A visual message for peace
Lessons from the documentary "Comedian"

The Ignite presentation method

Ignite While I was in Portland Oregon last month I kept meeting people who raved about Ignite. "What's Ignite?" I'd ask. "Kind of like Pecha Kucha, but different," they'd say. Ignite asks the questions: What if you only had five minutes on stage to make your point? And what if you could use only 20 slides that automatically advanced every 15 seconds? The Ignite communities are interesting indeed and have developed quite a buzz. I was reminded of Ignite today back here in Japan from this post on Boing Boing (thanks Oliver!) that links to a very nice short talk by Rob Gruhl presenting "How to Buy a New Car" at Ignite in Seattle last year. Except for the recap bit at the end,* this was a fantastic talk. And as one who has purchased a new car in the States many years ago, I completely agree with his ideas (and wish I had this knowledge years ago - d'oh!). Watch the video below -- good stuff.

* In a real-world business or educational setting, I would not try to rush through a summary slide of bullet points at the end. Instead, finish strong and with a single powerful image and give a handout of the key points covered in the 5-minute talk for discussion and elaboration in a follow-up Q&A. If it took you 4:45 to tell your story, how can you review it in 15 seconds and with bullets? In this case, perhaps a high-quality image of a sexy new car or a salesman handing the keys to a proud new owner would've been a better visual with a verbal restatement of the most salient point of the talk. But all-n-all, a great little presentation.

(And speaking of Oregon, here are a few snaps from the beach last week — best beach running I've ever experienced.)

Learn more about Ignite
Ignite info on O’reilly's site
Ignite Portland
Ignite Seattle



Great advice. I've bookmarked it to refer to the next time I buy a car. Thanks for sharing the video, Garr.


"I would not try to rush through a summary slide of bullet points at the end. Instead, finish strong and with a single powerful image"

How about a pretty Mind Map instead of the bullet points?

Wayne Botha

I like the fast pace, and getting to the meat of the message quickly with the Ignite method. It keeps speaker and audience on track. I agree that bullet points as a recap was an anticlimax to a great presentation.

As an aside, I purchase cars from a Honda dealer that has a no-negotiation simple price for every vehicle. It is nice to buy a car without going through the dirty process used by most dealers.

Jan Schultink

Thx for sharing this. I also like the high-pace presentation with good supporting slides, however the automatic change over distracts sometimes when the presenter is running 5 seconds over or under.

Nic Darling

I did one of these at an event in Philadelphia and it was an excellent experience. Moves much faster when you are on stage in front of 300+ people than you would think. This certainly wasn't my best presentation as I was under-prepared and over-beered, but it was fun. Next time I will make slides a day or two before hand and give it a practice run.

If you want to see my attempt http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OhCldchl7KE

There were quite a few bullet points at the event which was disappointing. I saw one or two presentations hurt by the PPT curse.

public speaking tips

I all the time the same way you experienced that feelings when you stand up in front of a huge huge audience,something overwhelming going on inside you.


Excuse me, sir, but... what is the difference between Ignite and Pecha Kucha? Besides the 5 seconds less for each slide, I mean. Isn't it just the same concept?


Very cool. I wish I lived within 500 miles of a place that had Pecha Kucha or Ignite. Maybe I will start one.

Sebastiano Mereu

I love this Ignite presentation. The fast pace keeps the tension high and you can tell that the presenter only says what is most important. This presentation is like a good song. Using the right words at the right time with the right melody driven by a pumping beat.
Thanks for sharing this.


I wonder if there is anyone doing something similar in the UK?
It would be great to have these kind of effective 'ignite' presentations here. I agree with one of the other commentators may have to start our own here in Manchester

Phillip Kerman

Here's my ignite preso from Portland... the receptive crowd made it even more fun:


Roger Williams

Great post and review of the presentation/format. We are working on the second Ignite Phoenix now and the submissions page is open till Friday. So if you are in Phoenix or will be in the area submit your presentation and be ready to present on Oct 29th.

Come to our site for more information:

Here are some videos of the first Ignite Phoenix:
We live streamed it on Ustream and will do so again for the next one.

Critiques and thoughts are welcomed.

This is a really fun way of having a lot of presenters in a short amount of time. Keeps the audience engaged and the presenters on their toes.

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