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May 29

Ignite Logo

If you had five minutes on stage what would you say? What if you only got 20 slides and they rotated automatically after 15 seconds? Around the world geeks have been putting together Ignite nights to show their answers.

This could be a great idea for a presentation topic for Apple User Groups to consider, or even think about having a dedicated meeting each month (or every couple of months) where your group hosts an Ignite event in your local community.

Ignite events can be a fun way to hear about a number of topics, quickly, or to promote your own User Group.

For a regular MUG Presentation, you would obviously have the talks focus on Apple related topics – imagine a series of five minute talks on the new features of the iLife ’09, or about people’s favourite iPhone App – It could be a fun way to share a lot of information, presented quickly, and by a diverse range of presenters.

For a local ‘community event’ you would open the presentations up to wider range of topics, but there is nothing stopping you from promoting the event as been sponsored by ‘ABC MUG’ and you could include a speaker sourced from within your membership to talk about ‘Macs are So Much Better Than PC’s’ 🙂 In fact that could be a good opening presentation to get things moving in a lively manner.

There is great ‘Ignite How To’ guide that gives you all the information you need to get an Ignite evening up and running (In fact a lot of the hints there can be applied to a regular MUG Meeting too). Once you’ve done some basic work (like set a date and chosen a venue) you can contact the Ignite team and they will send you an ‘Ignite-in-a-Box’ which includes templates for the presentation slides and even signage ready for printing to use at the venue and prior to the event.

The only advice I disagree with from the Ignite How To is to use PowerPoint as the presentation package – we all know that Keynote is a much better choice, don’t we 🙂 and Keynote will read PowerPoint presentations anyway.

Ignite was started in Seattle in 2006 by Brady Forrest and Bre Pettis. Since then 100s of 5 minute talks have been given across the world. There are thriving Ignite communities in Seattle, Portland, Paris, and NYC, with Ignite events having been held in Melbourne and Sydney.

There are videos of previous Ignite events that can give you an idea of how much fun they can be. So be sure to check the Ignite Video Blog out and be sure to link to it from your promotional material.

The Ignite community site is sponsored by O’Reilly.

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