We want your story: submit a talk for Ignite Seattle

If you had five minutes to talk to your city, what story would you tell? What lesson would you teach?

Ignite Seattle is our city’s “town square as an event” and gives ordinary folks the opportunity to share what they know, a story or an opinion, to a large audience of their fellow citizens (and the world, through our free internet livestream).

We believe everybody has a great story to share, and with good coaching (which we provide) and a great stage (Town Hall Seattle) they can make a difference in how people think and feel about almost anything. Ignite talks are 5 minutes long, with 20 slides that automate every 15 seconds, to create a vibrant and lively evening event.

To submit, all that’s required is a thoughtful talk title and description (read our advice), plus a commitment to attend the rehearsal and of course the event itself. For most events, we get about 80 submissions to fill 12 slots. We recommend you watch a few Ignite Seattle talks to get a sense for what they are like.

Go here to see the submission form and get started.

  • Submissions Due: April 25
  • Responses Sent: May 2
  • Coaching: May 20
  • Rehearsal: June 3
  • Ignite Seattle #39: June 6 (buy tickets here)

Learn Public Speaking From the Ignite Seattle Team (Mon. April 8th 6:30pm)

Ignite Seattle thrives on diverse ideas and challenging stories and we’ve coached hundreds of people how to share them live on stage. We know  everyone can be better at speaking in their daily lives and we’re hosting another workshop (last one sold out in a day) to help you do that.

Join us to learn:

  • How to tell better stories at work or in life (and do it fast!)
  • The 6 most common mistakes speakers make and how to avoid them
  • The science behind fears about speaking and how to manage them
  • How to get a talk proposal accepted at events like Ignite Seattle, TEDx, etc.
  • Plus a few volunteers who bring 60 seconds of a talk they have will get an expert critique

You don’t need to have a talk idea or submit to Ignite to attend. 

Your coach will be professional speaker and Ignite Seattle emcee Scott Berkun from SpeakHQ. In addition to giving 20 to 30 lectures and keynotes each year, he wrote the bestselling guide to public speaking, Confessions of a Public Speaker.

Ignite Seattle Podcast #4: Sarah Schacht – #MeToo, What It Takes To Come Forward

In the latest episode of the Ignite Seattle Podcast, I speak to Sarah Schacht about her talk, “#MeToo, What It Takes To Come Forward” given at Ignite 37.

In 2018, Sarah went on record publicly with her own #MeToo story as part of an article by Molly Redden of the Huffington Post. Her talk was about the logistics of telling a #MeToo story publicly, along with the potential ramifications both personally and professionally.

In the podcast, we talk about why Sarah decided to come forward with her story publicly to begin with. How her perspective has changed about her story over time, and what motivates her to keep going.

Sarah has given multiple talks at Ignite in the past, including “I Got E. Coli So You Don’t Have To” and “Appy Bride: How I Infuriated The Wedding Industry & Got My Dream Wedding.”

You can subscribe to the Ignite Seattle Podcast by clicking the appropriate link below, or searching for us in your podcasting app of choice:

If you have any comments, questions about the Ignite Seattle Podcast, you can comment below or email Daniel at podcast@igniteseattle.com.

Announcing the Ignite Seattle Podcast

After months of anticipation and anxiety, none of which you got to experience, we are excited to unveil our next project to the world. The Ignite Seattle Podcast.

If you’ve read enough and want to subscribe immediately, you can do so by clicking the appropriate links:

Or you can search for “Ignite Seattle Podcast” in your podcasting app of choice RIGHT NOW to listen to our first three episodes. Our first episode is also available for you to listen to on this very page below.

If you have some patience and want to learn a little more about the first episode, and how and why we’ve decided to get into podcasting, then read on.

Who’s the guest on the first episode?

For our first episode, I thought it would be fitting to sit down with Scott Berkun, Ignite Seattle’s MC and speaker coach. He talks all about what it’s like to be…an MC and speaker coach.


Scott shares some critiques of a talk he gave all the way back at Ignite Seattle #6, “How and Why to Give an Ignite Talk“. He also speaks about what he’s learned in the ten or so years since then, and how he passes that knowledge on to our speakers.

Lastly, he gives his thoughts on the importance of being an MC, and answers a question we’re all dying to know, “Where did those red trousers come from?”

If you have any feedback, or fashion tips to pass on to me, or Scott, please email them to podcast@igniteseattle.com or leave a comment below.

Why did we decide to get into podcasting?

“We” isn’t so much Ignite Seattle, as one person named Daniel. Who is currently writing this post in third person, now first person.

I decided to help Ignite to start their podcast because I’ve often sat in the audience at Ignite events wanting to know more about the speakers, and their topics. Unfortunately I’m far too socially anxious and introverted to visit the after party to meet the speakers and talk to them. I’m also not the type of person that would Tweet a total stranger about their Ignite talk.So literally the only option left was for me to spends hours of my life creating a podcast. Now I get to talk to all of my favorite Ignite speakers and learn all about them, and you get to benefit from it!

When will new episodes be released?

Every 2 weeks, on a Monday, a new podcast will be released. They’ll appear here on our website, or you can subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, or wherever you get your podcasts. Just search for the “Ignite Seattle Podcast”.

What will the format for each episode be?

Each episode will give an opportunity for you to hear one of our favorite past Ignite talks, with an in-depth discussion with its speaker about what inspired their talk, what they didn’t get to say on stage, and anything else that piques curiosity. If there’s a talk or speaker that you’d love to know more about, please send me an email letting me know, and I’ll do my best to get them on the show!

Ignite Seattle #38 Recap

What to say about Ignite Seattle 38? We laughed, we cried… we cried some more. (There were a lot of emotional talks!) In the end this was another one for the history books.

Whether you attended in-person or online, thank you for joining us to hear so many of the wonderful stories Seattle has to offer.

Before we get to the list of talk videos, we wanted to remind you that Ignite Seattle #39 is only three months away! Please consider:

  • Submitting a talk. We want to hear your important, funny, or wonderful story on stage. Submissions close April 25.
  • Buying your tickets! Last Ignite sold out within hours of our speaker lineup announcement, and this one is selling even faster. We’re already more than 20% sold-out! Get a spot before it’s too late.

Ignite Seattle #38 – Talk Lineup and Videos

Ignite Seattle ticket giveaway!

UPDATE: All winners have been notified. But all is not lost! Any unclaimed tickets as of tomorrow morning will be reassigned.

Ignite Seattle is this Thursday. As we mentioned before, if you don’t have a ticket, the best way to watch Ignite Seattle is by registering for our free live-stream.

Good news: We recently found a couple of extra tickets under our virtual couch cushions, and we’ve decided to give them out to you, our dedicated fans!

On Wednesday, we will be giving out several sets of free, in-person Ignite Seattle tickets, to people who have registered for the livestream.All you need to do to win is sign-up for the livestream. (If you signed up before, you’re all set.)

We will email winners around noon on Wednesday, and you have until midnight to accept, before we select a new winner.

Hope to see you at Ignite this Thursday, whether virtually or in-person 🙂

Ignite Seattle #38 is sold out! Here’s how you can still attend…

With two of the biggest days of ticket sales in our history, Ignite Seattle #38 has sold out only a day after publicly announcing our speakers. (Like I said yesterday: “WOW.”)

This is going to be one of our best shows yet, and if you missed your chance at a ticket, don’t despair. Here’s how to attend:


  1. Watch the event live online.
    For those of you who won’t be able to join us at the event, we’re working with Bootstrapper Studios to bring you the next best thing: a live-stream which makes you feel like you’re in the front row. Sign up now!
  2. Join the standby line.
    At 6pm on February 28, we’re setting up a line outside the Egyptian Theater for standby tickets. We’ll release any unclaimed seats shortly before the show starts.

(One last thing: if you’re an organization working with people traditionally underrepresented in public speaking – low-income, Black/Latinx, etc – we have a limited number of completely free tickets still available for you. Please drop us a line at diversity@igniteseattle.com.)