I’ll be honest. I’ve never given an Ignite presentation. But I am very intrigued.

You may have heard about the recent Ignite sensation that is banging around the country. The idea is simple – a presenter gets five minutes to sell an idea using a slide-type presentation tool such as PowerPoint or KeyNote.

The kicker is that the presenter has to use exactly 20 slides that advance automatically every 15 seconds.

Ignite was inspired by Pecha Kucha Nights and first took place in Seattle in 2006. Since then the event has become an international phenomenon, with gatherings in Helsinki, Finland; Paris, France; New York, New York; and many other locations.

Fast-paced, fun, thought-provoking, social, local, global—Ignite is all of these and more. It’s a high-energy evening of 5-minute talks by people who have an idea—and the guts to get onstage and share it with their hometown crowd.

A great example is one by Matt from Where the Hell is Matt fame.


It got me thinking about how teachers always seem to asking for new types of  student presentations. This just seems perfect to me. Most kids have a difficult time staying on topic and having a clear beginning and end. An Ignite presentation is a tailor-made structure to provide clear guidance on length and process. It also seems like a great way to teach kids about good presentation skills.

No cheesy animations. No sound effects. Short, focused and to the point.

You can share some tips and other examples with your students and then turn them loose for your own Ignite event.

Let me know how it works out!