You Can Present at Ignite Corvallis

Posted on February 27, 2009 by Paul Bausch

Hi All. Last September, Jason emailed to let me know he was putting together the first Ignite Corvallis and he asked me to present. I had three immediate reactions:

1.) Wow, cool, can't wait to go to that.
2.) But speak? What do I have to talk about?
3.) I hate public speaking, no way.

So naturally I responded honestly right away with, "I'll think about it." I went to the first Ignite Portland in 2007 and enjoyed the energy so I had some idea of what I'd be getting into. I left that event wondering how I would take on the challenge, but didn't think I'd make the trip to Portland with my own talk. So even though I balked at Ignite Corvallis at first, I started thinking about what I could present. I thought about the idea from time to time like I might with a blog post, and toyed with different topics that might be good for a presentation.

A couple months went by and Jason sent a quick email, "How about that talk?" I finally decided to bite the bullet and turn one of my ideas into a presentation. I picked a topic and sent a title. The rest just fell into place. I wrote an outline, put together some slides, and practiced hitting my points in five minutes for a day or so. The event was fun, the packed house was very kind, my talk went ok (note to self: more practicing next time!), and I got to meet some folks in the process.

Having been through one Ignite Corvallis, I can offer some reasons why you might want to give it shot:

1.) Ignite hones ideas. Taking an idea from something you're kicking around to something you have to present to an audience forces you to refine your ideas. It's a way to make yourself spend some time solidifying and creating something valuable out of them.

2.) Ignite connects. In the process of presenting you'll meet some other folks in Corvallis working on interesting ideas. There isn't much time for talking at Ignite itself, but presenting there is a way to introduce yourself to everyone and open the door to future connections.

3.) Ignite informs. You have good information! Everyone has a unique perspective or experience to share. By sharing your ideas in public, you can guide others who are working on similar projects or give people in a completely different field some insight into what you do.

4.) Ignite is not work. Sales pitches are frowned upon at Ignite events, so chances are good you'll be stretching non-work muscles in creating your presentation. When was the last time you fired up PowerPoint to help you talk about something you love? (Sure, I love my work too--but you know what I mean.) It's a chance to share something about yourself in a less professional context. (One of my favorite talks from Ignite Portland 2007 was about raising chickens in the city.)

5.) Ignite is excellent practice. I'm a computer geek who spends most of his time behind a screen. I usually dread public speaking and I've been in the 45 minute talk spotlight a few times. Unlike long conference talks, Ignite talks are practically over before they begin, and you'll have some valuable speaking experience under your belt. It's a low-impact way to exercise your public speaking/presenting skills.

I will admit it's fun to kick back in the audience and watch the presenters sweat, but if you get up there and sweat a little yourself you won't regret it. But am I going to present at the next Ignite Corvallis? Hmm, I'll think about it.

Chris Nordyke Blogs about His Experience at Ignite Corvallis 1

Posted on February 16, 2009 by Jason P

Chris Nordyke was one of the brave souls who jumped in headfirst and did an Ignite Corvallis 1 presentation.

Here's a link to his presentation video: Ignite Corvallis Chris Nordyke, State Farm Insurance

I asked Chris to write about his experiences on his blog so he could give potential Ignite Corvallis 2 presenters some context for their burning ideas.

I'm highlighting my favorite chucnk here, but go to his blog and read the whole thing:

Chris Nordyke - Ignite Corvallis- Powerpoint doesn't have to be lame.

"First bit of advice- start mulling over your slide deck as soon as possible. Don't wait until a few days before the event. It is much more challenging than I thought, to put together a compelling/funny/persuasive deck of slides, when you've got exactly 20 to work with and they're auto-advancing every 15 seconds. So take your time, review it with friends or your spouse, and you're guaranteed to change it up at least 10 times before the event.

There were a ton of people at the event, and yet there was a great (dare I say) forgiving tone to the room. Everybody was excited, and in a way, living vicariously through the presenters. They're less spectators, and more participants. But it is a spectacle none the less. I was scheduled right in the middle of the roster. Fortunately, before my turn, there were several funny presentations to loosen up the room and also calm the nerves in the dugout.

I think my presentation went o.k. It was a bit dry, I wandered off script a bit, and got lost in some "uhs, ahs, and umms". Overall I'd give myself a B-. The cool part about it, was it really didn't matter how I did. People remembered the ones they loved, and the other ones just sort of faded into the background. It was a great platform to practice a skill that has enormous value to any artist, entrepreneur or technologist.

For those of you waffling a bit- Just go for it. Ignite is not only a great way to meet new people, but a safe venue to stick your neck out a bit and have fun trying something new."

Doesn't sound too bad does it? Were still looking for Presentations!

Smart-ups in Corvallis is having Ignite-Style pitches

Posted on by Jason P

For those fans of Ignite, you may want to check out this event next week: Pub Talk -

It will be held on Feb 26 at 5:00 at Cloud 9. We expect to sell out and completely fill the venue. So please register early

There will be a Pub Talk Style business plan pitch. Three companies get a longer 10 minute pitch. Five companies get a shorter IgniteAngel Style pitch.

There were 10 business plans submitted. The participants have been selected out of those submissions.

10 Minute Pitches:

* Floragenex (Nathan Lillegard)
* Toggle3D (Rory Plaire)
* Precision Plant Systems (Larry Plotkin)

3.5 Minute Ignite Pitches:

* Evolution Learning (Danny Kalman)
* Recycle Your Mat (Stephanie Stano)
* American Herbal Dispensary (Nome McBride)
* AMES Technology (Roger Weyel)
* DesignMedix (Lynn Stevenson)

The winner of this event will be have their fee for the Willamette Angel Conference Waived.

Save the date! Ignite Corvallis 2, Thursday November 5th

Posted on February 5, 2009 by Jason P

Join us for Ignite Corvallis Thursday, November 5th, 2009!

Ignite Corvallis 2 (
Thursday, November 5th, 7:00 - 10:00 pm
LaSells Steward Center in Corvallis, Oregon

NOTE: Submission deadline for presentation proposals is Thursday, October 15th.

Submit proposals at

Ignite is coming to Corvallis...Again! Share your burning ideas.

If you had five minutes on stage what would you say? What if you only got 20 slides and they rotated automatically after 15 seconds? Around the world geeks have been putting together Ignite nights to show their answers. Topics range all over the map - from straight-up tech to creative arts to hobbies to general knowledge topics. Come be a part of Ignite Corvallis 2!

We need your help to make Ignite Corvallis 2 a fantastic event. Here's what you can do...

1) If you plan to attend, please add yourself to the Ignite Corvallis Upcoming page as an attendee. This will help us get a more accurate attendance count and plan accordingly:

2) Are you interested in being a presenter? Please submit you ideas! The deadline for proposal submission is Thurs., Sept. 17th.

Submit proposals at

Not sure what to present? Watch some presentations from other ignites:

* Ignite Corvallis #1 Videos -
* How to Give a Successful Ignite Presentation -
* Ignite Portland Videos -

We hope to see you at Ignite Corvallis 2!