Refining Your Professional Skills: Creating Effective Abstracts, Posters, and Slides

Refining Your Professional Skills: Creating Effective Abstracts, Posters, and Slides

This professional development event hosted by West Tokyo JALT and sponsored by Tokyo JALT, the JALT CUE SIG, and JALT Teacher Development (TD) SIG will help you prepare for the upcoming conference season by helping you learn how to write effective abstracts and design excellent presentations. The event will feature three one-hour workshops followed by a two-hour breakout session where attendees can bring their presentation ideas and get one-on-one advice from the presenters and other experienced educators about how to hone their ideas into well-planned abstracts and presentations.

Date: March 9, 2019


Location: Kyorin University Inokashira Campus E202 (Building E, second floor)

5-4-1 Shimorenjaku, Mitaka, Tokyo

Bus details

Mitaka station: South Exit Bus Stop #8 (Buses run every 9 minutes), Kichijoji Station: South Exit Bus Stop #5 (Buses typically run every 15 minutes) 

If you need further assistance getting to the venue, please feel free to contact Jason, the West Tokyo JALT president, at 080-3202-6563

Price: Free to JALT members. Non-Members: 1,000 yen

Workshop 1: 12:15-1:15

Honing your Abstract Writing Skills

Presenters: Jamie Taylor and Dr. Wendy M. Gough

Writing a submission for a conference presentation can be exasperating. How much detail do I need? How do I state my ideas clearly within the word limit? What are the reviewers looking for? This workshop will help you understand what to include in a well-written abstract and how to present your ideas concisely yet thoroughly enough to impress conference proposal reviewers. It will begin with an overview of general abstract guidelines for JALT and other conferences and what reviewers are looking for in a good conference submission. We will then discuss abstract format and how to begin brainstorming ideas for writing your next conference abstract.

Workshop 2: 1:30-2:30

Poster Presentations for Conferences: Tips and Strategies

Presenter: Greg Gagnon

Posters are an excellent way to present initial findings, visually plan your ideas, and get feedback about ongoing research at a conference. They can also be used as a way to concisely and quickly show the impact points of one's research. Many people, however, are not sure how to make the best impact, and are sometimes confused as to the differences between a research presentation and a poster presentation. This workshop will discuss the various ways to design an attractive poster that can best showcase the important points of your research, in a clear, visually attractive way. The discussion will provide information about effective poster designs, ways to present the important points of your research, ways to engage the audience with your poster, and things to avoid when making a poster. Finally, workshop participants will be given an opportunity to brainstorm and design posters of their own, based on information shared in the workshop.

Workshop 3: 2:45-3:45

Bullet Ban: Putting an end to Death by Powerpoint by Educators

Presenter: Daniel Beck

Too often research findings fail to engage audiences because of DBP, death by Powerpoint. This phenomenon occurs when academics fail to invest as much in the presentation of their research as they do in the publication of their research. The time has come to put away the bullets and tiny text and learn to make engaging presentations that will share with the academic world their results and insights in a fresh, compelling way. This workshop will demonstrate how academics can improve their presentations by engaging their audiences with story, slide design, and delivery. Participation by and questions from the participants is encouraged.

Workshop 4: 4:00-6:00

Breakout Session

This two-hour workshopping time will provide an opportunity for attendees to discuss and receive advice about their presentation topics and ideas. Attendees are encouraged to bring their presentation ideas and drafts of abstracts, slides, or posters to the breakout session. This will enable them to receive help from the workshop presenters, other attendees, and representatives from the sponsoring groups that will help them prepare for upcoming conference submissions and presentations.

Jamie Taylor Chubu University

Jamie Taylor is a Senior Assistant Professor at Chubu University near Nagoya. She is a doctoral student at Nagoya University in psycholinguistics studying bilingual lexical processing among Japanese-English bilinguals. Her main educational interest is content-based language teaching. Currently, she serves as the CUE SIG publicity chair, Gifu JALT chapter program chair, and works with Wendy on the PanSIG submissions and reviewing team.

Dr. Wendy M. Gough

Bunkyo Gakuin University

Dr. Wendy M. Gough will become an Associate Professor at Bunkyo Gakuin University in April 2019. Her research focuses on community outreach activities involving English support in small Japanese towns as a means to develop intercultural communication skills, extensive reading, and journal writing. Ms. Gough has been the JALT PanSIG conference Submissions and Reviewing Co-Chair for the past four years.

Greg Gagnon

Toyota Technological Institute

Greg Gagnon is from Springfield, Massachusetts. He received a BA and Masters of Liberal Arts from the Johns Hopkins University, and his MA in Second Language Studies from the University of Hawaii. He has taught English in Baltimore, Osaka, and Thailand. He currently teaches at the Toyota Technological Institute in Nagoya, Japan. Greg’s research centers on teacher attitudes, philosophy of teaching, and reading practices and principles.

Daniel Beck

Rikkyo University

Daniel Beck is a presentations enthusiast and coach. He is a lecturer at Rikkyo University in Tokyo. He received his M.S. Ed in TESOL at Temple University Japan and is currently pursuing an Ed.D. in TESOL at Anaheim University. He can be contacted at and tweets at @gtb on Twitter.

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