My first ever conference presentation

As you may know, I am one of three Events Coordinators for the Special Interest Group for Materials Writers, MaWSIG. We have a ‘strand’ running at the upcoming Business English Special Interest Group (BESIG) conference in Munich this November. One of my Events Coordinator colleagues, Karen Richardson, is based in Germany, so she has been taking the lead on organising everything. However, there was recently a small issue when one of our MaWSIG strand speakers dropped out, leaving a hole in the programme. After some to-ing and fro-ing with our BESIG Committee counterparts as to how best to replace her, I have ended up being offered that slot. So I am now facing the prospect of delivering my first ever conference presentation! My name is on the schedule and there’s no going back. 

As was recommended to me, I took some inspiration from the title of the person’s talk I’m replacing, and came up with the below as my title and blurb:

From print to digital: the publisher’s perspective
How is writing for digital different from writing for print? What kind of differences are often overlooked by materials writers, designers and even publishers? In this talk, I will try to give an insight into what publishers look for in good digital materials, as well as shedding some light on exactly what working in digital publishing means. I will also include a few tips for authors wanting to get more involved in working on digital projects.

I have deliberately kept it quite vague, but time is ticking on now and I need to get cracking!

So, whether you’re a teacher or an ELT writer or just interested in the industry in general, I’d like to ask for any suggestions of material I could cover that may be useful to you. I can’t promise I’ll be able to cover it all, but it’d be interesting to hear what people would like to know. And of course, any tips about presenting for the first time at a conference would be much appreciated!


7 thoughts on “My first ever conference presentation

  1. I would love to see the video of your presentation. It’s really difficult for me to understand why publishers have been so slow in making available their textbooks as e-books, with all the bells and whistles. Is it just fear of piracy or are there other issues involved? For example I only know of the Interchange series available as an eBook. I personally use with my students the new headway series and Market Leader. Why do I still have to get the CD transferred to a computer, then transfer it to my iPad so I can use the audio? Good luck with your first presentation.


    1. Hi Moacir,
      Many thanks for your comment, and for thinking my presentation might be useful enough to be recorded! I’m afraid I don’t know if BESIG are recording any of the presentations, but I’ll certainly add the link here if they do.
      Your observations and suggestions are very interesting and I shall certainly try to include them.
      Many thanks for stopping by 🙂


  2. Hey Rachel. Great to see a blog post from you again! Best of luck with the conference – I’m presenting at my first one (online) next week too… scary!!!
    Digital publishing…. hmmm. I wonder if talking about things like blendspace (I think its called that) – the Edmodo blended learning platform might be interesting. Also, up and coming sites like Pindex might be interesting as they could be good platforms for in-service training. I’d be really keen to listen to your talk as I’m currently doing a masters module in materials development – will it be recorded. Cheers, all the best!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Pete, thanks for stopping by! Firstly, I wish you all the best of luck for your first presentation this week / I hope it went well if it has already happened 🙂
      Thanks for the ideas – although that’s possibly a bit too technical for the kind of talk I was planning…
      Not sure if it’s being recorded – I have to say that I hope not, so I don’t ever have to witness it myself (!) but it might be. I’ll let you know 🙂
      Thanks again,


  3. Hi Rachel,
    I’ll be there cheering you on in Munich! 🙂
    I’m most interested in the tips for those of us wanting to get into materials writing – digital or otherwise. I guess that the differences between print and digital materials will be of interst to a lot of people, and especially what publishers look for and what they often overlook, as that would give writers a good basis for rationales when proposing new materials!
    Hope this helps?

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I don’t really teach business English, so I’ll be at pretty much all of the materials writing stuff! Looking forward to meeting everyone!


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