I'd rather be eating

Sun 08 January 2017

Lightning Talks for the Unignited

Posted by Marianna Foos in Career   

Today, while researching this blog post, I learned that there are KINDS of lightning talks. One of them is called "Ignite" so that's the source of the title. As organizer for R-Ladies Boston, I'm recruiting for lightning talks for our next meetup. The folks who don't need to be asked twice have already signed up, so now I'm aiming for the second line: folks who are interested/excited/curious about lightning talks but don't see the path to giving one. I know they exist because more often than not, I am one of them. (First piece of advice: You know that thing you joke on twitter about quitting your job to go do full time? Give a talk about that - I did.)

All of these links come from the Technically Speaking newsletter, which I highly recommend. It's run by two women and is about the ups, downs, how-tos, joys and rewards of public speaking. The link goes to back issues on github, but the newsletter itself comes once a week and is the absolute perfect length - I always have time to read the whole thing.

I've pulled out links from 2016 with a focus on lightning talks, inspiration, and the odd bit of talk advice that is equally applicable to short, neighborhood talks as it is to full-length, national ones.

Why You Should Give A Talk [at R-Ladies Boston this month]

Public Speaking - Part 1: Is it For Me? Oooh look! Part of a series! A few thoughts on why public speaking is worth working on.

Why You Don’t Need To Be An Expert To Speak Tips on nerves and seeing the interesting topics in your experiences. A good one: ask your peers what they think!

The girl on the stage An experienced speaker shares her perspective on the vulnerability we can feel prepping and speaking.

Picking A Topic

How to write a lightning talk Favorite part: "I always pick talk topics based on something I’m angry about."

How To Brainstorm Talk Ideas For those of us who like to be systematic, a framework for identifying topics that inspire you

Tech Talks: What to Say When You Have “Nothing to Say” While very "tech" focused, this includes descriptions of directions you might go in picking a topic, complete with EXAMPLES! ::heart eye emoji::

How to come up with conference proposal ideas Complete with printable worksheet and exertion limit!

How to become a public speaker in 1 year – Step 3: Generate interesting topics Barging in the middle of a series, I know! - I'm a big fan of "find a topic" posts.

Finer Points

How To Give a Great Ignite Talk Specific advice for every stage of the lightning talk lifecycle, from brainstorming topics to robust delivery.

A white-label slide deck This post says it's for big audiences, but don't be deterred! It covers a lot "types" of slides, and how to emphasize without clutter.

How to be a confident speaker How to build your confidence by practicing, without taking yourself too seriously