Last night was my first ignite event. It was very, very cool. The concept is a speaker has five minutes to present on one topic with 20 powerpoint slides that auto-advance every 15 seconds. Kinda like Ted Talks, but with slides, a full bar, and lots of cursing.
This is an example of a really good one:
As has been an issue with powerpoint since it was invented, there are some people who are going to essentially read slides to you. If I had one wish in life (well, if I had like 50 wishes in life) it would be that no one would ever read a powerpoint presentation to me again. The more effective speakers allowed their slides to complement their talks without being tied to them.
There were, in my opinion, three types of presenters:
1. The guys tied to power point: well rehearsed but would have been lost without the bullet points on his slides.
2. The stand up comedians: Little actual content and lots of obvious statements (like “Don’t do this obviously stupid thing” or “make sure you do this really obviously smart thing.”) Combined with funny pictures from the internet and plenty of f bombs. These folks were mostly going for laughs.
3. Dynamic speakers with a cool message: Clearly the ideal, these folks had a cool message, presented well, sprinkled in a few well timed one liners, but overall left me smarter and better for having heard them talk for five minutes.
In my opinion, the best speakers were Arif Gangi, Eric Rosenberg, Ben Deda, Eli Fehler, and Mollie Rusher.
I would gripe more about the talks I thought were bad, but Denver’s kind of a small town.
I would post video of the talks that I thought were really good, but they’re not on youtube yet.
I would tell you about my idea for applying to speak myself next year but I haven’t come up with it yet.