    • adhere to time allotment specified by the session chair;
    • allow time for questions from the audience;
    • speak slowly and clearly into the microphone;
    • make eye contact with the audience.