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Settin’ the words on fire: Speaking at Ignite Birmingham

April 22, 2010

In a week, I’ll be onstage giving a 5-minute presentation. No big deal: I give presentations and talks all the time.

Except …

This is the first Ignite Birmingham. And while the other speakers will be using prepared presentations and automated slides, my talk will be off the cuff. Twenty random slides, which I will not have seen beforehand, will guide my impromptu presentation.

Welcome to Ignite Karaoke.

I’m very excited. To the point that it’ll seamlessly blend into nerves. Many, many nerves.

Ignite is new to Birmingham. It’s a global phenomenon based on a simple format: Bring together great thinkers from your city, have them talk for no more than 5 minutes on their idea or their passion. They can use up to 20 slides if they wish, but each slide auto-forwards after 15 seconds.

This free event gives communities a chance to feast on new ideas and converse with thinkers and shakers.

I’ve never been, and I’m really looking forward to hearing our speakers blow. our. minds.

If that weren’t enough, we’re also having Ignite Karaoke. My friend Tom Brander and I will each take a turn talking for 5 minutes with that crazy set of slides.

On the plus side: no preparation! Yay, laziness.

On the minus side: It could crash and burn spectacularly. (For some of you, that will be a plus.)

You can help!

Our organizer Henry McBride wants to include your slides. He’s looking more for pictures than words. You can e-mail your slides to

Be creative! Be crazy! Be challenging! The slides you send in will determine how Tom and I do. We’ll be your Ignite puppets.

I promise it’ll be fun and fearless. Hope you can join us.

The first Ignite Birmingham takes place at 6 p.m. April 22 at UAB’s Lister Hill Library [map]. Tickets are sold out, but visit the registration page to join the waiting list.

All about Ignite Birmingham:

Additional coverage:

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