As we get ready to light up the High Desert with Ignite for a second year on March 17, 2016, we are looking for interested & passionate people that have burning ideas that they want to share with our community in this exciting and fast-paced format! 5 minutes and 20 slides that auto-advance every 15 seconds!
I am Sam Thatte, the guy some of you saw as the first Ignite speaker at the first ever Ignite High Desert! My topic was “What is Ignite?” Being part of that awesome event was such a wonderful feeling! (Ask any of the speakers and they will tell you the same thing) So now I would like for you too to have that euphoric experience just as last year’s Ignite speakers did!
My job is to be the presentation herder! I will be working with you speakers for the next few months and helping you put together a great presentation on a topic that excites you! So the first step in this wonderful journey is to learn how to write an engaging speaker application. So if you are asking yourself, “How exactly can I impress their socks off?” read on…
Tip 1: Deconstruct your passion
Let’s say you’re really into building those cairn things that mark hiking trails. If you write a submission that says, “I like to stack stones because it’s sort of hard but sort of fun,” the judging committee will fall asleep before they finish reading it. Instead, think about what really draws you to this eccentric hobby. Is it an artistic calling? Is it a form of OCD? Does someone pay you to do it? Were you instructed by the aliens who kidnapped you to do it? Determine the who, what, when, where, and why of your passion, and tell us that.
Tip 2: Generate enthusiasm
You have an emotional tie to the topic you’re describing. You feel joy, anger, sorrow, remorse, excitement, or something similar and complex about this topic that you want to share with our audience. You have 500 characters to ignite that feeling you carry for your topic into the reader of your submission. Make us excited to read it!
Tip 3: Cut the fat
Read back through your submission, and ditch the extra words and boring parts. It’s hard to resist the urge to start at the beginning of the story you want to tell us, but if the beginning is boring and obvious, start in the middle. You don’t have to use all your available characters. Keep us engaged.
Tip 4: Make it about you.
Take a page from any good starlet’s handbook, and tell us why you’re important to this presentation in the “About You & Your Passion” section. Don’t give us your resume (unless your talk is actually about resumes). Let us know how this topic connects to who you are and why it matters to you. We need to know why you’re the right person to do it.
Tip 5: JUST DO IT.
If you need to take a shot before hitting “Submit,” I recommend a good single malt scotch (as long as you promise not to go on a bender). Remind yourself: most people are too chicken to even try, and you’re a g&#@ing [sorry, I got a little worked up and had to censor myself] ROCKSTAR for putting yourself out there.