Ignite Your Storytelling Skills on January 24!

Do you have a story to tell? Of course you do! And 2023 could be your year to tell it!

Do you want to improve your ability to share your passion? Finally get past your fears of speaking in public? Or learn how to catch people’s attention from your very first sentence?

Ignite Seattle has been training speakers to harness their unique experiences through the power of compelling storytelling for years, and we want to teach YOU what we know. 

Join us on January 24, 2023 at Town Hall Seattle for a fun, fast-paced, FREE event where you’ll learn new ways to think about your own story and how to share it with others—both verbally and in writing!

You’ll get actionable and proven advice from experts on:

  • How to turn your life experience into a great story
  • How to get past your fears of public speaking
  • How to identify the spark of your story and grab someone’s attention right away

Plus, there will be plenty of time for your biggest and toughest questions about public speaking, lots of discussion, and chances to share your own story in small groups led by experienced speaker coaches.

You don’t need to have a talk prepared, or even know yet what story you want to tell, to participate. (Although if you’re thinking about taking a turn on the Ignite stage, this is a great place to hone your pitch…applications for our next event—hint, hint—are due February 2!)

Your coaches will be:

  • Professional speaker, bestselling author of Confessions of a Public Speaker, and Ignite Seattle emcee Scott Berkun
  • Author, former literary agent, and publishing consultant Beth Jusino
  • Storyteller and inspirational speaker Andrew Spink

CLICK HERE FOR INFORMATION AND REGISTRATION

The training is free, but space is limited, so register today!

Let us know if you have questions, and we look forward to seeing you on January 24.

PS. Help spread the word! If you know someone who has a great story or idea, or wants to feel more confident as a speaker, forward this post and invite them! Or share our Facebook Event Page on your social media channels.

We need your help to bring Ignite Seattle back!

Hi Ignite Superfan! Let’s start with the bad news: we’ve had to cancel our planned Ignite in October. Through the pandemic our team has shrunk, and we no longer have enough folks to make this event happen. (If you’re new to Ignite, this explains what our events are like).

Here’s where you come in: we need your help to bring Ignite back. Ignite Seattle is run by an fun, energetic, and enthusiastic all-volunteer team. We’re a group of former attendees who raised their hands and said “I want to help.” Now it’s your turn!

We’re hosting a volunteer info-session on Thursday, October 27, 7:30pm @ The Lab at Ada’s Technical Books, 425 15th Ave E Seattle WA 98112.

Not sure what volunteering for Ignite looks like? Below are a few ways volunteers help make the event possible. (But no experience is necessary, we’ll work with you to learn the job!)

Marketing:

We have a growing email list and follower count, but we have no one to tell them what’s happening. If you’re new to marketing, we have a playbook detailing what sorts of posts we usually make when, but you can also implement your own opinions or crazy ideas. You also get to press a red button that instantly emails thousands of fans of Ignite Seattle!

Speaker/Slide Wrangler:

Ignite gives anyone 5 minutes, live on stage, to share their project or passion with Seattle and the world. Many are first-time speakers, and the speaker/slide wrangler coordinates the training sessions and makes sure everyone has their slides ready for the stage. (You don’t need to have public speaking experience for this role, though.)

Speaker Coach:
Former Ignite Seattle speaker? This is your chance to give back by giving coaching to help our speakers share their stories with clarity and charisma.

Production Team:

Love bringing people together? We need your help to coordinate things like our pre-show activity, intermission, live-stream, and more. No experience necessary, but this job is a good fit for anyone who loves being organized. (Bonus points if you like spreadsheets.)

Rethink the event, and bring crazy ideas to life:
Did you know Ignite Seattle never did a survey until 2018!? When we did, we learned the audience wanted a shorter show that started earlier. (It only took us 12 years to find out…)What if you were in charge of the 3 Rs: help us research, recommend, and realize crazy new ideas? Research could include surveys, observations, and plain old talking to people. Yes that is still a thing.

These ideas (or your own ideas for Ignite) won’t happen without you. Are you ready to help? Sign up for our volunteer info session below or visit our volunteer page if you can’t make it.

Ignite Seattle Volunteer Info Session

Thursday, October 27, 7:30pm @ The Lab at Ada’s Technical Books, 425 15th Ave E Seattle WA 98112.

RSVP Here

(Thanks to our many volunteers who left the team over the pandemic for various life reasons, including: Nicole Steinbok, Sumit Basu, Jenny Bambara, Kent Whipple, Emily Martin, and Daniel Baird)

Ignite Seattle #42 Recap

Thank you for being part of another Seattle Town Hall event! Your support helps us continue to use storytelling to build community and bring people together. A big thank you to Town Hall for making this event possible and safe. 

Need more Ignite Seattle in your life? You’re in luck! We have videos and photos from Ignite #42 ready for your viewing pleasure. Videos from each Ignite #42 talk can be found here. Please share your favorites on social media (@ignitesea #ignitesea). We want these people to have their stories heard by as many people as we can. 

Check out amazing snapshots from the night by viewing our full photo gallery here. Thanks to Brady Harvey and Randy Stewart, our official photographers.

And, the Ignite #42 Speakers Are…

Woohoo – Ignite Seattle #42 is happening Feb 17! We have selected 10 outstanding speakers.

Our speaker lineup (in no particular order):

  • Someone Finally Showed Me How to Walk by Doug Thomas
  • Get Paid to Travel the US Full-Time in an RV by Silvana Clark
  • The G-Word: The Fight for Roma Rights in America by Caren Gussoff Sumption
  • Boatbuilding: A Journey Through a Dying Industry by Dustin Espey
  • A Single Black Women’s Guide to Surviving A Pandemic by Alicia Crank
  • 50 years after Title IX: Women Athletes Deserve Parity by Sara Kiesler
  • Gender Identity: A Parent’s Transformational Journey With Their Non-Binary Child by Melissa Reaves
  • Welcome to the Theatre. Please, Turn On Your Cell Phone. by Carl Sander
  • Book writing tips from a Dyslexic by Anne van Gessel
  • I Don’t Have Imposter Syndrome and Neither Do You! by Ruchika Tulshyan


What to expect at the show:

Our team is so excited to bring back the magic of Ignite Seattle! We all could use the kind of enlightenment, entertainment and joy our community creates through our events. We also want to make the event as safe as possible. Ignite Seattle is going beyond the required safety requirements for our community’s safety:

  • We are capping the event at 30% capacity  
  • Proof of vaccination is required and will be checked at the door
  • Doors and seating open at 6:30pm, show starts at 7:30pm
  • Everyone will receive an N95 mask to wear for the show
  • No intermission
  • Show will end around 9pm

Ignite #42 will be different, and it will still be a delight. Join us at Seattle Town Hall on Thursday Feb 17. Buy your tickets today.


If you would rather watch from home, that’s cool too! Sign up for the Livestream (you will get a reminder and the link). 

Last Day for Talk Submissions

We would love for YOU to submit your talk idea to Ignite Seattle, happening on Feb 17 at Town Hall Seattle. Talk submissions are due today (Jan 14) before midnight.  

If you would like some guidance beforehand:

About COVID: We are working to make this event as safe as possible, and we’re going beyond the legal minimum and what many other events do. All our audience members will be vaccinated, and we’re providing everyone with fitted N95 masks and making other changes to the format to reduce the chance of transmission. We expect cases to decrease significantly by the time of the event, but in the meantime speaker training may be online.

P.S. If you would rather be in the audience, you can buy your tickets now to our Feb 17 event with early bird pricing. 

Our Next Host Is…

We are so excited to announce our host for Ignite Seattle #42 is…. Marice Sy.  Wooohoo!!

Marice is a proud transnational living in Ballard. In 2018, they found a home in the Ignite Seattle Team, which shares their values of internationalism and broadmindedness.  Like many of you, Marice has never spoken in Town Hall.

“The Ignite stage is for everyone. I love that anyone can be a rockstar for five minutes, and I get to be the hypeman.” -Marice Sy

Want to know what your hypeman is like? Check out their fantastic open mic Ignite Seattle Talk: The Life-Changing Magic of Firing Marice.

Ignite Seattle #42 Quick Links:

We can’t wait to see you and hear your stories!

We Want You… To Submit a Talk Idea

5 Reasons To Submit a Talk Idea To Ignite Seattle – Ignite Seattle

We are optimistically planning an in-person Ignite Seattle #42 for Thursday Feb 17, 2022 at Town Hall Seattle! If we need to adjust due to COVID we will. For now, we are focused on lining up amazing speakers. We hope that’s you or someone you know! 

Submit your talk idea by Jan 14 
 

5 reasons why YOU should submit a talk idea
1. Share your story, idea, or passion live with the best audience in Seattle 
2. Shake up your routine by doing something new
3. Change the way people think about a particular subject matter
4. Connect with other Ignite storytellers and alum
5. Build up your public speaking skills

You will attend a storytelling working and get feedback from the expert who wrote the book on it, Scott Berkun. You will also be assigned a mentor and get a lot of support. Then, after a rehearsal, you will share your story with the best audience in Seattle. Everyone will rock it, including you!

Why encourage a friend to submit a talk idea?
It is a great way to tell someone amazing you believe in them. Forward them this link with a note along the lines of: You are one of the most interesting people I know. I’d love to hear you share a story for a larger audience to enjoy! Submit your idea here: igniteseattle.com/submit

15 years ago today…

On December 7, 2006 the very first Ignite Seattle was held at the Capitol Hill Art Center (CHAC) in Seattle. I wasn’t one of the organizers, but I was there for that magical night 15 years ago. There were over 350 folks packed into a tiny space meant for about half that many. It was crowded, it was hot, and it was chaotic but it was obvious to me that I was experiencing something special.

Capitol Hill Arts Center (RIP)

The conceit was simple – give a 5 minute talk with 20 slides, but the slides would auto-advance every 15 seconds and while a lot has changed in 15 years we remain true to our format.

The Crowd at Ignite Seattle #1

The talk topics of the first Ignite Seattle were pretty tech industry focused, but it was clear that everyone who spoke that night was passionate about their subject matter (another requirement for a great Ignite talk). We experienced many delightful talks including:

  • Bre Pettis showing off some Make Project Disasters
  • Arlo Speedwagon discussing Mortality and User Experience
  • Jordan Schwartz teaching us how to make our own SMS service
  • Shelly Farnum showing off Dorkbot Seattle
  • Beth Kolko talking about how Info Tech in the Developing World
  • and roughly 20 more talks that night (including our very own Scott Berkun talking about innovation) and a popsicle stick bridge building contest.

I left that night intellectually overstimulated and exhausted (in the best possible way), but I also left wanting to be a part of the event in some capacity. I started working on Ignite just prior to the 4th event the very next year.

Bre Pettis and Brady Forrest – Ignite Seattle’s Progenitors

All photos from this event appear courtesy of Laughing Squid and you can see more on his Flickr feed here.

Submit Your Talk

It’s been a fun ride working on Ignite and Ignite has survived and flourished while living through an economic downturn, moving to 4 different venues (5 if you count the beautifully remodeled Town Hall) and now a global pandemic. And that’s why we need YOU to submit a talk to our next (in person, at Town Hall) event planned for February 17th, 2022. We’re thrilled to be in a place where so many are vaccinated, boosted and craving some social interaction and entertainment.

If you’ve ever thought about standing on the Ignite Seattle stage, now is the time to submit your talk and help bring us back to Town Hall, Seattle and the world!

Submit your Ignite talk today

While a lot has changed since way back then, the magic of Ignite Seattle hasn’t faded for me and I know a lot of you feel the same. I’m overjoyed to be planning our next event and I can’t wait to see all of you there.

Ignite Seattle is Back!

We are thrilled to announce that we are back in person… Ignite Seattle #42 is happening Thursday Feb 17, 2022 at Town Hall Seattle! We have missed you and your stories so much.

The details, but make it quick:
Now:Get TicketsJoin our organizing teamSign up to volunteer.
Jan 14: Submit a talk
Feb 17 – Attend Ignite Seattle 
Interested? Good! Keep reading to learn more:

Volunteer
We need volunteers. The possibilities range from a few hours during the event to joining our fantastic and fun organizing team. If you are interested in a volunteering a few hours during the event fill out our volunteer form. If you want to join our amazing organizing team check out the details here

Speak
We need amazing people with something to say. Do you have a story, a project or a passion you would like to share with the best audience in Seattle? Submit a talk idea! Do you know someone we NEED to hear from? Encourage them to share it! Submit talk ideas now until January 14, 2022. Nervous about public speaking or creating a slide deck? We have a helpful team who will coach, mentor and assist you!

Attend
Ignite Seattle needs an audience to cheer on our amazing speakers! Get your tickets now for early bird pricing ($10). Why buy tickets now? It helps us plan, make a budget, etc. If you buy now and something comes up later we will process refund requests until two weeks before the event. 

What about COVID-19? Town Hall Seattle has been successfully hosting in person events. We will follow the Town Hall Seattle Building Policies.  Currently the audience must BOTH 1) be fully vaccinated or show a negative PCR test result from the last 48 hours, and 2) be masked. If you’d rather watch Ignite Seattle #42 from home, we will be providing a livestream option.

To recap:
Submit a talk idea by Jan 14
Sign up to volunteer
Join our organizing team
Buy tickets: Thursday Feb 17, 2022 7:30pm at Town Hall Seattle (or online) Other questions? Email us

 We can’t wait to see you and hear your stories,
The Ignite Seattle Organizing Team

Help Wanted: two new positions

We are ramping up for our fist live event in over a year. Ignite Seattle #42 will take place at Town Hall on Thursday, Feburary 17, 2022.

At Ignite Seattle, our city’s largest open platform for citizen storytelling, it’s just a small team of volunteer organizers that make our sold-out shows happen.  And we’re looking to grow that team. 

If you’re not familiar with what our events are like, this short video explains it well.

1. Role: Event Marketing Lead 

This may be the most fun marketing job in the universe. You get to plan, design and execute on engaging with our active community of fans and supporters. Tell our story on our blog, social media and partner channels. Come up with and deliver on creative and fun ideas to raise interest and attention. Primary  goals include recruiting talk submissions, raising brand awareness and ensuring high attendance (safely) at our signature events. You need to be a self-starter who enjoys freedom, bias towards action and enjoys independence and a lot of creative control.  You’ll collaborate with our friendly leadership team, but one of our principles is if you’re doing the work, you have wide discresion on how it gets done. 

2. Role: You tell us!  

Our small team is always in need of more good, reliable people. You could be a programmer, a project manager, a writer, a videographer – whatever skill you have we can probably find a way to use it.  Your commitment can be small (help move things on the day of the event) or larger (contribute a few hours each of the 6 weeks before our big events). 

Rewards:  You’ll be part of a fun, smart and loyal team of volunteer organizers, well connected in the Seattle tech and arts community. You will meet many interesting and amazing people, work with a great team, and share in thrills at each live event. You’ll get to use skills you already have to do good in the arts community in Seattle. Ignite Seattle will likely be one of the most rewarding things you contribute to regularly.

How we work: We are mostly virtual (Slack), with monthly in-person meetings (when safe), and more as needed or when we get closer to the next event. We are all volunteers and happily wear many hats. 

How To Apply: 

  1. Give us a brief rundown on your past experience (link to resume or LinkedIn is fine)
  2. Tell us what you love about Ignite Seattle, and/or why you want to join the team?
  3. Email the above to pr@scottberkun.com