Speakers and Other Session Participants

Thank you for being part of the virtual 2021 AAAS Annual Meeting! This page is for session organizers, speakers, moderators, and other participants in the meeting program. Find important information to help you prepare for your presentation and get the most from your meeting experience.

Promote Your Session on Social Media

Let your online followers and attendees who would be interested in your work know that you are presenting at the AAAS Annual Meeting!

Live-tweeting of scientific sessions is encouraged: #AAASmtg

Presentation Assistance

General Information

  • All sessions will be streamed. There will be no video downloads. 
  • For eligible sessions, record should available for on-demand viewing within 24 hours of the live panel. 
  • Sessions hosted on the AAAS Annual Meeting platform will be controlled by conference operations staff. Other participants will not be granted “host” or “administrative” privileges. 
  • Live polling is available. Please send us the content via meetings@aaas.org by February 1. 
  • Here’s information about the live Scientific Session and Workshop formats.  
  • If your camera allows, please download and use our virtual backgrounds for the live panel.  
  • Using the email address we have on file, we will send you a calendar invite with a link to your session by January 27. 
  • You will receive a link to log into your session. Open the Zoom link 20 minutes before the start of the meeting.
  • Here’s a quick look at what you will see when logging into your session, including joining the presentation and responding to audience questions. We strongly recommend that speakers wait to respond to the comments until after their live session, as more comments may come in over this period.
  • As a thank you, recordings that were available for on-demand viewing will be sent to participating speakers in April. 

Your Audience

The AAAS Annual Meeting draws an interdisciplinary audience. While you are likely to have experts in your field attend your talk, you will also have scientists and students from other fields, as well as policymakers, journalists, and science communicators. Please ensure that non-specialists will be able to follow your presentation.


  • To access the Annual Meeting platform, presenters must register by February 1  for either the complimentary Public Events Passport or the Full Scientific Program Passport–$50 for members or purchase combination registration and membership package (prices vary, starting at $75).  Visit meetings.aaas.org/registration for details.   
    Note: Panelists and Organizers who are only planning to attend their live panel should register for a Public Events Passport.
  • To access the final edited spotlight videos through the platform, speakers will need to acquire the Scientific Program Passport by paying for conference attendance.  Please note that no content edits have been made from the videos you originally sent.
  • Group “Scientific Program Passport” registrations are available for groups of 5 or more for $75 per person (AAAS membership requirement is waived/not included).  Authorization for payment needs to be provided before registration log-ons are issued. Please contact meetings@aaas.org for more information on group registration.
  • Registration passports are not refundable or transferable.  

Zoom Orientation

Our platform uses Zoom as a base. Hands-on Zoom orientations are available:

Monday, February 110:00 AM – 11:00 AM ET;
3:00 PM – 4:00 PM ET
Tuesday, February 210:00 AM – 11:00 AM ET;
3:00 PM – 4:00 PM ET
Wednesday, February 310:00 AM – 11:00 AM ET;
3:00 PM – 4:00 PM ET

10:00 am ET Zoom link : https://aaas.zoom.us/j/91858862364
3:00 pm ET Zoom link: https://aaas.zoom.us/j/93317997302

Preparing Your Presentation Slides

  • Use a font size larger than 16 points.
  • Use fonts with consistently thick lines.
  • Provide captions for any videos shown.
  • Members of your audience may be color blind. For graphs, avoid using red and green together. Blue/orange is a common colorblind-friendly palette. Blue/red or blue/brown can be used as a substitute.
  • Use a high color contrast for text and background of slides (such as dark text on a light background).

Setting Up for Recording

Check for good internet connection:

  • Ensure your internet connection is strong. If possible, use hardwired internet. If that is not available, disconnect all other devices from the Wi-Fi.
  • Do not use a hotspot! Zoom requires a lot of bandwidth and use of a hotspot will result in a choppy video and/or audio feed.

Position computer at eye level:

  • Just because you can’t see your audience doesn’t mean they can’t see you.
  • You do not want people to see up your nose or the top of your head! Elevate your computer or device so that your camera is at eye level or very slightly above eye level.

Find a well-lit space:

  • Make sure you choose a well-lit room.
  • Do not sit with an open window directly behind you or to the side as this can make your video look dark.
  • Direct overhead lighting can also cast unflattering shadows on your face.
  • Use a lamp with a soft bulb or specialty lighting placed out of the frame of your video in front of you (behind your computer) or to the lesser lit side if your room’s lighting is unbalanced.

Use a good microphone:

  • We recommend using an external microphone. However, if an external mic isn’t an option, make sure you test your computer audio or headset.

Be sure your devices are charged:

  • Make sure all of your devices are fully charged, that you are sitting close to a power source and you also have the power cord readily available in the event you need to plug them in to be charged.


  • Deliver your presentation as if you are delivering it to a live audience.
  • Pin your screen during the recording.
  • Avoid speaking in a monotone or speaking too quickly.
  • Make sure to pause after explaining each visual so that individuals will have a chance to process the information.
  • Gesture purposefully for emphasis.

When recording your presentation, the frame the frame showing the speaker should be as large as possible. It should also be “pinned”, so the recording captures the image clearly, allowing our editors flexibility in making the spotlight video.

Your slide presentation is only there for reference for our editors and should only take up half of your screen. Along with the videos you record, we will also need you to upload the presentations slides as a separate file in Dropbox.

Here is a short script to assist the moderator when recording each spotlight video.

Confirmed participants who have completed their waiver will receive an invitation from WorkerBee via Dropbox with more information on where to send their recordings.

Other Questions:

In general, aaas.org/meetings is a good resource for questions about the AAAS Annual Meeting. However, if you need additional information, please feel free to contact us by emailing meetings@aaas.org

AAAS is committed to making the Annual Meeting an inclusive space for sharing ideas and knowledge. View Our Policies