In fact, nearly everything.
I recently saw a thread from Richard Bradshaw with his opinions on writing and reviewing abstracts for conferences or call for papers CFPsand I thought it would be a good time to share my own thoughts too, having recently gone through another round of reviewing.
A Quick Disclaimer These are just some of my personal thoughts, based on my own experiences as a speaker and reviewer. I encourage you to take everything in this post with a pinch of salt and apply your own context, preferences and judgement before deciding whether to take anything in this post into account when writing your own abstracts.
Your Talk is a Product Think of your talk as a product.
You have an idea, technique, or experience that you want to sell to other people in your industry. Conferences and events are the distributors that let you do that. If a distributor is going to let you use their platform to sell your product to their network, you need to come up with a great idea with a unique selling point, and sell it to the distributor first, before you get a chance to sell it to consumers.
Generating Ideas What exactly is your product? My thoughts will often lead me to ideas for blogs and talks, and I decide which format is most appropriate and appealing to me for each idea. If I decide to turn an idea into a talk, I develop the idea first, then decide which event s I want to submit it to.
If I ever am consciously trying to generate talk ideas, some of the things I think about include: Everyone is making a big deal about x; is it really what people are making it out to be? What have people asked me for advice or opinions on? In short, I apply some creativity and critical thinking that is similar to how I generate ideas for testing.
I look for things that are less obvious, go against the grain, or that I would want as a consumer. I let my personal interest level and time constraints guide which idea s I work on first, and this can change frequently. Chicken or Fish; Blog or Talk?
Without going into too much detail, some of the factors I consider include: Above all else, make sure that your idea is interesting for a talk. How you write about the topic in your abstract will influence how interesting it seems.
In most cases, people are paying to hear you speak, so the talk should be engaging and insightful, not dull.
Personalise Content to Your Target Audience Once you have an idea for your product, you need to market it to distributors and attendees through your abstract. For your product to be marketed well, it should have a target audience.
Apply some of the principles used in testing and software production to think about your ideal audience, and what persona s they might have: Is this a talk for testers, developers, team leads, hiring managers, practitioners, agile professionals, technologists, etc.
Give proper consideration to your target audience, and tailor your talk and abstract with them in mind.
Jun 02, · Cassandra Clare, bestselling author of The Mortal Instruments and the Infernal Devices, on how she goes about researching and writing her books, and gives some writing tips #TMI #COHF Category. Writing Abstracts: Non-Advice from a Speaker and Reviewer. scrap the whole thing and start again," is my advice for writing what? 🤔 A. Talk abstracts B. Software C. On whiteboards#notarealpoll #alloftheabove — Cassandra H. Leung (@Tweet_Cassandra) February 16, 33 Writing Contests for Teens (Publication & Cash) publishing 54 Comments In a world where J.K. Rowling’s manuscript of “Harry Potter” was rejected 12 times and Kathryn Stockett’s manuscript of “The Help” was rejected 60 times, it can be easy to become despondent about publishing your fiction, even more so for teenage writers aching.
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