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Proposal Tips

What is a proposal?

A proposal is a summary of the presentation you would like to give at our conference. This is the required information:

  • Title: (100 characters max)
  • Abstract: (650 characters max, for use in the Conference Program)
  • Other Details: (2500 characters max)
  • Presentation type (choose one)
  • Setting (chose all that apply)
  • Presenter information
  • Name to appear in the Conference Program
  • Name to appear on the Presenter Certificate
  • Email
  • Job Title
  • Institution/ Organization
  • Address
  • City, state, postal code
  • Country
  • Phone

Note: You may provide presenter information for any number of presenters. You may change your proposal title and description anytime between selection confirmation and till 3 months before the Conference

It has two purposes:

  • You need to “sell” your topic to the attendees. With 5 or more presentations offered at the same time, why would they want to listen to your presentation? What valuable information or techniques will you provide? Who would benefit from your presentation?
  • You need to “sell” your topic to the selection committee. Normally we have several times as many proposals as we have time available. The selection committee looks for new ideas, quality research, or skills that many of our attendees need. They also look for originality.

How long can your proposal be?

  • Title limit is 100 characters
  • Abstract limit is 100 words
  • Detailed Description is limited to 300 words

DO NOT IGNORE THESE LIMITS! Remember that reviewers may have to read up to a 100 proposals. Short, concise proposals receive higher ratings. Think carefully about what is most important about your presentation. Reviewers will be impressed by your brevity. Do not include your research paper!

How can I describe my proposal presentation in only 100 characters?

  • Titles are very important. The best titles catch the attention of appropriate people;
  • Think about the techniques used by newspaper headline writers when composing your title;
  • Think of the key words you need in the title to convey the content of the presentation. What is new or unique in your presentation? Is it about theory, practice, or research? Are you focused on a specific population? Are you focused on a specific topic?
  • After you have the key words assembled into a title, look for words you can leave out. Which words are not necessary? Are there shorter words that work just as well? What is the shortest way to convey the topic of your presentation? Ask a friend to help you shorten your title.

What is the difference between the Abstract and Other Details?

The "Abstract" cannot be longer than 100 words. The Abstract will appear in the Conference Program. The Abstract should summarize what you did and attract people to attend. Leave the details out and just explain what unique information, ideas, or techniques you will present.

Note that only the Selection Committee will see Other Details, and they will read your Abstract first before reading Other Details. So, Other Details should provide additional information.

For a research study, you might include the number of cases or other measures to show how much work went into it.

For a presentation of ideas, you could explain the sources for your ideas. Include information about the number of times and places you have previously presented this information. Use Other Details to tell the Selection Committee why your presentation is important and how it may be useful to attendees.

Other Details should be no longer than 3 paragraphs.

What is the difference between the types of presentations?

  • Skill-Builder (40 minutes duration) is an interactive workshop in which the participants learn a new skill;
  • Presentation (40 minutes duration) is used for ideas or research that take a long time to explain and are really important to our attendees;
  • Short Presentation (20 minutes duration) is an idea that can be explained in 20 minutes;
  • Research Session (20 minutes duration) is summary of research you have conducted.

Note: The 20-minute sessions are intended to introduce a topic so that interested attendees can find you later and talk with you more. This is a very short amount of time.

You should ask for the length of time you need to fully explain your topic. If you ask for only 20 minutes, you will not be offered 40 minutes. But if you ask for 40 minutes and your proposal is not among the highest-rated proposals, you may be offered 20 minutes. The decision will be based on how many proposals we receive that are high quality, and how valuable your information appears to be to our attendees.


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