Ignite your audience

Do you know Ignite? If not, read on and I will spill my thoughts about this presentation format.

Last week I spoke at Mødeindustriens Dag (The Meetings Industry Day) – a Danish initiative built by three of the industry’s disruptors to further the knowledge in our common interest.

My presentation was about the ‘Future meeting’ – how we have to look differently at our meetings and realize that theater style settings and endless Power Point are so last season (or the one before that!), that the future meeting attendee wants to be heard and to reflect, and that we have to adopt the new technology, which will be a big part of our life from here on – but that is not the point here. Today it is about the Ignite presentation and its pros and cons (and the post about the ‘Future meeting’ will follow at some point).

What and why?

Just to be sure we are on the same page: The Ignite presentation format gives you 5 minutes to present and the form of 20 slides that are shown for 15 seconds each. The slides will shift automatically each 15 seconds…so do follow the set time!

It all started in Seattle back in 2006 and the phenomenon has since spread all over the World.

Since you only have 5 minutes to get to the point, the format supports the speakers in getting there fast. There is no rambling on or getting side tracked since you have to follow the slides as they change in 15, 14, 13…! The format keeps the speaker focused on the specific point in the presentation as it goes without saying that you cannot have that many points in the course of 5 minutes.

What’s in it for me?

Seen from the attendees’ perspective, I rather like the Ignite format as you give them the possibility to get a taste of many different topics in a short and effective way. Since you cannot dive deep into the subject, the format will have to be followed by something more thorough – like a workshop where the topic will be dissected, as they did on The Meetings Industry Day – if you want the attendees to learn something.

This way you combine two forms of learning: The short pep talk and the thorough workshop.

From the speakers’ perspective, I am a little more biased. I do see the point in giving the speaker only 5 minutes to get to the point and ignite (pun intended!) an interest in the topic. But I don’t really see the point in having the slides change automatically. Maybe my point is embedded in the info on slide 7, which I would like to show for longer than 15 seconds!

But as you only show each slide for 15 seconds, you obviously cannot include much information in each of them and so most of the presentations consists only of images. Good for the visually minded – not so good for the more information craving part of the population.

That said, I would definitely do an Ignite presentation again, and I am pretty sure the format is here to stay.

Do you have any experience with Ignite presentations? Then share your story below.

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