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Rejection & Revision: On Improving Conference Proposals

Alaina Kafkes on October 23, 2017

One of my goals for 2018 is to speak at more tech conferences. Although I gave talks at two conferences in 2017, the call for proposals (CFP) pr... [Read Full]
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Thanks for writing this Alaina!! I love the analogy to clubs/spades/hearts/diamonds. Do you have any advice on how to know whether a proposal is worth revising or should be scrapped altogether? It's hard to know whether an idea is good and worth building on, or whether it would we better to go a different direction.


Hi Amanda! 👋

That's a great question. I think that a speaker-hopeful should scrap their talk proposal if a change in their personal interests makes them decide that they no longer want to speak about a subject. A speaker may also choose to scrap their proposal if they receive feedback that makes them want to approach a subject from a new angle.

However, I'm of the opinion that most rejected conference talk proposals bring forth good ideas. Sometimes, these ideas need to be revised or brought to a different venue in order to be beneficial to both the audience and the speaker.


Alaina, thank you for your clear ideas about how to accept feedback and incorporate it. I'm still working on that skill myself!


This is a fantastic post! Thanks for taking the time to write all of this out in such detail... it's a difficult topic and you've laid it out in a very actionable way. Much appreciated!


This is a great post, Alaina! Thanks for sharing. You've helped me upgrade my abstract game. :-)


Thank you, Anjuan! I admire your talks so this means a lot. :)

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