How to prepare to speak at Ignite Seattle

by Scott Berkun on January 30, 2014

in Seattle,Speakers

We know the speakers are the stars. As organizers we do everything we can to select speakers with great topics and passions, but we also work hard to help them prepare and make sure they have what they need to do a great job.

As the Ignite Seattle speaker coach I run a coaching session that all speakers are encouraged to attend. We talk about common mistakes, tactics for preparing and answer any questions folks have. It’s informal, it’s fun and we usually feed people (hungry speakers are bad speakers). We also let speakers do a dry run and get feedback from me and other organizers. And of course speakers at Ignite are interesting people and it’s a chance to meet the folks you’ll be sharing the stage with.

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Here’s the slide deck I use that covers the basic advice, including showing speakers photos of the stage and what to expect once they’re up there.

But many other folks have written advice on preparing for Ignite. There is no right way to prepare of course and the ends are far more important than the means.
We tell speakers that since they’re speaking about something they know well and are passionate about, they could probably spend time thinking carefully about  4 or 5 stories or messages and simply practice and present that, without any slides, and do fine. We strongly recommend people develop their ideas, points and stories before they make a single slide. What you say and how you say it is by far the most important thing.

Summary of more good advice on speaking at ignite:

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