Here’s one way to become a better business speaker.
Present a five-minute talk at Ignite Tampa Bay on a topic that you care deeply about. Pair your talk with 20 slides that will change automatically every 15 seconds. Focus on getting the community excited about the issue.
“It will make you a better speaker,” said Ken Evans, a board member at Technova Florida Inc., the nonprofit that sponsors Ignite. “It will make you think about what is valuable and how you can get across a message by saying a lot less than we tend to. If you’ve been in the corporate world and living inside Powerpoint, or death by word with business plans, you know the world encourages you to write too much and to say too much. We don’t stand for that. Ignite is all about passion, but keep it brief. That’s our slogan, enlighten us but make it quick.”
Evans and other organizers of Ignite Tampa Bay 2019, scheduled for June 6 at The Palladium Theater in St. Petersburg, put out a call for speakers at a kickoff happy hour Tuesday night at 3 Daughters Brewing.
“We want people who will talk about something they are passionate about. Not something that you think is hot, not something that you think the crowd wants to hear,” Evans said. The talks are not a sales pitch or a company advertisement. “There needs to be a lot of passion behind it. There needs to be some credibility behind it, something that you do — either as a hobby or your profession — and there needs to be some call to action. It’s a community event, so we want people to walk away feeling they were empowered by this.”
While organizers largely are from the tech community, Ignite is not all about tech, Evans said. Topics have ranged from the power of social media to transportation alternatives to 3D printing in health care.
Dino Eliadis, founder and president of DE Inc., a Tarpon Springs business consulting firm, spoke in 2015 about finding the strength to overcome internal fears and doubts.
“I’ve done more than 100 presentations in my lifetime, probably several hundred presentations, but getting ready for Ignite in 2015 was the most difficult presentation I ever had to do. But it’s probably the one that had the most impact on me overall,” Eliadis said.
Speaker applications and signups for volunteers to help out at the event are available here.
Tickets go on sale April 1. All the money from ticket sales goes back into the community, including local vendors and venues, said Joy Randels, also a board member at Technova, and a past emcee and speaker at Ignite. “We charge just enough to cover the expenses of the event,” she said.
This is the 9th year that Technova has sponsored Ignite Tampa Bay, which has run annually since 2010.