5 Tips for a Successful YTH Live Abstract

Heard the news? Now through October 27, 2017, we’re accepting abstract submissions for the 10 year anniversary of YTH Live, the youth + tech + health conference. Are you a tech innovator? Youth health provider? Nonprofit? Startup? Something in-between? Well then, you’re invited to submit an abstract and share your interesting new ideas and what you’ve learned over the years with the YTH Live audience.

First, let’s talk logistics. You need to submit your abstract by October 27, 2017 via the abstract submission form in order to be considered. The YTH Live Program Committee will then carefully review your abstract, and you’ll be notified by December 8 whether your abstract has been accepted or not. The format of your abstract can be as creative as you’d like, as long as it follows our formatting guidelines and meets the evaluation criteria outlined in the Call for Abstracts.

I’ve presented at YTH Live in the past and want to share some tips that can help you to submit a successful abstract, too!

Keep It Simple and Relevant

Abstracts for YTH Live need to be 250 word or less (which includes all 3 sections), so keep it simple and concise. For a successful abstract you should articulate how your work relates to each of the youth + tech + health fields—not just one or two of those!

For example, let’s say I submitted an abstract for YTH Live on Tumblr feminism. I wrote learning objectives that showed the connection between youth (young feminist activists), tech (the Tumblr platform), and health (eliminating gender-based health inequalities).

Keeping your abstract simple and focused on the Y + T + H greatly improves your chance of being selected to present at YTH Live.
Since 2018 is our 10-year anniversary of the YTH Live conference, we encourage you to submit abstracts that highlight how technologies for youth health have evolved over the past decade. We want to reflect on how technology has changed from 2008 to 2018, so think about how you can include this theme into your presentation.

Further, we will once again feature a youth track, that will include the presentations facilitated by and for young people. We highly encourage young leaders, advocates, and change makers to present their work at our conference and make it appealing to a youth and adult audience. Our program committee also looks very favorably on work that has been developed and/or presented by young people themselves, as we not only talk about youth at our conference as adult allies, but feature their voices, directly.

Craft a Catchy Program Description

You might be thinking that the program description for your abstract is the easiest part of the process, but I can tell you from experience that writing a catchy program description can be a challenge. How will you entice the YTH Live community to attend your session in 150 words or less?

By making your abstract simple and focused, you’ve laid the groundwork for a winning program description. This is your chance to be creative—feel free to use fun, colorful, youthful, and energetic language to describe your presentation. Avoid using jargon or overly complex language that that can leave people scratching their heads. You want to entice, not confuse.

Stand Out

You will see a new question in our abstract submission form this year, which asks how you will make your work interactive. Since we have a lot of youth who attend our conference, as well as encourage the use of innovative, interactive technology, we want to feature presentations that aren’t the typical PowerPoint. We want to know what activities, content, and angles you’ll take in your presentation that will be different than the standard slide deck presented to the audience.

Tell us about any and all components that will make your presentation anything but typical- will you ask the audience to engage with you or other audience participants? Will you be using any kind of innovative technology during your talk? How will your presentation be unique? Don’t hold back on this one, since we are looking for submissions that rise above the status quo.

Submit Early

The October 27 abstract submission deadline will be here before you know it. Avoid the anxiety of submitting your abstract at the last minute. I know the submission process can feel intimidating or seem like it will take you hours to complete. But I can assure you it’s neither of these things. In fact, YTH has simplified the submission process and evaluation criteria for abstracts.

Try creating a draft of your abstract at least a week before the deadline. You can take advantage of the extra time and have someone else review your abstract and give feedback. I always recommend getting a second look, since others can provide insight that we ourselves may be blind to.

Take Advantage of Early Bird Registration

After you submit an abstract, make sure to register for YTH Live, even before official abstract acceptances are announced. Early bird registration can save you $50 off the regular rate. This rate is available to a limited number of registrants, so get in on the deal now before it’s gone! We also have special discounts available for adults attending the conference with youth, young people ages 14-21 attending the conference, and students.

I wish you the best on your abstract and hope to see you for our 10th anniversary celebration at YTH Live 2018 on May 6-7 at Bespoke in San Francisco! Join the YTH Live community and conversation on social media at @YTHorg and #ythlive.

ZonaSegura ZonaSegura is a trauma-informed youth-centered innovative mobile solution to address teen dating violence in Honduras. Learn more about ZonaSegura on our program page.