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Ignite Chicago intro

Ignite is a high-energy evening of 5-minute talks by people who have a burning idea—and the guts to get onstage and share it with their hometown crowd.

Speaking at Ignite is an unforgettable experience. You step up to the mic. Your palms sweat. You can hear the thump of your blood rushing. Your voice cracks for an instant and then you launch into a rant for 300 straight seconds, wearing your passion on your sleeve, barely pausing to breathe. The crowd goes wild.

Ignite Chicago is open to everyone. All talks are 5 minutes (20 slides x 15 seconds/slide).

Ignite speaker November 2016

There is no theme for Ignite. You can talk about virtually anything as long as you can show us your passion for it. What’s the thing you most geek out about? What’s the topic of conversation that quickens your pulse and sets your toe a-tappin’? That is what we want to hear you speak about.

All speakers get equal time and equal billing. All talks are 5 minutes. You create 20 slides, and we set them up to auto-advance every 15 seconds.

Want to speak?

The audience at Ignite is generous and patient. They know the Ignite format is difficult, and they realize you might be an absolute beginner at public speaking. Don’t worry – they’ve got your back. You’re giving them your passion and your vulnerability, and they love you for that. You won’t find a more appreciative audience at any other event.

Some people think Ignite is about self-help talks. It isn’t. Nobody wants to hear a preachy pep talk. We’re already “good enough and smart enough,” so let’s keep this about you and your passionate ideas.

Finally, we’re serious about the no pitching thing. We know that sometimes a speaker must mention their profession in order to give their talk context, which is totally fine. But Ignite is not the place to tout your organization or to troll for clients.

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Ignite Chicago logo