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Ignite Seattle inspires 5 minutes at a time

Dave Zucker debuted Sir Mix-a-Bot to friends earlier this year, and now he wants to share his experiences with the public, but he's more than a little concerned about getting it all in during his five minutes.(Photo courtesy Dave Zucker)

It's easy to get people to talk about things they're passionate about. What isn't easy is getting them to stop. Just remember the last time you were sitting next to a very chatty person on an airplane.

Ignite Seattle doesn't give speakers the chance. Speakers are cut off at five minutes. No exceptions.

This is part lecture and part stand-up, and the clock is always ticking. The challenge is to educate the crowd and get through all your information before the buzzer sounds.

"Every speaker has to make a presentation with 20 slides," Seattle Times tech columnist Monica Guzman told the gathering at a November 2012 Ignite event. "Each slide lasts on screen for exactly 15 seconds for a grand total of five minutes. There's no exceptions to that."

The event is back at Seattle's Town Hall Thursday night.

"I made a robot bartender," said Dave Zucker, one of the presenters. He debuted Sir Mix-a-Bot to friends earlier this year, and now he wants to share his experiences with the public, but he's more than a little concerned about getting it all in during his five minutes.

"There's obviously way, way too many details to include in a five minute talk, but I think one of the great things about Ignite is the format kind of requires you to narrow down exactly what it is you want to talk about, and what's great about it," he said.

So a few funny stories, a little bit of knowledge, and off the stage.

Other topics will include the seven things you never knew about the most expensive wines in the world, how to become a Pike Place Market busker, and the moral clarity of killing ivy.

About the Author


Chris Sullivan is a traffic reporter for KIRO Radio 97.3 FM. He cares deeply about the amount of time you spend sitting in Seattle traffic.

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