Rules & guidelines

  • Organisers will allocate accepted proposals into a programme, and give each presentation a 15-minute time slot.
  • Each presentation consists of no more than 6 tweets. Each tweet should have the official hashtag #brainTC, and be numbered (see example presentation below).
  • Tweets can contain pictures and even links to sources or papers, but the presentation should be understandable by reading just the tweets.
  • The audience can comment and ask questions from the presenter using the official hashtag. The main discussion should happen before the next presentation begins. However, discussions may continue even after the conference.
  • After the conference, abstracts and presentations (the six numbered tweets) will be collected into a proceedings.

Example presentation

The general guideline for the six-tweet presentation is to have an introductory tweet, then four substance tweets and finally a concluding tweet. Each presentation will begin be introduced by an announcement tweet from the organizers @RealBrainTC. Despite the strict character limits, please aim for clear and good scientific-quality presentations.

The example presentation shows some ways of presenting  information in tweets; it is not an example of the recommended type of content.

First, the announcement tweet from organisers (was @abc_aalto in 2017, will be @RealBrainTC in 2018):

Then, the presentation. Each tweet should be a response to the announcement tweet to form a thread:

Finally, a concluding tweet:

How to draft your presentation in advance

You should draft the six tweets of your presentation beforehand, so they are ready to be sent when your slot opens. This way you can make sure that your tweets meet the Twitter character limit and you have time to troubleshoot if you have any issues with images or other media. A short tutorial to drafting and sending your tweets using Tweetdeck is presented below, but feel free to use whichever method of drafting you are most comfortable with.

Edited to add: It seems that if you schedule your tweets with media (gifs, pictures) attached, you lose the ability to edit them (including editing timing) and can only delete. So, unfortunately, it seems that using the method below you can only draft the text portion of your presentation and you will have to add the media in when you publish your tweets (i.e. during your presentation). This is less than optimal, but so far it’s still the best tool we’ve found. We recommend you double check the size of your media before your presentation make sure it’s Twitter compatible. (Thanks to @StewartHeitmann for pointing this out)

You can fully draft your presentation before the conference date using Tweetdeck. Tweetdeck does not support drafting as such, but you can get the same results by scheduling your tweets far into the future, and then removing the scheduling (see step-by-step instructions below)

To save a drafted tweet, you will need to ‘Schedule Tweet’. We recommend you schedule a time clearly after the conference date.

When you press tweet at [date], the scheduled tweet will show in a separate column in your Tweetdeck.

When it’s your presentation time and you want to publish your drafted tweets, do as follows:

  • select Edit for the relevant tweet

  • Click on scheduling and choose Remove

  • Select the tweet you want to respond to by clicking the speech bubble below that tweet (speech bubble shown in blue in the tweet starting with “(2)” in the example below). For your first tweet this will be the @RealBrainTC introduction tweet, for every other tweet it will be your own previous tweet. Creating a clean tweet thread like this helps participants find and follow the presentations. It also helps the tweets in your presentation to stay in correct order.

  • When you see that you’re responding to the correct tweet, you can click Tweet to send your masterpiece out into the world!

Other tips

  • Use TweetDeck etc. so that you can follow multiple streams simultaneously. As a presenter, you might want to make a column for notifications and another for the conference hashtag.
  • You can pace your six tweets of your presentation to be slightly apart, to give people time to read and understand them, rather than sending them all at once in the beginning of your time slot.
  • The presenter “chairs” the discussion during their time slot, by choosing which comments and questions they answer.
  • Just like at regular conferences, be prepared for asking and answering questions. If your presentation is about a study that has been published elsewhere, it is a good idea to include a link to the publication in the presentation (a link in a tweet takes up only 23 characters).

What if I don’t have a Twitter account?

Don’t worry, it’s easy to make one and get started with Twitter. Here are some links with useful tips.

Getting started with Twitter

Getting started with TweetDeck