On Abstracts…

There is a recurring theme on Twitter that I’ve seen since Kscope last week – people want to go to Kscope again next year, but are worried they won’t be able to because of the registration fee. Since accepted speaker’s get a free registration to Kscope (and most other conferences), people are scrambling to come up with new and innovative abstracts to submit in order to secure a coveted speaker’s slot. However, most people seem to think they have nothing to offer. WHA?????

Let me offer some of my thoughts on abstracts…

  • Did you go to “X” Conference this year, attend a presentation and think, “They completely left out X, Y and Z!” Guess what? Why don’t you submit an abstract to fill in those holes?! Everybody cannot come into contact with every possible scenario or situation, so why not offer up your own thoughts?
  • Think because you are not a consultant that you have nothing cool and bleeding edge to talk about? A majority of the people attending the conference are in your boat and are not in a position to implement the latest and greatest release. They are in your shoes – attending to find a fix or new idea to address your xyz problem. They want to hear about the everyday life because a) that is their life and b) consultants want to learn more about the daily routines to better tweak their implementations. It’s truly and win-win.
  • Think you are too functional? The EPM track always has at least one or two functional tracks (not sessions, full room bookings) so that the end user can get a better idea of how to use the tools and technologies. Are you doing something that you feel is innovative? Share it! My most attended presentation ever was a functional presentation, and I’m not functional. But I had something unique to share…200+ people is great for a conference of 1000 EPMers and I didn’t share one line of code.
  • Consider co-presenting with a co-worker, a consulting partner or an Oracle ACE. I know of MANY that would be willing to share the stage with a newbie. Recall, they were all newbies at one point and someone helped them out. A co-presenter can also be a mentor or mentee to you. That would be amazing satisfaction for both of you to share on your expertise…and they also have your back in case you are nervous about questions or comments from the peanut gallery.
  • The abstract is what you would read in the conference guide; the presentation details are what only the abstract review team sees. This is where you want to go into much more detail about your presentation to show the team that you know what you are talking about, have a plan for the presentation, have a stated goal for the presentation, and proves confidence in your topic. If you copy the abstract to the details, you may get selected, but it doesn’t help the reviewing team with the nitty gritty.
  • Be creative. Have fun. Dive in head first.
  • Ask someone with experience to review your abstract. Many out there are willing to help…just ask!

With that said…abstract season is among us. I encourage you to submit one or many! Hopefully this helps!

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