“Your Fifteen Minutes of Fame: Making the Most of Them”


Organized and delivered by,

Dr. Paul Burrows, Jiangsu Industrial Technology Research Institute (JITRI), Vice President and

World Association of Industrial and Technological Research Organizations (WAITRO) Secretariat China Office, Director.

As conferences return to an in-person format after two years of pandemic-enforced Zoom, Teams, and Tencent presentations, it is time to consider how to best approach that common staple of scientific conferences, the 15-minute contributed presentation… thirteen minutes plus two for questions, if anyone can keep to time. Dr. Burrows has been delivering these, and falling asleep in far more, for well over thirty years. He has developed some strong views on the mistakes many scientists make when developing these short presentations, and how to both give and get the most benefit from the format. The 15-minute contributed paper is particularly important for the careers of young scientists, who are less likely to get the longer “invited” slots that often allow senior academicians much longer to develop their stories. In the 1960s, the phrase “in the future, everyone will have 15 minutes of fame” was attributed to the artist Andy Warhol. Delivered well, your 15 minutes could lead directly to new career opportunities but there is precious little instruction in this art at the undergraduate or graduate levels. Instead, we are supposed to figure it out along the way, expecting that practice alone will improve our skills. The advent of Powerpoint and similar presentation software creates new ways to tell a story but also new ways to overcomplicate and obscure the message. This Workshop will focus on a discussion of what works and what doesn’t. It will also include a clinic where the group will hear 15-minute presentations from volunteer students and then analyze what worked, what didn’t, and how both the slides and the presentation could be improved.

The Workshop requires pre-registration and participants are also encouraged to submit Powerpoint slides (or pdf) of a recent 15-minute presentation delivered at a seminar or conference (the subject is irrelevant). Two will be selected for presentation at the Workshop.

workshop I


Time-line: 12:00 – 14:00

Sunday, October 16, 2022

Knossos Royal Hotel/Conference venue

12:00: Your 15 minutes of fame (P.E.Burrows)

12:20 Questions and discussion

12:30 Presentation 1 (student presenter)

12:45 Analysis and criticism of Presentation 1

13:00 Presentation 2 (student presenter)

13:15 Analysis and criticism of Presentation 2

13:30 End.

To participate in this interactive and highly stimulating workshop you must register in advance. Please send a 15-minute presentation to Ms Maria Fasoulaki (  by October 1st, 2022. The workshop is free of charge and open to undergraduate and graduate students attending the TCM-TOEO conference from all disciplines and backgrounds (Science / Engineering).