Discovering Sparks of Brilliance – Ignite Seattle 19 Recap

Ignite Seattle

Presentations are an art form. When done well presenters can captivate an audience and inspire action. On the flipside however, poorly executed presentations often bore and frustrate those within earshot. This past Wednesday I had the pleasure of checking out  Ignite  – a Seattle born educational event focused on highlighting stellar presentations. Ignite prides itself in harnessing “condensed creativity.” The organization accomplishes this goal by implementing a five-minute stage rule for all of its presenters and limiting them to only 20 slides, which automatically rotate after 15 seconds. For anyone who has sat through a dry and long drawn out slide presentation, these rules seem like a gift from God.

Topics at the event ranged from motivational speeches about overcoming life challenges to acquiring new skills. There were also a few quirky ones such as “Mapping the United States of Starbucks” and “How I got seriously hurt at summer camp, and ended up meeting Donnie and Marie instead.” While there was not an official grand narrative that connected the presentations, most of the talks centered on the importance of human connectivity and discovering your passion. A few of my favorites included:

Jonathon Colman – Surviving as an Introvert in an Extroverted World
Wendy Hinman – We’re Gonna Die
Lindsay Sharma -What do Swaziland, Papua New Guinea and the United States have in common?
Adam Philipp – NETWORKING, the RPG
Forest Gibson – How to make a viral video (and why it’s not easy)
Kate Bergstrom – Online Dating Tips I Have Learned After Meeting Over 100 Men
Andrew Dumont – Projects: From Idea to Launch and Beyond
Sara McNally – How the downturn made me a small business owner (and why it was a good idea)
James Davenport – Mapping the United States of Starbucks
Geraldine DeRuiter – Sharing Personal News Online

Overall the event was outstanding. It showcased some of the region’s brightest talent and highlighted the essence of great storytelling. To relive the magic, check out some of the  tweets I curated from the event. Videos of the presentations will also be available online in the coming weeks on Ignite’s video page.

For all the latest info about Ignite Seattle, visit and follow them on Twitter at  @ignitesea. The next Ignite Seattle is May 16th. See you there!

[Photo courtesy of Ignite Seattle]