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June 9, 2011 / marden928

Tips for Rapid Fire presentations

My role with IgniteNYC has just expanded in the most wonderful way!  In addition to collecting the presentations, checking the formats, and running the machine during the event:  I am now also rehearing and coaching the presenters.  Arguably some of the most fulfilling work I’ve done with Ignite, thus far.  It’s really magical to see someone go from struggling with their material transform into someone who really rocks their content and what their natural strengths are.

Anyway, I thought I’d share some tips with you, in case you’ve got  Pecha Kucha, Ignite or 7×7 talk of your own coming up:

  • 15 seconds is short.  You can only cover 2-3 sentences.  No more, no less (well, leave some time for audience reaction for your zingers).  For  Pecha Kucha, add another sentence to fill your 20 seconds.
  • Don’t forget to breath!  Especially with the super fast formats, it’s natural to want to jam in more information, and thus forget to breath.  Not only does it exhaust you as a presenter, but your audience’s ears.
  • Remember that you’re only presenting a nugget of information.  Shorten your story accordingly – just give a taste of what you know.  Maybe just go over one chapter of the full story.  Typically these talks are about quick awareness and conversation starting.
  • Try and stick to one purpose for your presentation:   inform, educate, entertain, inspire, or motivate
  • Think of it as a 5 minute, specifically timed monologue with images.  Not a regular presentation – memorize it, do not wing it!
  • Rehearse in front of your friends and a camera.  When you see yourself on camera, you see your little quirks.  We all do that one thing – find out what your one thing is.

Happy Presenting!  Just make it quick!

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