Ignite me? Ignite you!

My name is Stefanie and I’m obsessed with Ignite.  For those not familiar, Ignite is an event where speakers have five minutes and 20 slides (auto-advanced every 15 seconds) to make a point.  The first Ignite took place in Seattle back in 2006 and has since spread across the world.  I recently participated in my second ever Ignite at IgniteDC #9.  It was here that I discovered something I already knew: I love everything about Ignite!  Developing the topic, preparing the slides, practice rounds and finally, given the speech. The talks given that night were funny, engaging, and thoughtful.  Not something you can say about most presentations.

So why should you do an Ignite?  It offers you the best preparation to tackle any presentation.  Ignite may be the shortest talk you’ll ever give, but it will definitely be your hardest. Remember, you don’t control the speed of your slides so you have to be able to relay a thought per slide every 15 seconds.  Not easy.  Ignite also forces you to practice.  You cannot wing Ignite.  Correction, you can wing Ignite, but don’t expect it to be any good. Ignite is basically a performance.  Even the best musicians do a sound check so why should you be any different?  Prepare to dedicate hours to making your speech the best it can be.

Once you have an Ignite under your belt, every other presentation is a breeze. You’ll be more inclined to use images rather than text for your slides. You’ll be less dependent on notes. You’ll improve your delivery.  Like bacon and a sunny warm day, Ignite can make your world just a little better.


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