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How to give a good lightning talk

Once again we ask attendees to share their knowledge in our 5 minute lightning talks. Some thought we put together a few tips that take you no longer than 5 minutes to read. There is a lot of information out there on good presentation skills, yet these three points specifically apply to short presentations.

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Don’t worry about the small details

Forget about the small stuff. This is not about being accurate and giving step by step manuals. Instead your talk should inspire, give people a new perspective, spread a great idea.

Get to the point. Soon.

Unless you are the storyteller of the year and can keep your audience in suspense for 4.5 minutes, we recommend you get to your point very early in the talk. You can even consider stating it in your title, especially if it is a bit of a provocative or controversial idea. Then elaborate with evidence. Point your audience to further resources in case they want to know more.

Practice. Then practice again.

Five minutes is very short, especially if you tend to go off on tangents or are easily distracted by your own thoughts. You owe it to your audience to value their time, so set a timer to five minutes and practice your talk out loud. Stand up, talk while pacing around a bit, get comfortable.

Need more inspiration? Check out last year’s Lightning Talks on Vimeo

Want to know the rules? Check out our Call for Lightning Talks Ready? Submit your talk here