June 21, 2020

Episode 11 - Writing your abstract

In the third part of our mini-series on public speaking we're talking about coming up with an idea, a title and actually writing an abstract for your talk. The common problem first-time speakers and submitters face is: "Where do I even start?". 

It turns out that you don't necessarily start with a title. Often ideas are born out of some experience. You might have struggled with some tech, you might have learned a new framework or want to share something else you're passionate about. From an idea, sometimes you will progress to a working title. But don't worry: most likely it will change over the time you're spending on writing the abstract. Regardless, we have some general thoughts on titles like: try to avoid political slogans, swear words and titles that diminish other technology.

The abstract itself should ideally consist of some paragraphs of plain text. Miquel's approach is a 3 paragraph formula: 

  1. Introduce a problem or the idea
  2. Content of the talk
  3. Key takeaways

We all agree that this is commonly a very good approach to structure your abstract. Obviously it still needs to adhere to the conference's requirements. A side-benefit is that going through a structured process like this is that you have a very good starting point for writing your talk, should it be accepted.

We close with a few additional tips on where and how you could get additional help and support with your first response to a Call For Papers.

In the the next (and last) episode of this mini-series you will learn about writing the talk and holding your presentation!

Here are all the links to the previous episodes of this mini-series in correct listening order:

  1. Getting Started
  2. Submitting and the selection process

Music by Chillhop: https://chillhop.com/listen

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