Influence people

Monday, January 25, 2016

How to Write a Killer Abstract for Your Next Presentation

Marketer Tony Compton contributed today's post. He is the founder and managing director of communication coaching consultancy GettingPresence.


When you’re scheduled to give a presentation, chances are you’ll have to provide a session abstract that titles your talk and describes your session.

Session abstracts enable readers to evaluate an event in advance, playing a vital role in helping them determine if the event is worth the investment in attendance.

On site, abstracts compete for attendees, as they choose which sessions to attend when multiple presentations are being given.

Unfortunately, far too many session abstracts are poorly written. Writing one is an afterthought to most presenters, and is usually delegated to a marketing manager who isn’t the presenter and who's largely unfamiliar with the presenter's content.

Writing concise and compelling abstracts for your presentations will give you a clear competitive advantage.

My recommendation is to write your abstract as a condensed case study:
  • Title your session with the solution to a common business challenge; for example, “Increasing Customer Retention by 30% with Predictive Analytics." 
  • When writing the session description, state a common problem your audience faces; summarize your strategy behind solution-development; and itemize supporting tools you have used to help solve the problem.
  • Close by hinting at the payoff of the work, using several bullet points that quantitatively highlight results.
Remember, too, that audiences see through thinly-veiled sales pitches, and their session descriptions. Always keep in mind what the audience will learn from your presentation, and your session abstract will be a winner.

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