Ignite Portland/Speaker Coordination

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The Speaker Coordinator is a central role on the Ignite team in charge of organizing and enabling Ignite's illustrious speakers.

Coordination Emails

Emails and reminders to be sent out fall into 4 major categories:

  1. Talk acceptance and follow-up
  2. Speaker training (what speakers need to know, how to present)
  3. Slide coordination (gimme your slides, slides due reminder)
  4. Event reminder (tech rehearsal and night-of)

Email Templates

Talk Acceptance email

Ignite Portland 11 Speaker Confirmation

Hello James,

Congratulations! Your submission has been chosen for Ignite Portland 11! Please respond ASAP to confirm that you are still able to participate. Lucas Charles will be the speaker coordinator for this Ignite and he is CC'd on this email. He'll be your main go-to for questions, but I'm available to help out as well.

The Details:

The deadline for submitting your slides is Tuesday, August 28. That's two weeks from today. Please email your slides to slides@igniteportland.org when they are ready. Remember: you get 20 slides that automatically advance every 15 seconds.

Please submit your slides in PDF format at 1024x768 resolution with high quality images and no video or animation. Remember: these will be projected onto the screen at the Bagdad Theatre and it's a really big screen. We want to make sure that your slides look as good as possible!

Mark your calendars now for the tech rehearsal one week before the event on Wednesday, September 13 from 1-5 pm. It will be held at the Bagdad Theatre and we'll have more details as we get closer to that date.

And, of course, make sure that you mark your calendars for the event itself on Wednesday, September 19. As a speaker, you'll have reserved seating for you and one guest and you won't have to wait in line!

Congratulations again. We look forward to hearing back from you soon!


-John Smith IP12 Speaker Coordinator @twitter_name

Speaker Confirmation follow-up (are you speaking or not?)

Action Requested - Ignite Portland Speaker Invitation

Hello Talk Submitter,

We recently sent out an email with information about you and your talk's acceptance for Ignite Portland 11, come September 19th 2012. As of right now we have still not heard back from you regarding your confirmation that you will be available as a speaker for the event.

IF YOU WISH TO SPEAK AT IGNITEPDX11 PLEASE SEND YOUR CONFIRMATION ASAP. Otherwise, we will either remove your name from the bill or contact a reserve speaker to fill your talk's place. The confirmation deadline is Wednesday, August 22nd, just 4 days away.

If you will be speaking the slide deadline is Tuesday, August 28th, just 10 days away from today.

We greatly appreciate your submission and hope to see you as a speaker for this term's Ignite.

Schedule in review: 1) Wednesday, August 22nd, midnight: Confirmation deadline (do this right NOW) 2) Tuesday, August 28th, midnight: Slide submission deadline 3) Wednesday, September 13th, 1-5pm: Tech Rehearsal 4) Wednesday, September 19th: Showtime

Talk Rejection email

Ignite Portland 11 Speaker Selection Notice

Hey there Ignite Portland X Presenter,

I have some very sad news. It pains me to say this but... your presentation didn't make the cut. This time.

We spent hours upon hours of deliberation. These choices were not easy. We cried. We argued. We bled.

Ok, maybe we didn't bleed. But we certainly didn't make these choices lightly!

Please resubmit your presentation next time. Ok? Please? Odds are, the more often you submit, the better your chances of being selected, right?

Best of luck to you next time!

-John Smith IP12 Speaker Coordinator @twitter_name

Now that You're an Ignite Speaker... (post talk-acceptance)

The news is out! Now EVERYONE knows that you're going to be giving a talk at Ignite Portland! If you haven't seen it yet, check out the blog post announcing all the talks: http://igniteportland.org/2012/08/22/announcing-ignite-portland-11-talks/

Has it sunk in yet? Have you started work on your slides? Are you totally excited for September 19th? We hope so!

Once again just in case this hasn't been obvious, I am Lucas and I'm the Speaker Coordinator for Ignite Portland 11. My job is to make sure you have everything you need to make your Ignite presentation a success. Please send any questions, concerns, etc., directly to me and I'll see what can be done.

First off, there's the schedule. You probably saw it in the last email, but here's a refresher. You'll probably see it a lot, actually, as we update and get more details about times and stuff. I'll highlight any changes in red, so you can pick them out easily:

Schedule: Tuesday, August 28th, midnight: Submit slides to Lucas (that's 6 days away) Wednesday, September 12th, 1pm: Tech Rehearsal, followed by a speaker/team get together next door at the Backstage bar. Wednesday, September 19th, 6pm: SHOWTIME. (Showtime is actually 7, but we'd like you to get to the Bagdad by 6)

What it's going to be like on The Big Night: You arrive at the Bagdad sometime before 6pm. A speaker wrangler will be waiting at the front door with your speaker badge. Put on your speaker badge! Head to the Speaker Seating Area and check in with the stage manager, THEN go get your beer(s). Or, ask your guest to go on the beer run while you check in. **The speaker seating area is probably going to be right down in front on the left hand side, but the speaker wrangler will let you know for sure. Be sure you know who the speakers are just ahead of your talk. When you see them get queued up you know you're up soon and need to get in the queue. Once the talks/slides start, they don't stop! There is a transition slide with the Ignite Portland logo on it. This slide is up when the speakers transfer on/off stage. When you see the transition slide you've got about 15 seconds to hand off the mic to the next speaker and get off the stage. There will be a laptop to use as a monitor in front of you that will show you the slides. No Notes On Stage! Practice, practice, and practice some more! Mirrors and good friends come in handy here. Keep breathing. Now, for the talk themselves. Here's an article on how to give a great Ignite talk from Scott Berkun at GnomeDex:


As for the slides themselves... They need to be in landscape format. Try to use as high quality images as possible, and no video or animations. Slides also must be in PDF (Acrobat) format, please let us know if you need advice in converting. It isn't a requirement but highly recommended to have a title slide so folks can follow the talk more easily. Also, make sure to stick some contact info on the last slide so people can find you (that'd be email, twitter, website, etc.)

  • Remember, no self promotion. If you want to be a sponsor, you gotta pay. Contact info in the slides (last slide works great) is fine, just no grandiose advertising.

-John Smith IP12 Speaker Coordinator @twitter_name

Tech Rehearsal Speaker Heads-Up Training (for day before tech rehearsal, 8 days until showtime)

Hi there!

In leiu of today's tech rehearsal (and for those who couldn't make it) here's a great set of tips from Morgan Senkal, a past speaker coordinator, put together for speakers. I went over much of this in person, but it might be helpful to review in the last week before IP11!

  • Mic placement. Speakers need to remember that we're broadcasting this to both a remote location and to those watching at home via webcast. As a result, it's important to keep the audio as consistent as possible. You can do this by keeping the mic up close to your mouth at a consistent distance (6-10 inches, check this with audio),

and keeping your tone/volume consistent as well (not too much intermittent screaming or whispering, please.) If you tend to pop your p's, consider holding the mic at an angle (instead of aiming it straight at your mouth like a lollipop.)

  • On-stage monitor. Should be used as a cue for overall slide transition/timing, not as cue for content/specific points. Don't set yourself up to depend on the laptop. It hasn't always reliably worked for at least one previous Ignite, and can also be hard to see from where you'll be standing.
  • 15 Sec transition. Take it easy, you have plenty of time to stride up and get ready for your talk, so please do it calmly and elegantly, no vaulting onto the stage and de-cording the mic. Please use the stairs.
  • Speaker placement. While you don't have to be a total stick/robot, figure out where you should stand and then try to stay fairly close to that location. Wandering around makes it hard for video to track you, while it also makes you vulnerable to an unexpected plunge off the stage, thanks to the...
  • Speaker TALK placement. Know the first TWO talks that are before yours, just be ready for your own and make sure you don't run to the bathroom at a terribly inopportune time.
  • ...blinding light. It *will* blind you. It'll also make it harder for you to gauge audience reaction, or to focus in on the laptop for timing cues. Keep that in mind, take three deep breaths, and plow through it.
  • Remember to face the audience, not your slides. This is especially important if we have another issue with the monitor malfunctioning.
  • No notes. Period. So practice your delivery, at least a couple times. Don't go in completely cold.
  • No shiny things. Try not to wear anything too blinding once you are up on stage. Make sure to take off your speaker badge once you get up there, too.
  • What happens if something goes wrong? Look for me (Lucas). I'll be in communication with the AV team, and if things break down enough that we need to restart a presentation, they'll let me know, and I'll give you the "oh crap" signal. Otherwise, if there's a slight problem, I'll give you the keep going signal. Be ready to tap dance if necessary, though. Generally, if you get a blue screen for a few seconds, just wing it. But if that extends to more than a couple seconds, as in more than a slide or two (15-30 seconds), then most likely we'll have to restart or pause things.
  • If people start to heckle, just smile and keep going. We'll have volunteers in the audience to 'troubleshoot' those situations if it gets out of hand. Just don't engage, especially if it gets negative. Remember, the slide pacing is your taskmistress, and she is unforgiving.
  • DON'T DRINK TOO MUCH BEFORE YOU'RE UP. For god's sake, please. This goes especially for those speakers in the second half. Limit it to ONE drink before going on. Feel free to indulge post-talk.
  • Don't get too nervous, either. Just breathe, it'll be ok, and you'll do just awesome. If you freak out, hey, it's over in 5 minutes! The best (and the most important) thing about Ignite is that it is a venue for people with even very little stage presence to strut their stuff, so get up there and do it!
  • Remember, no self promotion. If you want to be a sponsor, you gotta pay. Contact info in the slides (last slide works great) is fine, just no grandiose advertising.
  • You MUST remain in the speaker seating area for the entire half that you are scheduled for. This includes bathroom breaks, beer runs, 'roman incidents,' phone calls, etc. Unless someone's dying and you're a doctor, stay put. Otherwise *I* will need a doctor.
  • HAVE FUN. No, I'm not joking, why else are you here? Make your talk unforgettable and make sure to enjoy yourself. If it sucks and you freak out don't forget that it's over in five minutes!

Here is the run list of talks and order (final probably, but still subject to change): Austin Ramsland - The Quantified Toddler: lessons learned from applying modern technology to my 13 month-old daughter Chris Haskell - Blowing up the grade book: What games have taught us about how to save our schools Sarah Giffrow - You can become more awesome at roller skating! Darrel Plant - Chain Mail and Church Groups: The First Decade of Dungeons & Dragons Christopher Krupa - Not Dying in Antarctica Dusti Arab - Rebel Mama: How to raise your kids without losing yourself Greg Qualey - Themed Pubcrawls- More Than Just a Theme or a Pub or a Crawl Morgan Rich - Crazy responses to stupid school questions T.J. VanSlyke - Trailer Chic: Tales of living in an RV in Portland Rob Wilcox - Elusive Democracy: A Personal Journey of Continents and Ideas Chris McCraw - the politics of nudity <<HALFTIME INTERMISSION>> Ken Westin - Pwnd by Gadgets Greg Dunlap - Are slot machines rigged? Monk Funkster - What the FLAC!? Matt Allen - The future of live-streaming music, concerts and festivals McKenna Pickett - Can video games be viewed as art? Jackie Wirz - Collagen: the skin we're in Angela Wheeler - Dying on an Alaskan Highway: What a PhD in Sociology Didn't Teach Me About Resilience Josh Bancroft - Bronyism in Modern Culture: WTF is Up With My Little Pony? Daniel Bailey - How to climb a mountain without killing yourself J-P Voillequé - Muppetology

I will see you all before 6pm on the night of the big show! And feel free to come as early as 5 to wrinkle out any last minute things. Excitement!!


-John Smith IP12 Speaker Coordinator @twitter_name

Slides Due in 2 Days email

Reminder - Ignite PDX Slides Tonight!

Hey speakers!

This is just a friendly reminder that your Ignite Portland slides are due TONIGHT at midnight, that's only about 11 hours to go!!

We're excited to see what you put together and if you have any last minute questions or quandaries, just shoot me an email/tweet/etc and I'll be glad to help out!

-John Smith IP12 Speaker Coordinator @twitter_name

Ignite PDX in 3 days email

Greetings Ignite Speakers!

This is just a reminder that the clock is ticking on the deadline to have your slides in to me this coming Tuesday August 28th, by MIDNIGHT in PDF format. Yes, that's in 3 days!

We are aiming for 1024x768 resolution. Please keep this in mind as you are putting together your slides. Also to remember to use as high quality images as possible and no animation or video. Remember: these images will be projected on a 40 foot screen.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Thank you,

-John Smith IP12 Speaker Coordinator @twitter_name