It can be an intimidating task to summarise your presentation into that short concise yet compelling paragraph needed for a conference programme. Follow our top tips on how to create a digestible and easy-to-read synopsis that will attract an audience.
First and foremost, make sure it reflects exactly what you want to say. Keep in mind that the conference delegates – to whom you will actually deliver your presentation – are your primary audience!
A conference session synopsis consists of a short, snappy powerful title that succinctly describes your session. Followed by further detail about your talk, to enable potential attendees to evaluate the content of your session. Remember the title and content of the synopsis must match up!
A conference session synopsis can be either a narrative (usually between 40/60 words) or bullet points (writing your main points in bullet form will help you limit what you are saying).
So how do you write a synopsis that is clear, concise and interesting enough to entice people to come to your presentation?
If available take a look at the draft conference programme by obtaining it from the conference organisers. Take note of any key speakers, underlying theme(s) of the conference, and other additional features that may be relevant or perhaps potentially overlap with your session.
When conceiving your presentation, use the following checklist:
- Am I saying anything new?
- Is there a challenging and provocative question my work brings up?
There are a few guidelines that you should observe too, such as:
- Be objective – if you sound like a walking advert for a supplier organisation, delegates will not turn up to hear you and you will create a bad impression.
- Use examples or case studies (or both) if possible. Delegates like to picture how your advice might apply to them.
- Use the right language – are there any buzzwords and jargon relevant to the conference topic you can include?
- Draw on any key points of research, particularly if significance to the intended field
- If appropriate, provide potential delegates with legal cases
Finally, I know it sounds obvious, but read through the synopsis again before the day of the event and ensure that this is actually what you talk about - it should not only attract people to hear what you have to say in the first place but keep them listening once they are there!
If you have any top tips for how you have created the perfect synopsis, please share them in the comments below.