Tips for a Successful #BACCHUSGA17 Program Proposal


BACCHUS Initiatives Staff

September 14, 2017

The Call for Programs is open and the deadline to submit programs is quickly approaching! If you are submitting a proposal for the BACCHUS Initiatives of NASPA General Assembly, below are some tips.

Follow the directions on the form. Unfortunately, you cannot save a Call for Programs submission to return to later. Be sure to write the proposal when you have sufficient time and won’t be interrupted. It can also be helpful to save a copy of your proposal to review again when you prepare for your session.

Why this program? Why do you feel like this presentation should be presented? What are people going to learn and take away by attending your presentation? Are there pieces of the presentation that could be replicated on another campus? If a program is too specific to your own institution, it may not be helpful to other schools. That said, what was your process in developing your campus program? Could that be a topic? For example, did you gather information to develop the program—the process of creating a great program itself could be a great presentation (see what I did there?).

How long will I have to present?  Each breakout session is 50 minutes. A successful breakout program typically has 45 minutes of content, with at least five minutes for questions. Showcase Sessions group 2-3 presentations on similar topic in the same breakout, and each group has 15 minutes to present.

Write clear and concise objectives. Objectives should be simple, specific, person-first, and measurable.

Here is an example of a not-so-good objective: Learn things to take back to your school and apply this information to do their own program.

Instead, consider some of the following good objectives:

·         Students will be able to identify two signs of alcohol poisoning.

·         Students will be able to describe what STI means.

·         Students will be able to name two national resources for eating disorders.

How detailed should our proposal be? Your program should include an abstract, which will be utilized in the Program Book and Guidebook. The abstract should be a 3-5 sentence description of what your session focuses on and what attendees will learn. The Program Outline should be 2-3 paragraphs, going into more detail about the session. A successful Program Outline includes a time breakdown for each component (e.g. presenter introductions: 5 minutes; campus demographics: 10 minutes).

Highly rated programs describe not only what a program looks like on campus, but how other campuses may adapt the lessons and efforts. Learning Outcomes identify what lessons will be learned during the session.

Can my program only be PowerPoint?
Not at all! Please consider ways to include and/or increase attendee engagement (through conversation, audience participation, or small group activities). If you do use PowerPoint, it may be beneficial to include images, charts, color.

What will be provided in the room I’m presenting in?
Each room will be set with a projector and screen. You will be responsible for bringing your own laptop. If you are playing videos or using sound, plan on bringing your own speakers. If you have a Mac or older computer, please bring any necessary adapters as we do NOT have these available on-site.

Lastly, use spell check and have someone read over your submission. It is important to make a good first impression. Consider writing out the content in a Word document and asking an advisor or other person to review what you are hoping to submit. Ask someone who has submitted to a conference in the past as they may have more experience in writing a proposal than another new peer.

Be sure to take a look at this short video that walks you through the submission process.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to the BACCHUS staff if you have any questions about the call for programs. Best of luck with your submission and we look forward to seeing you in November. 

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