We are going to use a very specific format called an Ignite talk. Before we go any further, a big tip of the hat to microbiologist Dr. Siouxsie Wiles, who developed the material for this week’s exercise.
First off: Don’t panic!
Preparing talks is usually a very time consuming affair for scientists. This exercise is not like that in any way.
So what is an Ignite talk? Ignite talks are a very specific way to talk to the public about something you are really passionate about. Ignite talks are 5 minutes in length, which leads to Ignite’s motto: enlighten us, but make it quick! Each participant brings 20 slides to accompany their talk and each slide auto-advances every 15 seconds (whether the speaker is ready or not). As you can imagine, this makes the Ignite format a challenge, but it’s a challenge that leads to better talks.
Start by watching a few Ignite talks. Check out Hillel Cooperman’s Ignite talk on Lego:
And here is Dianne Stronks’ talk on smiling.
And here is microbiologist Dr.Siouxsie Wiles, cheating a little doing a related format called PechaKucha where you get 20 slides for 20 seconds (so a whole 1 minute 40 seconds extra).