Thursday, October 20, 2011

Prepare better for lightning talks

I'm heading to London tomorrow to take part in another eLearning Network event, this time speaking as part of their Pecha Kucha programme - a great way to get to events for a more affordable price.

Pecha Kucha is a form of lightning presentation (one that is less than 10 minutes) very like Ignite, which I'm closely involved with. However, although I watch lots of talks, I don't often give them. One reason I don't is it is quite time consuming to sit down and thrash the idea out. Another is that once you've actually settled on your concept, practising can be hard.

I think I've come up with an idea to overcome both these barriers, my audio templates. I've created a sound track that is simply timed to match the timings for Ignite and PK, 15 seconds or 20 seconds a slide respectively. No longer am I tied to my PC to work on the ideas or practice my talk - I can listen to it anywhere. I've found it helpful in two ways.
  1. If you have a rough idea for a talk then "riffing" over the track helps to give form to a rough idea.
  2. Once you have an idea you can practice it while doing something else. I have a 30 minute drive to work each day. That's 3-4 run throughs on the way in and again on the way home.
So here they are, feel free to take them. They are first drafts really - I want to add something as a backing track to cover the silence, and perhaps revoice them with someone better sounding than me. But they work.

 >> Download 5 minute Ignite audio template (mp3)
 >> Download 6 min 40 second PK audio template (mp3)

For the record, they were produced with the ever helpful Audacity.
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