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  • Von: DOAG Online
  • Development PL/SQL APEX
  • 09/17/2018

Eleven Steps to a Successful Submission of Your Presentation

The call for papers for APEX connect 2020 is now open. Once again, the task is to fill the more than 60 presentation slots. However, there is keen competition among the submitters due to the high number of APEX enthusiasts. Our tips and notes will help you to increase your chances of a positive feedback significantly. 

1. Good Self-Assessment

When one hype follows the other and your own curiosity and creativity goes hand in hand with the rapid technological development, it is not easy to choose a single subject. The most important thing to deal with this situation is a good self-assessment: When you are not 100 percent comfortable with a subject, you should rather not follow it any further. Adventurers should be aware that additional effort is necessary to work your way into a new field: Special knowledge and experience should already be noticeable when you submit your presentation.

2. Identify Interesting Subjects

Even in the stage of your initial considerations, it is useful to put yourself in the role of the audience and the evaluators: Is the subject up to date? Is the presentation of particular relevance for other APEX, PL/SQL, JavaScript developers? A 40-minutes presentation should give the audience more than a brief overview. Between hype and long runner, the options to choose from are infinite for the submitters.

3. Choose a Clear Focus

"You cannot please everybody" is a known maxim. We advise you to stand out from the unattractive mishmash and to choose a specific subject field – even if it means that other subjects cannot be considered. The attempt to consider each conceivable aspect when you submit your presentation to increase your chances of a positive answer and to possibly draw interest of a larger audience could cause the exact opposite: When a presentation loses its focus, the presentation usually leads to never-ending slide wars.

4. Write an Informative Abstract

Initially, only a short abstract of 500 to 1,800 characters is necessary for your application. That does not sound much – that is why you should make every effort with the wording. When you have trouble with writing, you should opt for a simple syntax: subject, predicate, object. A mere listing of contents has no place in an abstract. The reader must understand your line of thoughts. That is why you should describe the presentation in your own words, always having the audience in mind: What additional value will they draw from your presentation? Which solution approaches help them? The established W-questions can also be used for writing the abstract. Together with a little systematics, these questions help you covering the most significant aspects of your presentation. What is the subject? What other products are considered? Why do I want to speak about this subject and how do I want to present it? Cost-free tools for grammar and spell checking such as help you giving the abstract a professional look.

5. Name the Target Audience

You should also keep the level of the audience in mind when you design the contents of your presentation: Applicants can choose from a range of different target audiences for their presentations, including beginners, advanced persons, and experts. The choice of the appropriate category should be considered carefully because the evaluators will rate a presentation for experts differently compared to a presentation for beginners.

6. Create Practical Relevance

An important rule is: the more practical relevance, the better – we are looking for experience and project reports, tips and tricks, and best practices. The audience wants to be taken along. The participants will be thankful for concrete insights into the project: What were the considerations, requirements, and obstacles for the project members? How did they decide and why? When tips and tricks are presented, a live demo will surely be well received. A precise description of the subject will leave a lasting impression on the evaluators.

7. Give a Vivid Description of Your Theory

The focus of DOAG is, in general terms, clearly on practical knowledge. However, sometimes it may be necessary to give the participants some theory. Examples and analogies are a useful means to communicate complicated content. Also very popular: negative examples. When your submission shows that you are capable of communicating complex subjects in a simple way, the evaluation team will surely rank you higher.

8. The Title of the Presentation

When the content of the presentation is set, the search for a strong presentation title begins. Concise titles, that make the subject obvious on first sight, help both the program committee and the participants when they choose their presentations. However, boring titles should be avoided at all costs. Browsing through earlier conference programs such as the APEX Connect 2018 can help: Which titles encourage participants to visit the presentation? Which titles describe the subject or draw interest? The title should not exceed 90 characters (including spaces).

9. Get Feedback and Keep Networking

From subject choice to matured submission, we advise you to get feedback from the great APEX community as often as possible. During a chat with colleagues at the coffee machine, interesting ways of looking at problems may have an impact on your presentation. Hints from experienced speakers may also be valuable. Non-professionals can also contribute to the phrasing of the abstract: There certainly are some volunteers in your circle of friends who have good writing skills and can proof-read your abstract.

10. Submit Several Suggestions

Each speaker is free to submit several suggestions. To make it worth your effort, make sure that you consider the mentioned quality criteria for each submission. By doing so, submitters do not only increase their statistical chance of a positive answer. The evaluation team may also remember a recurring name. The submissions are not anonymized.

11. Be Patient

When you have considered all aspects and you still get a negative answer, do not give up immediately. Ultimately, you always need a little bit of luck for a positive answer. You can try again next year – and until then, the name of the game is: Keep on networking and get feedback...

Good luck for your application! We look forward to seeing you at APEX connect! Presentations can be submitted at