It is a Publish or Perish academic world and conference paper presentations are an essential part of medical education. Dr Parikshit Tank discusses how to get past the first step – writing an abstract. The first step is to choose a subject that is clinically relevant and feasible. The course has tips on each of the components of the standard IMRAD (Introduction, Methods, Results and Discussion) format. There is now a growing emphasis on simplifying scientific language, which is also discussed.