Clark Sell
3 min read

5 tips for writing better session abstracts.

Over the years, we’ve easily seen well over 5 thousand abstracts. THAT’s a lot of abstracts. We know how just hard it can be to write, so here are five tips for you to think consider.

#1 - Delete, command backspace, those rhetorical questions.

You don’t have a lot of sentences to convince the reader they should attend. Rhetorical questions become filler; they feel safe as if you’re setting the user up to feel as if they’re the same in some way. But what they don’t do is illustrate anything of value about why someone should come, and they alienate people who might not identify with your question.

#2 - Separate yourself from the pack.

Ask yourself, so what, why me? You have something to give; we know this, but don’t become the parrot of what someone can already google on the subject. This is the time when you bring your awesome to the stage and share it with others.

#3 - Submit more than one thing.

In reality, conference organizers want to tell a story, but they also need options. Find two or three things that keep you up and night. Dig into those unique items you’re passionate about; others will be too.

#4 - Have it reviewed by others before you submit.

We’re not sure why people seem timid to seek help, but we guarantee your end product will be miles better than before. Head over to the #sessions channel in slack and ask for help or join us at one of our weekly office hours for a group review. We promise only good will happen.

#5- What does the conversation after the talk feel like?

THAT Conference is all about the network and the people, so what conversations do you visualize having afterward? Will you end up in our Open Spaces area to show more code? Will you exchange contact info with a few new people? Visualize what you’d like to see happen.

Bonus tip: Put some effort in.

That might seem odd for us to say but every year there are countless 1 liners. We’ve never understood why. Maybe people are trolling us; maybe folks think their name is all that matters, we’re not sure. Regardless if you don’t seem to care, no one else will either.

So get after it! If you need help, ask. There is a whole community of geeks out there who would be more than willing to see you succeed.


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