How and Why to Give an Ignite Talk – Scott Berkun

Editor’s Note – this post is completely ripped off of Brady’s post on the Ignite main site.

Scott Berkun is a great public speaker. He travels the country speaking on project management, innovation, design and lately on how to speak. As an offshoot in his research on his upcoming book he put together this Ignite talk on Why and How to Speak.

He’s summarized the talk in this excellent blog post on Speaker Confessions (where he’s chronicling his new book):

  • 300 seconds kicks ass. This is super short, which means it’s easy to practice . There is no excuse for not practicing until it feels good. It also means you have to be tight in your points. 300 seconds equals 10 television commercials. You can make great points in a short time if you refine your thoughts. The entire sermon on the mount can be read in about 5 minutes and The Gettysburg address takes about 2 and a half minutes.
  • Figure out your points before you make slides. Talking about something for five minutes is easy – really, give it a shot once or twice before you make a slide – it will help you sort out what you want to say. You only need Four or five solid points to go 5 minutes. And practice with a timer before you make a slide. You’ll quickly discover how unlikely it is to run out of things to say during an ignite talk.
  • It is ok to breathe. There is no law that says you must fill every second with talking. When you practice, practice breathing. Take a moment between points. Like whitespace in visual design it’s the pauses that make what you do say stand out clearly. Give yourself a slide or two that’s for just for catching up and taking a breath.
  • Pick strong stories and big themes. What do you love? What do you hate? What is the best advice anyone ever gave you? Pick stories with big themes, since they require less introduction. What are the 5 most important things to know about X that no one talks about? The stronger the topic & title the easier the work is. Top 10 lists can work, but making 10 points is extremely hard – aim for 5 or 6.

He’s got several more points at his site.

How to Break Up With Someone On Twitter – Jason Preston

Expressing one’s self on Twitter involves summarizing, editing, and jettisoning the unimportant. We need to strip our thoughts down to the bare minimum, while most importantly, retaining the meaning.

For the more verbose of us, Twitter’s 140 character limit poses a challenge for conveying something as simple as where you are and what you are doing. But what about communicating something much more complex, like breaking up with someone?

Jason Preston navigates you through the world of minimizing the complex feelings, thoughts and action items associated with breaking up with someone in less than 140 characters.

In this instructive how-to video, you’ll build your Twitter toolbox with the following editing tactics:

  • Acronymisying
  • Pictifying
  • Thesaurizing
  • Clppng

and if necessary, you can gain the ability to break up with someone on Twitter.

About Jason Preston

Jason PrestonJason Preston is currently the Director of New Media at Parnassus Group, the company responsible for the 140 | The Twitter Conference.

You can find Jason at Jasonp107 on Twitter, on his blog or his thoughts about the future of publishing at Eat, Sleep, Publish. Jason was recently interviewed by Scott Berkun about this talk here.

Community Genius: Leveraging Community to Increase your Creative Powers – Shelly Farnham

Are you in a creative rut? Finding yourself not as inspired as you’d like to be? Most of us in creative fields need to recharge our resourcefulness every now and then.

Shelly Farhham, social scientist and leading expert in community technologies, has spent her professional life researching social media and building online communities.

In her talk, Shelly shares 13 tips to increase your creative powers ranging from (1) Seek Diversity to (8) give away ideas freely to (7) hang around in bars and helps you figure out how leverage community to increase your creative powers.

About Shelly Farnham

Shelly D. Farnham has a PhD in Social Psychology from University of Washington and is the co-founder and social architect at Waggle Labs, which develops innovative social applications. You can find her on Twitter at shellyshelly.

You can see Shelly’s slides on Slideshare and read the text on the Waggle Labs’ blog.

Hillel Cooperman and the Secret Underground World of Lego

Kids give you license to be kids again. For Hillel Cooperman and his wife, this gave them license to go to Lego conventions, bid on Lego auctions and even turn rooms of their house into Lego rooms.


Note: this Ignite Seattle talk may contain language that is not safe for work (but then you probably shouldn’t be goofing off either).

About Hillel Cooperman

You can find Hillel hanging around the Jackson Fish Market or putting on the “Small and Special” conference, a “tiny conference for small business owners and entrepreneur hopefuls.” You can follow Hillel’s personal exploits on Twitter and his blog or learn more about his obsession with Lego.

Ignite Seattle 6 Schedule

Ignite Seattle is this Wednesday, 4/29, at the King Cat Theatre. Ignite is free. We’ve got a great line-up of speakers. Here’s the evening’s schedule:

7PM – Doors Open

7:30 PM – Paper Tower Contest Begins – Build the tallest tower you can out of just 5 sheets of paper and tape (See Details)

8:30 – First Set of Talks
Hillel Cooperman (@hillel) – The Secret Underground World of Lego
Dawn Rutherford (@dawnoftheread) – Public Library Hacking
Roy Leban (@royleban) – Worst Case User Experience: Alzheimer’s
Shelly Farnham (@ShellyShelly) Community Genius: Leveraging Community to Increase your Creative Powers
Dominic Muren (@dmuren) – Humblefacturing a Sustainable Electronic Future
Jen Zug (@jenzug) – The Sanity Hacks of a Stay At Home Mom
Ken Beegle (@kbeegle) – Decoding Sticks and Waves
Maya Bisineer (@thinkmaya) – Geek Girl – A life Story
Scott Berkun (Scottberkun.com)- How and Why to Give an Ignite Talk

9:45 PM – Second Set of Talks
Scotto Moore (Scotto.org)- Intangible Method
Secret Guest Speaker from Ignite Portland
Mike Tykka – The Invention of the Wheel
Jason Preston (@Jasonp107) – Goodbye Tolstoy: How to say anything in 140 characters or less
Chris DiBona (@cdibona) – The Coolness of Telemedicine
Ron Burk – The Psychology of Incompetence
Katherine Hernandez (@ipodtouchgirl) – The Mac Spy
Jamie Gower JamieGower.com) – I Am %0.0002 Cyborg
Beth Goza (@bethgo) – Knitting in Code

Ignite Seattle 6 Speakers

We’ve got a bunch of great speakers this time! Check ’em out below. Ignite Seattle 6 will take place on 4/29 at the King Cat Theatre. Doors will open at 7PM and talk will start at 8:30PM. We are very grateful to be getting sponsorship from Google, Biznik, and Phinney Bischoff Design House.

Roy Leban (@royleban) – Worst Case User Experience: Alzheimer’s
When the time came to move my father-in-law into an Alzheimer’s facility, I approached the problem as I approach any technical problem — I needed to meet the needs of the user, even if he didn’t know them and couldn’t express them. I crafted an experience (a UX) for him in his new home which meets those needs and I worked to make sure that the actual move itself did the same.

Ron Burk – The Psychology of Incompetence
Why does software suck so bad? Is it possible that a lot of us really smart computer programmers are, in fact… incompetent?

Dominic Muren (@dmuren) – Humblefacturing a Sustainable Electronic Future
We geeks love our personal tech. iPhones, Kindles, and Netbooks — these are the things we are quick to buy, and quick to trade up to stay on the bleeding edge. But in our wake we leave mountains of discarded, useless, and toxic ex-electronics. But must this necessarily be the case?

Jason Preston (@Jasonp107) – Goobye Tolstoy: How to say anything in 140 characters or less
Twitter’s greatest contr. to society is: any idea can be shared in 140 chars or less-beyond that, it’s just drivel. See how & why in 5 mins.

Jamie Gower – How to Set Up a Machinima Studio for $20 (or Hamlet: Armed and Dangerous)
The startling true story of the production of the climax from Hamlet that defied sanity—staged entirely in Starcraft: Brood War, a deeply-discounted, 11-year old computer game!

Chris DiBona (@cdibona) – The Coolness of Telemedicine
Remote medicine is coming a long way. Chris will run us through the latest.

Ken Beegle (@kbeegle) – Decoding Sticks and Waves
Yesterday’s breakthrough solutions are today’s historical curiosities. Such is the case of stick charts, which were once used to navigate the Marshall Islands. By observing the waves, wind and stars, select Marshall Islanders were able to find their way across the water. In 1898, Captain Winkler of the German Navy began decoding the stick charts, allowing us to understand how and why the charts worked. Using his experiences as a lens, we can look at the maps we’re building today and ask what type of historical curiosities will they become.

Maya Bisineer (@thinkmaya) – Geek Girl – A life Story
From being a tomboy, secretly hiding away my cousin’s hot-wheels cars at 5 yrs of age all the way to imposing geekiness on my own 2 year old by refusing her pink dresses :). I WILL make a claim that we are a special breed of people that need special privileges in order to save our creed.

Dawn Rutherford (@dawnoftheread) – Public Library Hacking
Money tight? Want to save more for a rainy day? If you aren’t fully utilizing your public library, you might be wasting thousands of dollars a year!Librarian Dawn Rutherford will give you a quick trip through all your public libraries have to offer, and how to make the most of it, using tricks and tips gleaned from someone who has spent over half her life working or volunteering in them.

Mike Tykka – The Invention of the Wheel
It seems Nature has beaten man to almost every “invention” of his: Helicopters, Submarines, Electricity, Video Cameras, Supercomputers, etc. For the longest time i thought one notable exception was the wheel – seems hard to do out of flesh: think blood vessels; How do they attach? Then i started studying biochemistry and learned about proteins. Turns out nature has invented a full blown, reversible, proton driven turbine engine, many tens of thousands of which churn away in every one of the billions of cells in a human body.

Beth Goza (@bethgo) – Knitting in Code
Remember the joy of writing your first Hello World application? Do you still have a copy somewhere so you can gaze upon your coded baby steps into the world of binary goodness? In knitting, creating something beautiful is just like binary, with a series of knits and pearls you can dream up the most sophisticated of patterns. In the spirit of hi-tech meets hand-tech, I will show you how to convert your binary Hello World app into a pattern of stitches (think kint =1 pearl = 0), so that you can create, mount, frame and hang your Hello World genius for all to see.

Hillel Cooperman (@hillel) – The Secret Underground World of Lego
Get a glimpse of a thriving user generated content ecosystem that’s been around since long before the web. See an incredible example of a community, and how a large corporation has completely let go of control only to find incredible success despite and maybe because of the economic downturn.

Shelly Farnham (@ShellyShelly) Community Genius: Leveraging Community to Increase your Creative Powers
We’ve all heard that it’s a myth that creativity occurs in isolation. We’ve even heard about *group genius*, the ability for group with “flow” to create ground-breaking works of art or technology. Well, in this brief talk Shelly Farnham, social scientist and leading expert in community technologies, will take it to the next level and provide tips for how to leverage *community genius* to improve your creative powers.

Katherine Hernandez (@ipodtouchgirl) – The Mac Spy
I made a last minute decision to attend a meeting I somehow caught wind of. Assured of its importance, I flew down yet again, not even a month after MacWorld, to see what would happen at this 25 year reunion of the Berkeley Mac User Group.

Scott Berkun (Scottberkun.com)- How and Why to Give an Ignite Talk
To give a good talk you want to have a story. You have to be able to frame it. If you’re going to give an Ignite talk you have to do this really, really quickly.

Scotto Moore (Scotto.org)- Intangible Method
A digital fairy tale about a young woman who realizes that first person video footage from her own life is being posted to YouTube – before the events actually occur in real life.

Jen Zug (@jenzug) – The Sanity Hacks of a Stay At Home Mom
Drawing from her real life as a stay at home mom (as opposed to her imaginary life as a bar tender on Cape Cod), Jen Zug shares her parenting hacks to staying sane when the majority of her day is spent discussing the merits of Optimus Prime over Buzz Light Year.

Ignite Seattle Returns!

After over a year on hiatus, Ignite Seattle is back, at a new venue (thanks to the King Cat Theater) on April 29th. Same as before, we’ll have 16 speakers – talks will be limited to 5 minutes a piece each 20 slides, so that’s 15 seconds a slide. It always goes faster than you think.

Right now, we’re looking for speakers – we have a form setup for you to apply in this post below.

We’re taking talk submissions from everyone — whether this is your first time or whether you’ve done an Ignite talk before.

Topics usually tend towards web 2.0, startups, life hacks, etc., but it can really be about anything that would appeal to a roomful of tech geeks and Internet junkies. Some of the favorite talks from last year included Hacking the Technical Interview and A Pseudoscience Guide to Geek Dating. You can view all of the recent talks on the Ignite Seattle YouTube channel.

We’re taking submissions until April 16th, and they’re accepted on a rolling basis, so submit early. We look forward to seeing you on the 29th!

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