Powerful Conference Preparation

I offer a series of two workshops that support postgraduate researchers to prepare to attend/or present at academic conferences, and to make the most effective use of their time there.

The series comprises:

  1. Conferences 101: An introduction to attending and presenting at academic conferences
  2. Sit up and pay attention! Writing impactful conference abstracts and presentations

Please scroll down and click to open each tab, to view further details of each workshops.

These workshops can be delivered as separate sessions; or I can combine elements from each into one longer workshop. Please get in touch to discuss options for your university and students: hello@jamiepei.com

Entering the domain of academic conferences can sometimes feel overwhelming, intimidating and complicated for early stage PGRs. This workshop aims to clarify and simplify the processes of attending and presenting at conferences.

This session focuses on introducing students to what they can expect at conferences; and how to prepare well in order to gain maximum benefit and learning from their attendance.

This session will address two key aspects of conferences:

(1) An introduction to how academic conferences are typically organised and what they comprise, including:

  • Types of presentations, formats and activities
  • Types of participants/audiences
  • Themes/focus
  • Size and scale

(2) Tips and advice for participating in a conference, including:

  • Finding suitable conferences to attend
  • What a ‘Call for Papers’ is, and the typical process of applying to speak/present at a conference
  • How to prepare once you’ve been accepted
  • Setting clear goals and intentions for each conference
  • Networking and building connections at conferences

This workshop is most suitable for PGRs who are in the early stages of their research degree (approximately 0 – 2 years) and new to the proceedings of academic conferences.

Learning objectives

By the end of the session, participants will have learned:

  • the purpose and benefits of academic conferences
  • how conferences are organised and what they comprise
  • how to clarify their individual goals and intentions for participating in conferences
  • how to select and apply to present at conferences
  • how to prepare adequately for attending and presenting at a conference

Workshop details

  • 90 minutes
  • Maximum attendance: 60 participants
  • This workshop can be conducted online or in person

Successful conference abstracts and papers often abide by particular conventions and fulfil certain criteria which may be difficult to understand for researchers who are new to the conference circuit.

This workshop aims to clarify what is typically expected from abstracts and conference presentations (either papers or posters), and to offer clear guidelines for conceptualising, preparing and writing impactful content fit for any conference.

We will also clarify how conference presentations differ from broader public engagement activity and what considerations need to be made when preparing and writing for them.

In the first part of the workshop, participants will learn how to:

  • conceptualise highly relevant topics for potential conference papers/presentations
  • compose abstracts that best align with conference themes to increase their chances of being accepted to speak.

In the second part of the workshop, we discuss how to prepare, structure and write the content for their presentation, taking into consideration elements such as:

  • clarifying and communicating their key argument effectively
  • narrative structure
  • working with the right level of technical/academic language
  • relevance and impact

Finally, this workshop offers guidance and tips on how to speak and respond effectively during the Q&A portion of each conference. Participants will be shown how to reframe this segment from fearing it as a moment of judgement or ‘being put on the spot’, to seeing it as an extended conversation and knowledge exchange with the audience and fellow panelists. We will also examine the common types of questions, the people who ask them, and how to best respond in each instance.

Learning objectives

By the end of the sessions, participants will have learned:

  • about common conventions and qualities/features of successful abstracts and presentations
  • how to conceptualise highly relevant ‘must-have’ presentation topics to align with conference themes and Call for Papers guidelines
  • the key components of an effective, precise conference abstract
  • how to clarify the key message of their conference presentation
  • how to prepare, structure and write impactful content for a conference presentation (paper or poster)
  • how to deal with the Q&A segment

Note: It might be useful to pair this workshop with the Public Speaking and Presentation Skills workshop that I also offer – this covers physical and oral presentation skills, and delivery.

Workshop details

  • 2-hour workshop
  • Maximum attendance: 60 participants
  • This workshop can be conducted online or in person