Write a Conference Proposal the Conference Wants and Accepts
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Write a Conference Proposal the Conference Wants and Accepts

About the Book

Do you dream of speaking at a conference? You want to share your successes---and maybe your failures. You can learn to write a conference proposal that has a good chance of being accepted. Instead of starting with the title, start with the outcomes. When you do, you'll craft a proposal that the conference will take.

Learn to:

  • Start with the outcomes
  • Create a compelling abstract
  • Invite readers with your title
  • Connect to your readers with your bio

While I can't guarantee the program committee will accept your proposal, you have a much better chance with these ideas.

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About the Author

Johanna Rothman
Johanna Rothman

Johanna Rothman, known as the “Pragmatic Manager,” offers frank advice for your tough problems. She helps leaders and teams do reasonable things that work. Equipped with that knowledge, they can then decide how to adapt their product development.

With her trademark practicality and humor, Johanna is the author of 20 books and hundreds of articles. Find the Pragmatic Manager, a monthly email newsletter, and her blogs at jrothman.com and createadaptablelife.com.

She is the author of these books:

In addition, she is a contributor to:

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Table of Contents

  • Acknowledgements
  • 1. Prepare to Present at a Conference
  • 2. Frame the Proposal
    • 2.1 Sell Your Session with Your Proposal
    • 2.2 Start Your Proposal
  • 3. Start with Outcomes
    • 3.1 Outcomes Start with Verbs
    • 3.2 See Examples of Outcomes
    • 3.3 Hook the Reader with Actionable Outcomes
    • 3.4 Add to Your Proposal
  • 4. Create Your Abstract
    • 4.1 Hook People with Your Abstract
    • 4.2 Write First For the Program Committee
    • 4.3 Write a Succinct Abstract
    • 4.4 Write a One-Paragraph Abstract
    • 4.5 Test Your Abstract
    • 4.6 Support the Abstract with More Information
    • 4.7 Update Your Outcomes
    • 4.8 Separate the Writing from the Editing
    • 4.9 Add Your Abstract and Update Your Proposal
  • 5. Complete the Proposal
    • 5.1 Define Your Session Type
    • 5.2 Choose Your Session Type
    • 5.3 Complete the Other Parts of the Proposal
    • 5.4 Always Explain the Story Behind the Session
    • 5.5 Explain When Your Ideas Won’t Work
    • 5.6 Complete the Other Fields
    • 5.7 Refine Your Proposal
  • 6. Write a Bio to Establish Your Expertise
    • 6.1 Consider This Template for Your Bio
    • 6.2 Your Speaking Experience Helps the Committee Say Yes
    • 6.3 Iterate on the Proposal and Where to Submit
    • 6.4 Update Your Proposal with Your Bio
  • 7. Hook Your Reader with a Great Title
    • 7.1 Titles Invite and Connect
    • 7.2 Titles Help the Reader Identify with the Problems You Solve
    • 7.3 Check Your Possible Titles with a Headline Analyzer
    • 7.4 Create a Table of Results
    • 7.5 Troubleshoot Your Titles
    • 7.6 Consider These Prompts
    • 7.7 Complete Your Proposal
  • 8. Understand Conference Feedback
    • 8.1 Propose Your Session Early
    • 8.2 Respond to Feedback Fast
    • 8.3 Manage Your Rejection
    • 8.4 Acknowledge Your Feelings
    • 8.5 Manage the Acceptance
    • 8.6 Verify Conference Logistics
    • 8.7 How Much is the Honorarium?
    • 8.8 Write This Down
  • 9. Consider Speaking at a Conference
    • 9.1 Why Propose a Session?
    • 9.2 Why Speak at a Conference?
    • 9.3 Decide Which Conferences to Select
    • 9.4 Prepare in Advance for Conferences
  • More from Johanna
  • Notes

About the Publisher

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