You already know that I like to do things I’ve never done, right?
Presenting at Ignite – an event at FinCon13 – was one of those things.
I speak as part of my job. I teach students: from undergrads to Master’s and Doctoral students. The other day one of my undergrads tweeted something I said during the lecture. Sweet! Even sweeter, it had little to do with the formal lecture: I told my students that confusion is good because it makes us think.
I speak to large audiences of academics; now this is not that hard. We all know each other and surprises are very few and far between.
I speak to groups of policy people and politicians; heck, I’ve presented to Prime-Ministers.
Ignite was still a challenge.
Usually, I talk for a long time – anything between 30 and 45 minutes; or longer. For Ignite the rules were clear: five minutes, twenty slides. This makes fifteen seconds per slide (I am saying this because I am a geek, not because it is important).
And this is exactly what you can’t do with the Ignite type of presentation: you can’t say things simply because you are a geek, or because you are meandering. Every sentence, every word and most of all, every image has to build towards and convey the main message.
I did it; I was nervous as hell and I practiced as a woman obsessed (not this is not hard; I thrive on obsession).
Here is the outcome. It was fun but, naturally, there is space for improvement. What do you think?