What is the best way to make my case to my Manager to select me to go to the conference?

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    Any chance of expressing desire to go for the reasons you stated - but go jointly with your manager to 'learn the ropes'. Let him/her present, but ask them to include you in a Q&A session. If you've learned a lot from the manager in the past, you could learn more by taking a back seat - but try to be there. It isn't rolling over to be willing to stay in learning mode. Congratulations on your achievement! – tblue Sep 12 '19 at 2:23
  • @tblue I have added in the edit section. Only 1 person among the authors is allowed to travel due to company policy. – Nappa Sep 12 '19 at 2:40
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    Definitely, state your reasons for wanting to go. Also realize that the company may gain a lot of info by sending a senior person who knows what to look for in other presentations. Humility is not being a puppet. All I'm saying is: Know when to 'drop the rock'. We all know disappointment in things that matter to us...maturity about it has to be a decision. – tblue Sep 12 '19 at 3:33
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    Nappa, try to be aware of emotions getting ahead of Reason. Emotion, high or low, causes derails; it blinds. Think of others as well as yourself. If the mgr goes, wish her a great presentation and a productive trip. When I told my father I couldn't stand a teacher, he said: Don't worry about how you feel - pick their brains! <s> Life has a way of repeating things we don't learn from the first 50 times. You could be that rare one who learns a valuable tool young. – tblue Sep 12 '19 at 4:17
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    @tblue you should write an answer, you're making a lot of insightful comments that address the root issues here. – dwizum Sep 12 '19 at 12:53

The issue here is the business has a very understandable need to ensure that the paper is presented well.

Note that just because you did the work, doesn't mean you are the best equipped to present it. That is the reality of the situation.

If it's your company policy to only send one person, you can suggest you finding your own accommodation, and own flights, and ask the company to allow you to co-present the paper with your manager.

Other than that, it's their business call on who to send. In the future, if this matters a lot to you, you should make sure your employment conditions mandate that you are the one to present papers you work on.

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    I would agree with your statement, but being that I know the topic well and my manager doesnt (she hasn't seen the output) , and I was dismissed due to the reason being "I won't be able to present well" is what infuriating me. – Nappa Sep 12 '19 at 3:02
  • @Nappa And you think this is an incorrect assessment of your ability, or should they have stated it better? – Gregory Currie Sep 12 '19 at 3:08
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    correct, I had given a presentation on the similar sub topic before to entire team. My manager had given positive feedback to it. – Nappa Sep 12 '19 at 3:39
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    "my manager doesnt (she hasn't seen the output)" Then the Q&A-Session (is there also a poster session") will be quite awkward.... – FooTheBar Sep 12 '19 at 8:28
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    @Nappa you need to understand that "presenting well" is a very, very different thing than "knowing the content." Someone telling you that you won't present well may well be a fact, even if you truly do know the content best. Have you been to many conferences? Do you know what the company's objectives are, in terms of participating in this conference? – dwizum Sep 12 '19 at 12:56

The quality of the presentation is IMHO a very weak argument and is used by your manager as it can't be quantified, so it's hard for you to rebut it.

It's a tech/scientific conference and not a sales pitch, so great rhetoric abilities do not matter as much as the ability to answer questions directly after the talk or during the coffee breaks. Would you (or anyone higher in your company) refuse to work with a researcher just because she stuttered during the presentation? (I even was at a conference once in which a Japanese researcher used a text-to-speech program for his 10min talk and no one really cared)

Only a small part of the conference is the presentation itself (which can be rather short), more important are the individual discussions. Your manager most likely won't be able to discuss the paper in depth.

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    I downvoted this because you seem to be ignoring the company's perspective, and the potential that the OP may actually not be a good presenter (and similarly, that the manager may actually know the material better than the OP is giving them credit for). You're making good points about representing the research in side conversations, but that may not actually be the company's goal. They may be more interested in learning from other presentations, or networking, or recruiting, or something else. – dwizum Sep 12 '19 at 13:57
  • And especially if they are into networking, they should send the person who is technically fit to present the paper (and those of others) the best. And that is not the person who could be rhetorically better, but the person with the best knowledge of the paper. – FooTheBar Sep 13 '19 at 7:25
  • But you definitely have a good point and thank you for commenting after downvoting! – FooTheBar Sep 13 '19 at 7:41

But as I spent almost an year and a half developing and writing the paper

That's a lot of time spent in writing down, its natural for you to be dejected, given that its also been noted that 60% of it is your contribution, while manager is 10%

It seems that the manager is trying to take credit for your work by selfishly taking this opportunity to present for himself, rather than you or the senior employee.

While its true the company owns the IP etc, and can choose to send any of its employee to represent itself, this is one of those rare situations where you should touch base with your skip level manager.

strongly desire to change work or pursue further studies.

Winner never quits, and quitter never wins. Don't go down without highlighting the wrong here, as the manager may try same tactics at a different time for a different project as well.

Objectively state the facts, feelings regarding the matter to your skip level manager:

  1. You contributed the most to the paper
  2. The person being sent contributed least to the paper
  3. You feel dejected by the current decision
  4. Is there any way the current decision can be altered to send you
  5. If the aim is to send someone senior who can represent the company, then the better choice is the senior employee and not the manager, for reasons of technical depth.

FWIW, if you lack in presentation skill, a good manager should have taken this as an opportunity to improve these skills of yours, not hog all the attention for himself.

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