Yea! My paper was accepted at the SAS Global Forum 2013. There’s nothing better than getting an email from your section chair saying your paper has been accepted. Steve Overton was correct in his The Wait is Killing Me post. Angela Hall and I were invited to conduct a Hands On Workshop for “Creating Your First Stored Process”, a poster about using “Group Prompts”, and a paper called “Stop Your ‘Wine’ing – Use a Stored Process!”, which will cover some advanced stored processes.
As I have learned from past presentations, today is when I have to start my preparation! If you have also received your notice, here are some tips to help you prepare your presentation.
Tip #1 – Reservations and Planning
Make your travel arrangements today! Try to arrive by noon on Sunday so you can meet with the section chair, see the room you are presenting in, and pick up any last minute information. It is also a good idea to start drumming up interest in your paper and presentation among the other conference participants. Plan to attend the social events and invite others. It is a great way to make a new professional contact.
You might want to mark important deadlines on your calendar and ensure you have proper time to prepare your information. If the paper deadline is the same weekend as family event, then you might need to have the paper complete the prior weekend. Allow plenty of time. A good paper and presentation takes twice as long as you think!
Tip #2 - Prepare Your Samples
First thing you have to do is consider your audience and their skill level. If your presentation is geared toward advanced users, then you probably will not spend any time discussing how to open SAS Enterprise Guide. Likewise, if you are writing to a beginner group then your paper needs to include more details and possibly more hand-holding.
The hardest part of any presentation I do is preparing an example situation. I prefer to use sample data and example scenarios that are a little out of the ordinary. This way if you are not as interested in the topic, you might at least find the data amazing.
If you need some assistance finding sample data, check this Sample Data for Facial Recognition and UFOs post. In the post, you’ll find plenty of leads on attention-grabbing data. Since the conference is in California, you might consider snooping through the State of California data site to give some local flavor to your presentation.
Tip #3 – Warm Up Your Reviewers and Mentors
After writing your paper and preparing any related information, you will need a few reviewers. Start figuring out which friends you want to ask and then invite them to lunch next week – your treat of course. After all, you may need him or her to review your information moments before it is due – start building the good will today!
SAS Global Forum offers new presenters a mentor to help with creating the paper and presentation. At last year’s conference, Bob Bolen, section chair of Application Development, said the program received a lot of positive feedback. Many of the program participants benefited from the relationship and advice. Do not be afraid to ask for help!
Good luck and I hope to see you there!