"Adventures of a Geek Dad" -- my Ignite Asheville 2013 talk
April 08, 2013
I'm sharing this post on the IATF website because so many from the IATF community supported me in the following project (thank you all!)...
On February 19, 2013 I spoke at IGNITE Asheville. See my video below.
My talk was entitled "Adventures of a Geek Dad" and I won 1st place! The crazy thing is, I tried to back out of this event a couple of times. I honestly didn't think many people would be interested in what I had to say.
Although I've given many talks, this one was among the most difficult to prepare for and deliver.
The difficulty stemmed from the format: 5 minutes long and slides auto advance every 15 seconds. 5 minutes is such a short amount of time. Every word counts. You'll see in the video that I got behind / out of sync with my slides - - so easy to do.
Assembling my slides took way longer then expected because I realized I had too much to say in 5 minutes and that meant I had too many slides. I had to eliminate, pair down, refine, etc. Not easy for a guy that likes to talk a lot.
The event organizers (all great people) provided a speaking coach and she was AWESOME. Her name is Angie Flynn-McIver of Executive Repertory. Angie met with me one-on-one and listened to my talk and asked me to make a couple of simple yet important changes. One tip she gave was to "get rid of the light saber". I was going to use a light saber during my talk but Angie said it would be distracting for me and the audience. I'm so glad I followed her advice on that one.
Here are a few resources that helped a lot:
Scott Berkun -- Why And How To Give An IGNITE Talk
Scott Berkun's blog post on the same subject
Jason Grigsby's "How To Give a Successful Ignite Presentation"
I bounced some ideas off of Ken Denmead at GeekDad.com (Thank you Ken!).
The biggest realization I had was how vulnerable I felt talking about parenting, my kids, and doing geeky stuff with my kids. The place was sold out with 420 in attendance and I just wasn't used to talking on a subject so personal in front of so many people.
Towards the end of my talk you'll see me get a little choked up when the slide of my daughter's thank you card is on the screen. That was a surprise. I practiced my talk so many times and not once did I have an emotional reaction to my daughter's card. Sharing that image with hundreds of people really did get me connected with why I do this Geek Dad stuff - - it's a great way to spend time with my kids.