Tips for writing a good abstract

And increasing your chances of making it onto the agenda

We always get more abstracts than we can put on the agenda ( and we are very gratefull for that, without those there would be no conference). The process of selecting them is hard, takes a lot of time and generates a lot of discussions in the team. One of the things we see every year, are sessions we discard immediately because they do not match the criteria for a good abstract, on some occasions we reach out to the speaker to have it corrected or improved, but it just takes too much of our time. And it’s a waste of the time, energy and courage of the potential speaker that submitted it. Here are some tips to avoid that.

  • Use a short, catchy title. Something that makes people go and read the actual abstract as most people scroll over the agenda reading the session titles, and only read abstracts on the ones that trigger their interest. Keep it short and to the point. Keeping it short also makes our website look more stylish as long titles mess up our agenda layout so we will shorten them for you.
  • Make sure your abstract explains what the session is about, do not keep it vague, the better written it is, the more confident it will come across.
  • Set expextations in your abstract, tell the crowd what to expect. List the things you will speak about.
  • Make sure it does not smell of marketing, people will not show up and we will probably not select it.
  • Check your spelling!!! Tools do exist, use them.
  • Put in some enthousiasm about the topic you are talking about but don’t overdo the humour, we have people from different origins and cultures at the conference and not everyone responds to it in the same way, spent more time on content
  • Make sure your topic is not too broad, pin it down to a specific subtopic, you only have 15, 30 or 60 minutes, there is only so much you can cover.
  • Think about what you would like to go and listen to at a conference, think about what Let’sConnect is about, have a look at last years agenda (link on the website). For example, don’t submit a session about Domino, it is very unlikely to get chosen ( Don’t get us wrong, we love Domino, we use Domino, but it’s not what this conference is about)

 

Go for it, don’t be afraid, if you are not selected, try again next year! We try to be fair in our selection process, making sure we have a balancved agenda covering all topics and tracks.

 

This post was inspired by a post from the one and only Gabrielle Davis