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Speedy presentations Ignite creativity

February 8, 2011

A while back, I wrote about Pecha Kucha, a speed presentation technique. I recently discovered an even speedier variation, called Ignite, which is sponsored by O’Reilly Media. Coincidentally, February 7-11 is Global Ignite Week and more than 100 cities are holding these events. Both techniques require twenty slides, but Ignite allows a mere fifteen seconds to narrate each screen – five less than Pecha Kucha. As a result, Ignite presentations last only five minutes.

Another difference is that Ignite events often feature a contest where people are invited to make something creative from mundane materials like Popsicle sticks or paper. Ignite also encourages organizers to submit videos, so they have a much richer collection of samples — including the hilarious one below.

Speed presentations can be used in college classes in a number of ways. The teacher might follow the format to create a rapid-fire introduction for a new concept or students could use the technique to report on a project. It is certainly not appropriate for all situations, but speed presentation is an intriguing option to consider.

To my knowledge, there have been no Pecha Kucha nights in our area, but last fall Dr. Joshua Wells sponsored an Ignite event at Indiana University South Bend. He plans to hold another in March and I hope to be there. We are also beginning to consider organizing some kind of speed presentation event at Notre Dame – probably in conjunction with TEDx @ ND in April.

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