Ignite Sydney sparks up

Ignite Sydney sparks up

Summary: Ignite Sydney kicked off its inaugural event last night, with the goal of ending the "death by PowerPoint" presentation style. Twelve presenters took to the stage to take on the unique Ignite format.


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  • Twelve presenters took to the stage using the unique Ignite format: 20 slides at 15 seconds each, giving each presenter only five minutes per presentation; and each slide is automatically advanced for added hilarity.

    The message was clear, each presenter would need to cut to the chase and trim the usual PowerPoint fluff that appears typically at the beginning of a talk.

    (Credit: Chris Duckett/ZDNet.com.au)

  • The crowd gathers upon the roof of the Shelbourne Hotel waiting for the event to start. Unfortunately, the metal roof creates a sauna-like atmosphere that leaves all and sundry uncomfortable.

    Patrons are heard to mutter that this is perhaps a tactic by the publican to increase alcohol sales.

    (Credit: Chris Duckett/ZDNet.com.au)

  • Our host, Stephen Lead, lays down the ground rules and insists that the venue did indeed have air conditioning when he inspected it.

    The crowd remain sceptical, and uncomfortable.

    (Credit: Chris Duckett/ZDNet.com.au)

Topics: Software, Browser, Software Development


Chris started his journalistic adventure in 2006 as the Editor of Builder AU after originally joining CBS as a programmer. After a Canadian sojourn, he returned in 2011 as the Editor of TechRepublic Australia, and is now the Australian Editor of ZDNet.

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  • 12 x 20 = 240 slides/hour still "death by PowerPoint"

    With only five minutes, and really only needing to cover two points at most, why have a slide at all. Just need a poster! It doesn't matter how long a presentation is, you still need to introduce it and conclude it (with some coherence between them!).

    I find that too many presenters try to cram a lot of information into their presentations so that there is breadth, but not enough depth.

    Supply the depth (in an engaging way) and participants will want to look at more.
  • why use slides?

    Patanjali raises a good point - why have slides at all?

    We considered this for Ignite Sydney and decided that an interesting talk without slides is great, but Toastmasters already do this well.

    We wanted to showcase a new, fun and interesting format, and felt that well-designed slides can deliver this.

    We will be uploading video footage of the Ignite Sydney presentations shortly, and I invite Patanjali and others to decide for themselves whether the presentations were enhanced by the inclusion of slides.