We do everything we can to select speakers with great topics and passions, but we also work hard to help them prepare.
As the Ignite Seattle speaker coach I run a session where we talk about common mistakes, tactics for preparing and how to develop a great story. It’s informal, fun and we usually feed people (hungry speakers are bad speakers). We also encourage folks to do a dry run improvisation with us to get feedback early on in their process. And of course speakers at Ignite are interesting folks and the session is a chance for them to get to know each other.
We tell speakers that since they’re speaking about something they know well and are passionate about, they could probably spend time thinking carefully about 4 or 5 stories or messages and simply practice and present that, without any slides, and do fine. We strongly recommend people develop their ideas, points and stories before they make a single slide. What you say and how you say it is by far the most important thing.
Here are the slides I use that covers the basic advice, including showing speakers photos of the stage and what to expect once they’re up there.
But others have written advice on preparing for Ignite. There is no right way to prepare of course and the ends are far more important than the means<
Summary of additional good advice:
- Data on how past Ignite Seattle speakers prepared
- Speaking fears and how to manage them (PDF excerpt from Confessions of A Public Speaker)
- How To Give A Great Ignite Talk
- The Fastest Way to Prepare An Ignite Talk
- Grigsby on Ignite Speaking Advice
- Forsyth’s advice on Ignite Speaking
Good Example Ignite Talks to Watch:
- How And Why To Speak At Ignite (done as an ignite talk!)
- Hit In The Face With a Shovel
- I love Profanity! The surprisingly difficult choice.
- Great Designers Steal
- How to solve a song
- Secret world of Lego
Know of another great resource for preparing for Ignite? Leave a comment