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Greg McVerry

How to Make Your Ignite Talk #EDU106

3 min read

Hey many of you skipped town before class on Monday. Remember your Ignite Talks occur when we return from Thanksgiving Break.

What is an Ignite Talk?

Ignite talks deliver impact and enjoyment  with 20 slides that auto advance every fifteen seconds. You can use words or images but try to break the habit of reading bulleted list from slideshows.

In terms of accessibility or doing a talk for those using screenreadsers you may just try one or two key phrases or even think about including audio segments.

No real rules for ignite talks. We have a relaxed atmosphere for the talks. No rubrics and no stress. Just practice delivering a live talk.

Here is the video we watched in class.

How to Plan Your Ignite Talk

You can choose any topic but since you will deliver a portfolio and digital essay that includes video many students choose to do their talk on their "Better Myself" or "Better the World" project. 


Once you settle on a topic grab a piece of paper or a notebook. Pre-write your talk . I don't dicate your method but you can use this common strategy:

  • Jot down yoru three to four main ideas.
  • Then make a table with 20 rows. Put three columns.
  • Column one is for your main idea.
  • Column two is for any text.
  • Column three for picture idea.
  • Go to Google Slides or use Powerpoint. Sharing Google Slides easier for presentation day.
  • Add 21 slides
  • Go to find your images if you are using any. Add the links to your 21st slide. Bonus if you use Creative Commons images
  • If you are doing a presentation of clips or boomarks in a non visually driven presentation add the links to the 21st slide.
  • Make the presentation. 
  • Practice the presentation. Learn what fifteen seconds feels like. Learn to breath. 
  • Listen to people tell stories at Thanksgiving. Do that, just in a world where the background changes every fifteen second. Good luck.

Recording Ignite Talks

I will record anyone who wants their talk for their final portfolio. We will record the screen, export each slide to an image, and have two cameras on you. A front angle and a side angle. Then when we get to video editing you can take all four feeds and mix them together.

It is really hard and all I usually do is take the front feed an time each slide image to 15 seconds. This is a good first video editing task. You can of course choose to film and edit anything to meet the requirement. More on that after next week.