A Different Way to Present Concept
This past month, I was invited to participate in Portland State University’s Digital Marketing Conference Ignite presentations. Having never presented in the Ignite style, I decided to research effective methods of communicating in this presentational mode.
For those of you who have never done nor seen an Ignite presentation, it works like this. Presenters get five minutes for their topic and provide twenty powerpoint slides. The slides are assembled into one combined presentation and they auto-flip every fifteen seconds.
This means, as the presenter, that you can’t control the advancing of your topic slides – they change every fifteen seconds. Talk about presenter pressure! I already knew that I wanted to talk some smack to the USA restaurant industry and did some research through Google and YouTube on effective Ignite presenting skills.
The key lessons I learned from this research (which caused me to chuck my first draft) were these:
- Go thematic. When preparing your presentation, stay in a generalized topic, meaning, don’t try to push a lot of details.
- Use imagery. The slides are there to reinforce what you are speaking too.
- Put tiny clues into your slides to keep you on topic; maybe one or two trigger words.
- Be a storyteller. Structure your five minutes like you were telling a story to peers at happy hour.
- Stay away from a bulletized presentation style.
- Practice, practice, practice. Stand in front of bright lights when you practice. Don’t worry about messing up – in fact, what counts is your ability to recover if you get stuck.
Here is the Youtube video of my Ignite presentation at PSU’s Digital Marketing Conference 2010. I planned my target audience to include social media, as a way to get exposure for Chalkboarder. Mind you, by mid-way through my presentation, my microphone hand was noticeably shaking. It had been nearly thirty years since I was on a stage that size with lights that bright.
Another of my favorite presenters from the day…
Paul Ting: Add Some Australianisms to Your Social Media
I want to give props to everyone who organized and ran Portland State University’s Digital Marketing Conference, especially those involved in producing the Ignite Series. They all worked supremely hard to deliver professional results.
Here are all the other links to the Ignite presentations from that day: