Slobodanka Graham


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The 3 top ways to confer successfully

The 3 top ways to confer successfully

Institute of Professional Editors Conference

As a Baby Boomer, I like to share my experiences with others.

Brisbane city skyline from Southbank

Brisbane city skyline from Southbank

At last week's IPEd conference - held in beautiful Brisbane - I spoke about what I've learnt working with Millennials at MasterDocs.

As this was an editors' conference, I conveyed my positive learning experiences by demonstrating a digital publishing case study - this Planepack blog. I strongly believe that editorial skills are needed in the new digital publishing environment.

But this post is not about the content of my presentation; instead it's about the three top ways to enjoy your next conference: pack lightly; plan your presentation, and savour every moment.

Pack lightly

You know my Planepack principle already: travel light. This was my preparation and planning process:

I had to pack for a two-night excursion from Canberra to Brisbane. As the conference was held at the Brisbane Exhibition and Conference Centre on Southbank, I booked into a hotel in George Street in the city. I knew I'd be walking about 5 kms every day - so comfortable shoes were essential. 

Light luggage

My travel there involved getting to Canberra airport, boarding the Virgin flight to Brisbane, catching the Airtrain into the city and walking through the streets to the hotel. I carried 6.4 kgs in my Samsonite wheelie bag - plus my handbag - and of course it was as easy as anything to manage my light luggage.

My wardrobe

I planned my wardrobe carefully: smart casual for the two days at the conference plus an evening outfit for the conference dinner. I wore minimal jewellery that included my 'killer' necklace of which I've written previously. My palette was shades of grey - and I wore everything I took with me.

I took few toiletries. For the first time I used my BOOM cosmetics - and I'll review those in another post.

My luggage, wardrobe and possessions presented no problems. I give these a big tick for stress free travel.

Present with a plan

Slobodanka presenting. Photo by Johann Idriss

Slobodanka presenting. Photo by Johann Idriss

My presentation required a little more preparation and thought - in fact a lot of work. I relish presenting, but I am always anxious ahead of the time.

There's a lot to consider when planning a presentation: what is the message I want to convey? How will I convey that through slides and spoken word? Will I fit what I need to say into the 45 minutes, allowing 15 minutes for questions? As I don't know the venue or podium layout, how will I manage the slide transitions?

I had a full house on the day - which made me even more nervous - but my presentation went well. There were many questions and kind comments from the delegates. All that hard work and preparation was worthwhile. And now I could enjoy the rest of the conference.

Enjoy every opportunity

Conferences are excellent meeting places. There was plenty of opportunity to mix and mingle during morning and afternoon teas and lunch time. I met many new people and caught up with friends and colleagues.

This is the second IPEd conference that I've attended and presented a paper - the last one was in Canberra two years ago. I was impressed by the warmth and camaraderie of the delegates, the professional running of the event, and the excellent venue in both cases. I look forward to the next conference, to be held in Melbourne in 2019.

The experiences

But it's not just about conference: I enjoy visiting another city, walking the streets, admiring the sights, smells and atmosphere. I even went for a ride on the Ferris Wheel.

If you have the opportunity to attend a conference, I encourage you to present a paper. It might be nerve-wracking and a lot of work, but the benefit of sharing your knowledge with a group of interested and engaged colleagues is worthwhile. And if you take my advice and pack lightly, prepare appropriately and enjoy everything the conference and city have to offer - you're on a winning ticket.

Bobby presenting

I'm Slobodanka Graham, Baby Boomer, blogger and presenter.

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BOOM! A review

BOOM! A review

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