Recap & Talk Videos: Charity Champions Event

A big THANK YOU to all who participated in last week’s Charity Champions edition of Ignite Seattle, especially our brave and talented speakers.

With your help, Ignite Seattle was able to donate over $5,000 to five amazing local non-profits and thanks to all who attended for helping us decide. This week donations will be made to the following organizations:

Urban League Seattle: $800
Seattle Latino Film Festival: $1332.26
Northwest USO: $800
Dress for Success Seattle: $1332.26
Seattle Human Society: $800 

If you want to (re)watch the talks, you can check out all the videos here.

While we don’t know when our next event will be, we hope to continue to find ways to help you share your stories. In the meantime, check out our website or find us on social media for more info. 

Stay safe, do good, tell stories,
The Ignite Seattle Organizing Team

Ignite Seattle Returns: Thurs. April 29th 7:30pm

We’re hosting a special online storytelling event and we’re calling it Charity Champions. This has been a rough year for our city and here at Ignite Seattle we want to help those who have done so much to help our citizens. Our virtual stage will showcase personal stories about local non-profits.

It will be an evening of great stories and you can help us help those in need in Seattle.

Each story will feature a story about a local organization and they will receive grants totaling $4,000 + ticket proceeds. People who attend will help determine how the grants are allocated.

Charity Champion Speakers and Their Non-Profits: 

  • Lorena Ware – My lucky suit (Dress for Success Seattle)
  • Craig Plain – Charity from your village (Northwest United Services Organizations)
  • Nari Weaver – I confess, I’m a gap addict! (Seattle Latino Film Festival)
  • Ginger Chien – Life turns: I decide which way to look (Seattle Humane Society)
  • The LuvLee Leroy – I see Yoda: The ‘Force’ is with me (Urban League – Seattle)

Tickets are FREE or you can donate money to add to what we will give to them. ALL ticket proceeds will go to the non-profits featured. Let’s support these speakers and their charities!

 Get your tickets now.

A huge thank you to everyone who submitted stories. It was amazing to read about all the charity champions in our Ignite Seattle community. We appreciate you!

Stay safe, do good, tell stories,
The Ignite Seattle Organizing Team

Next Ignite Seattle: Thurs. April 29th, 7:30pm (Charity Champions)

Ignite Seattle is back.  We’re hosting a special online event focused on great storytelling and giving back to the Seattle community. 

$3,000+ giveaway to local non-profits.   Many local groups are doing so much to help the people of Seattle and we’re going to help them. We will put on our virtual stage the best personal stories about local charities and non-profits. The organizations showcased the night of our live online event will receive grants totaling $3,000 or more! 

Tell your story about a local organization
Submit YOUR story related to a charity by March 22. Has a local non-profit helped you? Or have you observed how they’ve supported a community? Tell us the story. If selected, you’ll be assigned a mentor who will help you with your talk. This is your chance to show up for a nonprofit that’s been meaningful to you! We can’t wait to hear about it. 

Free online storytelling workshop
To help you develop your story idea and sharpen your presentation skills, we are hosting a FREE Online Storytelling Workshop on Monday, March 15 at 7:30pm. Scott Berkun, professional speaker coach, former Ignite MC and long-time Ignite Seattle co-organizer, will be your teacher. This online workshop will give you his time-tested advice on short-form (remote) public speaking, and some students will get live feedback. Scott rocks. He will help you rock. Register now

Join the live online event
Hosted by the dynamic duo of Marice Sy and Sumit Basu. By attending YOU will help determine how the grants are allocated to the organizations showcased. Tickets are “donate what you can” ($0-$50), all ticket proceeds will be added to the Charity Champion grants. 

Spread the word
Submissions are open to anyone in the greater Seattle area and the more people who attend the event means more money will go to good causes. Help us get the word out? Thanks. 

GET YOUR TICKETS NOW. 

Stay safe, do good, tell stories,
The Ignite Seattle Organizing Team

We’re still here and we miss you: 2021 update

Greetings from the Ignite Seattle team and welcome to our latest year as a civilization on this planet. It’s been a rough ride for sure but we are happy you are here. 

We’ve been staying safe, wise and patient, waiting until it’s safe to do live events again (which we know will happen). But we miss you and hope you miss us, and we wanted to give you a warm hello as we roll into 2021. 

Watch: Re-Ignite Seattle 2020 

Last fall we did a new style of event, of particular interest if you want to learn more about storytelling craft and the behind the scenes view of how Ignite Seattle works.

Hosted by organizers Sumit Basu and Zac Cohn, watch some great talks and listen to our hosts’ expert commentary.  You can also see the chat room in (recorded) real-time, with many alumni and organizers joining in with comments. 

You can watch it here

Get your live storytelling fix

We’re wisely waiting the pandemic out for our next major event – but many other local groups have been charging ahead. If you miss live local storytelling, check these events out:

  • Fresh Ground Stories: stories of people who had your back, Thurs Jan. 21 7pm PST – This longstanding Seattle event does monthly open-mic style short form storytelling on a theme, live with no slides. Free and open to all.
  • Unexpected Productions – One of the oldest improv groups in Seattle, they offer a mix of live performances and classes weekly. They’re a great organization and can use your support this year. And improv is a fun way to improve your speaking skills (approved by former emcees and improv students Scott Berkun and Nicole Steinbok).  
  • Under the Rainbow: Storytelling for LGBTQ+ – Mon January 11th, 6pm PST. this bi-monthly event for teens and adults is open-mic. LGBTQIA+ tellers are prioritized; allies are welcome in the audience. No one is obligated to tell a story.
  • Class: Creating Stageworthy Stories Workshop, taught by Kent Whipple (of Unexpected Productions, an Ignite friend and one of our speaker coaches). This 6 class online workshop is a fantastic way to get direct coaching from one of the best coaches you will find – a great way to grow your storytelling skills. $200 for 6 classes, starting Sunday, Jan. 10th 3-5pm PST (and weekly thereafter). 

Favorite talks that will make you smile

We asked the team for a fun talk to recommend to you and here’s our list from Tyler, Zac and Nicole:

That should give you a solid boost of fun, creative and inspiring storytelling to get you through the week. 

Stay well and stay safe,
The Ignite Seattle Organizing Team

P.S. we don’t know when the next in-person Ignite Seattle event will be held however you can submit an idea whenever inspiration sparks

P.S.S If you have an idea for something we should do before live events return, get in touch. 
 

Insider’s guide to presenting and working remotely – Tues. April 28th 7:30pm – live class

Here at Ignite Seattle we’ve been a remote team since 2006. And we’re experts on storytelling and public speaking. We asked ourselves why not put two great things together and help our community? And here it is!

We’ve put together a fun, fast-paced class to help you improve how you present ideas online. Plus some time tested advice on remote working in general.

In this one hour session you’ll learn:

  1. The 5 common mistakes presenters make and how to transcend them
  2. The science behind speaking fears and how to manage them
  3. Why remote presenting is harder and what to do about it
  4. The 5 mistakes remote workers make and how to prevent them
  5. Q&A where your questions will be answered

Your teacher will be pro speaker, remote work expert and Ignite Seattle speaker coach  Scott BerkunIn addition to giving 20 to 30 lectures and keynotes each year, he wrote the bestselling guide to public speaking, Confessions of a Public Speaker and The Year Without Pants, an Amazon book of the year about remote work.

Class will be taught online using Zoom.

REGISTER HERE for our Insider’s guide to presenting and working remotely – Tuesday April 28th at 7:30pm ($10).

Other events like this charge as much as $250. For the Ignite Seattle community, this workshop is only $10. How can you pass up that deal?  (We also provide free tickets to those with need. Just email us.)

Buy your ticket today, before tickets sell out.

(By purchasing a ticket you agree to uphold the Ignite Seattle Code of Conduct.)

Rescheduling Ignite Seattle #42

It is with heavy hearts that we announce the postponement of the next Ignite Seattle (#42) due to be held on June 4. Instead, we plan to hold the event on Thursday, October 8 at Town Hall Seattle. 

At this point any explanation as to why is unnecessary, unless you’ve been living in a cave for the last few months. If that’s the case, please sit down, we’ve got some really bad news…

More info about the postponement, what it means for you, and how COVID is affecting Ignite Seattle is below:

Did you already buy a ticket to the June event? 

Even though the event is technically postponed, we will be sending a full refund to anybody who already bought a ticket. If that’s you, expect the refund in your bank account soonish. Tickets for the October date will be on sale soon.

What effect is COVID-19 having on Ignite Seattle?

Ignite Seattle is a completely volunteer run 501(c)3 nonprofit. Since we have no paid staff, nobody in our organization will be financially hurt by the postponement of our June event. 

However, like everybody else, we are sad. We’ve all lost something during the crisis and losing the next Ignite is just another disappointments for us. 

We hope what’s happening will bring people together to tell more stories, some of which we’d love to see on stage in October. (Now may even be the perfect time to submit a talk.)

As always, we’ll be working to make our next event the biggest and best yet. We hope you’ll be there to join us.

See you in October.

– The Ignite Seattle Team


Top 10 Ignite Seattle Talks of 2019

2019 was a fantastic year for Ignite Seattle! Here are a few highlights:

  • The event moved back into our old home at the beautifully renovated Town Hall Seattle.
  • We added new volunteers to the team.
  • We started a podcast.
  • We had our first open mic.
  • We had two new guest emcees.
  • We became a 501(c)(3) organization!

Thanks to the 35 amazing speakers who shared their stories on our stage and made 2019 an amazing year for Ignite Seattle. We had 226 talk submissions in 2019 and from that list we chose 35 of those speakers.

From that list, I give you our favorite talks of 2019:

I Like Your Shoes, Wanna Be Friends? – Nadine Khoury
Making friends later in life can be tough, especially when you’ve moved to a new place (and maybe doubly so if that place is Seattle). Nadine gives some great tips on making friends.

Saving the Planet With Your Fork – Mary Purdy
Mary is a licensed nutritionist and she gives great tips for eating better for the planet’s sake (and for your own). Spoiler: you don’t have to give up bacon.

Does This p-value Make My Lies Look Good? – Josh Jelin
Josh’s cleverly titled talk shows us how others lie with numbers and how you can too! NOTE: one of those statements is false.

I’m the Weirdo Who Left the Elevator Note – Sixta Morel
Sixta moved to Seattle from the Dominican Republic and found Seattleites a little, um, different than people in her home country. The Seattle freeze is real and Sixta shares how we can melt it a little more.

Cats, Rats, A.I., Oh My! – Ben Hamm
Ben’s talk was one of the most viewed talks in Ignite Seattle’s history. You’ll see why when he shows you how he built his smart cat door using off-the-shelf parts and a little cloud based machine learning know how.

A Transgender Band Walks Into A Rural Olympic Peninsula Bar… – Ginger Chien
I’m pretty sure that their wasn’t a dry eye in the room for Ginger’s talk about her journey to (what she thought would be) an unwelcoming place.

An Immigrant’s Battle – Salome Munyaka
What’s in a name? Kenyan-born Salome Munyaka’s light hearted talk details her challenges moving to the United States and teaches ways that you can make an immigrant’s life a little bit easier.

Convincing People: An Attorney’s Guide to Negotiation — Alexander Theoharis
Isn’t your way the best way? Alexander Theoharis outlines 3 methods of always getting your way (without the other side losing).

The Unbearable Lightness of Being… – Bruce Dawson
Do you ever get tired of going the same way to work every day? Ignite Seattle alum, Bruce Dawson got carried away answering that question by getting other people to do all the heavy lifting 😉

OCD is a Family Affair – Melissa Reaves
Melissa delivers an intense personal story about what it’s like living with OCD both as person who has it and parenting a child that is learning to manage it.

Dating Tips from a Former Dominatrix – Miss Kaila Yi
What do a dungeon and the dating world have in common? Veteran dominatrix, Miss Kaila Yi outlines what she’s learned from her career and how it applies to having more fulfilling relationships.

Whew… what a year 🙂

We’re looking forward to a fantastic 2020 and our next event is February 27th at Town Hall Seattle. Buy your tickets now.

Announcing Guest Host Sumit Basu – for Ignite Seattle #41

At our last event, we had our second guest host Rovina Broomield. We’ve done this twice now (first was organizer Nicole Steinbok), and it’s been so much fun and they’ve done so well, we’re having one more.

This time, we’re very excited to announce it’s Ignite Seattle alum Sumit Basu. He’ll be the host (formerly called MC) for the evening, introducing the audience to the Ignite format and inviting our speakers to the stage.

Tickets are on sale now (early bird price of $10) and as usual, we expect to sell out, so don’t wait. And talk submissions are currently open, if you have a story or lesson you’d like to share with your city (and the world).

Sumit spoke at Ignite Seattle #37 at the Egyptian about “De-Mystifying The Instant Pot” which you can (and should) watch below.

Why are Ignite Talks Only Five Minutes Long?

We often get asked why do speakers only get 5 minutes? The answer is obvious to us: most presentations, most of the time, aren’t very good. One reason why is that with 20, 30 or 60 minutes, there’s no natural way for speakers to make sure they get to the heart of their story or lesson and stay there. We take seriously the idea that if you can’t use 5 minutes on stage well, why would we give you more? We’re convinced a shorter format helps speakers do a good job, even inexperienced ones. It forces them to prepare, practice and refine. It also creates energy, drama and allows more people to share the stage at our events.

Although Ignite began in Seattle in 2006, there is a long history of short-form speaking events. In 1917, The Four Minute Men worked for the U.S. government to convey information to citizens. More recently, in 2000, software developer Mark Jason Dominus realized most speakers were far from concise. They go on too long and rarely make their points clearly no matter how much time they have. His solution? Instead of giving them 60, 30 or even 20 minutes, just give them five. The time limit was the only rule, and he called this format the lightning talk. Today events do 99 second or 60 second talks, and in some cases allow anyone brave enough to walk up to the microphone to take a turn.

In a similar spirit of brevity, Astrid Klein and Mark Dytham from the architecture firm Klein-Dytham wanted to inspire creative people to express themselves more clearly. In 2003 they started a new format for presentations called Pecha Kucha (pronounced pe-chak-cha), with the goal of making presentations fun and interesting, and increasing the number of speakers that can present in a few hours. Their format is 20 slides and 20 seconds for each slide (20×20), for a total of 6 minutes and 40 seconds.

In 2006 Brady Forest and Bre Petis, who worked for O’Reilly Media at the time, created the first Ignite event, an evening of short talks and socializing here in Seattle. It was an experiment to see if the Seattle community wanted a more dynamic and social speaking event. They simplified the format to 20 slides, with 15 seconds per slide, to make a nice round number of five minutes. It went well. They promoted the idea of the event and there are now dozens of them around the world.

Here at Ignite Seattle, two of our major goals are sharing diverse stories and teaching the craft of storytelling. To achieve this we provide free coaching to all of our speakers to help them master the five-minute Ignite format as well as gain confidence in all of the core skills of public speaking.

[This is a revised version of The End Of Boring Presentations, Forbes.com]

5 Reasons To Submit a Talk Idea To Ignite Seattle

UPDATE: Submissions are now closed. Thank you to all who submitted.

Submissions are currently open for our next main stage event, Ignite Seattle #40, on Thursday, Oct. 3rd at Town Hall Seattle (Tix $10). If you’ve thought about proposing a talk in the past, now is a great time. Here are 5 reasons why you should do it:

  1. It’s Seattle’s best live audience. We fill the great hall at Town Hall Seattle with almost 1000 of the most curious and supportive people you will ever speak in front of. They’ll cheer you on, laugh at your jokes and appreciate the effort you put in.
  2. You get to think about what you really care about. Submitting a talk is a forcing function: it gets you to think about your life experiences and knowledge and what you most wish to share, or want people to understand. Even if you don’t get in, you’ll better understand yourself (or realize you might need some more adventure in your life to make for new stories!)
  3. Receive free expert speaker coaching. We do everything we can to help our speakers, including two practice sessions with expert speaker coach Scott Berkun.
  4. You’ll become part of the Ignite Seattle family. For more than ten years we’ve put some of the most interesting people in our city on our stage, and you’ll be invited to our alum events to meet and get to know many of them.
  5. We give you great advice on what we’re looking for. Read our handy little guide that explains the common mistakes people make, how submissions get chosen, and what kinds of topics and ideas are most likely to get accepted.

Submissions close on August 22. Don’t wait! Go here to see the form and get started.