Tips for Submitting a Talk or Panel Proposal

The Basics of a Good Proposal

We publish the talk and panel abstracts in the final HOPE program that is made available to all conference attendees, as well as having them displayed on the HOPE website.

Be sure to come up with a catchy, descriptive, and accurate title. Avoid overly long titles as they are challenging to format and not much fun to read. Make sure your abstract/description is helpful to attendees in deciding whether to attend your presentation.

The review committee appreciates detail, but don’t go overboard. A plain text description of your proposal is ideal. There is no need to include PowerPoint presentations attached to your submission, nor do we need videos, spreadsheets, and diagrams. Of course, those who submit only a sentence or two and expect us to figure out the rest will find that the committee might not do this.

A few paragraphs for your description/abstract ought to be fine, but if you feel that’s not enough, include what you believe is necessary to convey your ideas. Just remember that space in the program cannot be excessive for any one session, and we’ll have to make the description fit within just a paragraph or so.

If you’re planning a talk or panel, also consider whether your topic might be of interest for a related workshop. This will let people who enjoyed your talk learn more with others who share your interests. Check our Workshops section for more details.

Questions to Consider for a Submission

* What makes my topic interesting or important? This will also help you to organize your thoughts when planning your talk. You already find the subject matter interesting, but many who will see your talk will need to be convinced. Your prepared talk should make it clear why your topic is interesting or important, and during your Q&A session you can expect further questions and discussion.

* Does my presentation have an impact that a broad audience might understand? If the answer to this is “no,” your talk can still have a place at HOPE. We often have specialized talks that only a limited number of people can appreciate. Give a sense in your proposal of what level of audience your talk will be pitched to or who you think might be interested in the talk. Knowing this from the start helps in considering your proposal.

* What is new and different about my talk? We require that presentations not simply be rehashes of previous talks, either at past HOPEs or at other conferences. There is simply too much going on for us to be repeating anything. As someone who wants to make a presentation at HOPE, you’ll find a much better reception if you share information or perspectives that aren’t already available. This applies not only to material you’re referencing, but also to previous talks you yourself may have given.

* Can I submit more than one talk for consideration? This is permitted, however you should be sure to submit the talk you feel the strongest about and indicate that that in your submission. Also, remember that you need to be just as detailed on each of your submissions as you would be if you were only making one submission. The review committee may not be receptive to a group of one-sentence suggestions for talk ideas.

* Can special time considerations be made? Every effort will be made to accommodate any scheduling requests, but it’s best if you are flexible and available during any of the conference dates, from approximately 10 am to midnight (U.S. Eastern Time).

* Should I have a panel discussion instead of a solo talk? A panel discussion may be the best way to share your content. Be sure to include all confirmed panelists in your proposal. A group presentation, discussion, or debate can be great for opening some eyes and engaging the audience. Large panels are not encouraged, as they dramatically cut down on each member’s time to speak.

* Are any topics too controversial for HOPE? If you’re familiar with our past content, you would never ask such a question. Controversy is our friend. But that doesn’t mean anything goes. We have high standards, and we have no problem diving headlong into a controversial relevant topic and getting the audience involved. If you feel your content might be too hot even for us to handle, include your thoughts about this in your submission.

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