Writing effective proposals for METMs and MET workshops: abstracts, peer review and the MET(M) audience

Workshop review

An enthusiastic group gathered on Zoom to hear Emma Goldsmith and Mary Savage introduce us to writing proposals for METM presentations (Emma) and MET workshops (Mary) in the first half of the two-hour workshop. The speakers opened by thanking Wendy Baldwin, who had provided input to the workshop but was unable to present on the day.

Lifehacks 2022 presenters

Emma started by outlining some of the many benefits of presenting to your peers at a METM, benefits that go both ways between the speaker and their audience. She touched on the barriers that might stop us from coming forward, before outlining the broad range of topic ideas that are suitable for a METM. The procedure for submitting a proposal all the way to having it accepted was clarified, followed by some greater detail on what goes into one of these proposals and tips for what makes for a successful bid.

Mary’s talk gave us all the background to submitting a proposal for a workshop and explained how workshops differ from conference presentations – not just by being longer (three hours is a common length) but in their format. The procedure is also different and not tied to the strict schedule of proposals for talks at METMs. There are many stages between the first step of coming forward with an idea and the final workshop, including piloting the workshop in front of a live audience.

The second part of the event consisted of two breakout sessions in which participants were divided into small groups. In the first breakout, we were able to share our ideas for a possible presentation or workshop and get useful feedback from two or three other attendees. The second provided some time for looking at previous successful proposals and discussing their salient features, with the aim of evaluating what might make a good proposal both in structure and style.

By the time the workshop drew to a close, I for one had a much clearer idea of a topic I might propose for my first METM presentation, enough courage to embark on the process, and the necessary information to submit a proposal that should fit the MET bill.

Lifehacks 2022 presenters

Review by Lynda Hepburn