Article by: Perry Romanowski

Have you ever thought of doing a talk at a scientific symposium? Well, if you haven’t you should consider doing it. Read on to learn why.

I’m on the committee that is helping to organize the upcoming SCC Midyear Scientific Symposium that is being held in St. Louis in the spring of 2013. While it seems a long time away, it really is right around the corner when it comes to picking the speakers for the event. In fact the deadline for speaker abstract submissions is September 15, 2012. You can get more information here.

Submit your Abstract

Who should speak?

If you are uncertain whether you qualify to be a speaker, let’s review who makes the best speakers.

Formulators. Cosmetic chemists who are actually working on projects make excellent speakers. You probably know more about your particular area of formulating than most other people in the industry. Your knowledge can provide the basis for a niche talk that could be beneficial to other cosmetic formulators. The challenge you will face is that your boss or company may frown on the idea. But once you present all the benefits to giving a presentation, they just might change their minds.

Suppliers. A scientific talk is a great opportunity to introduce your new raw material and demonstrate how & why it is superior to other materials out there. This is exactly the kind of thing that the audience will want to see. Every supplier should be submitting at least one abstract for this symposium.

Consultants. If you are a cosmetic chemist consultant you absolutely should be offering to talk. There is no better way to demonstrate your expertise and to impress potential clients. Done right this is free publicity that can lead to hundreds of thousands of dollars in new client business.

Academics. Cosmetic chemists are craving new developments in science and rarely get to hear from academics. You’ll have an attentive audience and will also get the opportunity to see how your work can have practical applications. Anyone doing research in surfactants, skin, hair, emulsions, polymers, or other personal care related technologies should consider submitting a paper.

10 Benefits of Doing a Scientific Talk

Ok, now that you are considering submitting an abstract, here are 10 direct benefits you’ll get from doing the talk. I’m certain there are more than 10 but these are what came to mind first.

1. Build your reputation. There is nothing that is going to build your reputation as an expert in some facet of cosmetic science than giving a talk at a scientific symposium. For consultants it quickly establishes credibility and for new formulators it makes the rest of the industry take notice.

2. Generate more ideas. When you present your talk, you will invariably get questions which could help spur new areas of research for your subject. Getting fresh minds on your project can only help make it better.

3. Improve your research. Another benefit is that you will also likely get people who will give constructive criticism about your work. Some of this will be grandstanding but you may also discover areas of research that you hadn’t considered. This will also help improve your research.

4. Discover how your research fits in. An important benefit to giving a talk is that you will see how your research stacks up to the other papers given on the topic. You can determine whether you are treading through research areas that are already well traveled or whether you are blazing new trails. You should always strive for new trails.

5. Gain speaking experience. For a scientific organization to thrive we need good, dynamic speakers who give interesting talks about useful subjects. When you do a talk you gain useful experience which will help you in future talks at other symposiums or perhaps more importantly, for talks within your company. A corporation values people who can give good presentations more highly than people who can’t.

6. Make important connections. When you do a presentation, you get a spotlight which makes people more inclined to introduce themselves. These connections can be useful in the future for generating new business, getting other speaking opportunities and even landing a new job.

7. Generate more business. As a consultant, there is no better way to demonstrate your expertise than by giving a talk. And people may immediately connect with you after the talk with an opportunity to solve a problem that they are having right now. For suppliers, a well done talk could generate sampling and sales in ways that the typical sales call can’t.

8. Introduce your ingredient. While sales calls and trade shows are great ways to make people aware of your new ingredient, a scientific talk gives even more credibility. It is taken more seriously by cosmetic chemists so if your abstract is chosen for the program, you can bet it will lead to more interest. Just be careful not to make the talk too “salesy” as that is a significant turn-off.

9. Helps create marketing material. Whenever you give a talk it immediately raises your reputation but it also gives you a chance to create a lasting effect. You can list the talk on your Cv or resume, and you can post it on your website to use in marketing material for your consulting business or raw material brochures. A talk like this can provide the social proof that you are an expert in the subject.

10. Impress your boss. Finally, if you can get up and give a great talk that brings down the house, well, this will impress your boss and can give your career a boost.

So, if you are interested in doing a talk for the upcoming SCC Midyear Meeting, just download the PDF form here, fill it out and email to the appropriate contact people. If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment below or contact us and we’d be happy to give you some more pointers.

About the Author

Perry Romanowski

Perry has been formulating cosmetic products and inventing solutions to solve consumer problems since the early 1990’s. Additionally, he has written and edited numerous articles and books, taught continuing education classes for industry scientists, and developed successful websites. His latest book is Beginning Cosmetic Chemistry 3rd Edition published by Allured.


    1. Perry

      It doesn’t cost anything to do the talk. Your costs will be just for travel expenses. I’m not certain about meeting costs though. The SCC can answer that.

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