I am a big fan of Lightning talks -- a series of short presentations in a traditional conference 'track' slot.
With lightning talks, there is no time for the introductory joke, the telling what you'll tell 'em, the telling what you told 'em, or any other cliche. No, with lightning talks, you have just enough time to make a point, make it well, and get off the stage.
, we've done lightning talks under several formats, from "traditional" lightning talks to Speed Geeking
and Breakfast Bytes
. I've moderated these a few times, and, when I have the time, I like to participate in them, too.
"The Next Level"
Five years ago, at another conference, a friend of mine suggested that he take his five minutes split those up, giving a one-minute talk to five people.
Why stop there? You could take each one-minute talk and split them into three twenty-second talks.
If case you haven't guessed it, that was exactly the subject of a recent email I had with a friend of mine, who may run Lightning Talks at an upcoming conference.
He was skeptical, and suggested it would be hard for three twenty-second talks might not have much value.
I told him I could come up with three valuable twenty-second talks before breakfast, but it would cost him twenty bucks at a major conference.
In fact, I came up with a slew of instant-lightning talks.
So imagine you paid your twenty bucks, put me in the lineup, and I am giving this talk at a major conference. (If you want to go get some popcorn and come back, I can wait.)
The title is "Three Ways To Communicate a Message to Someone Desperate to Ignore it"; each way is a twenty-second talk.
Three Ways To Communicate a Message to Someone Desperate to Ignore it.
n - Send the same email, with the bad news, every single day. "As you know, project X continues to be blocked ..."
- Send the email every day for two months
- Charge $20 to get your audience to hear it, or offer a reward if they remember it
---> Next time you notice "head in the sand" behavior, use these tricks to un-stick it.
Or, at least, that's the end of the start. This kind of intense compression involves some loss. I could write about the tradeoffs involved in communicating in writing, the social aspects, etc.
But these three twenty-second things will get you pretty far.
For what it's worth, Andrew Pudewa
, director of the Institute of Excellence in Writing, presented these three in this format last weekend at homeschool conference. (Before that, I saw a similar thing with physical exercise in Basic Training; they also added muscle group.)
Which brings me to my fourth, fifth, and six point (a second one-minute talk):
Ideas are everywhere
- I got my ideas from a homeschooling conference. Where will you get yours?
When the audience expects three twenty-second talks, deliver six.
- Pack your ideas, but get off the stage. Shipping early is a feature.
Thank you; that's a wrap!