- The Birkie is America's premier cross-country skiing marathon
- O'Reilly Ignite is a conference that sets the tone for innovation
The similarity rests with the Northstar Nerd. I'm working with some folks in Minnesota to host a local version of Global Ignite Week in early March. Even if your geographic area does not hold a local conference, you need to learn about Ignite. We always challenge people to "think outside the box". Consider for a moment the number of boring presentations you've watched in your life. Ignite requires that no presentation last more than 5 minutes, and each slide MUST advance every 15 seconds. Thus, the probability of Death by Powerpoint is significantly reduced. At the end of five minutes a presentation is over. Presenters are yanked off the stage!
If a message can not be delivered in five minutes, is the message really understandable? Do your corporate presentations really need 10 point font bullets? Would you be willing to hold an internal meeting based upon this premise (5 minutes | 15 seconds per slide)? These are intriguing questions. I've attended many unconferences. There is no reason corporate presentations could not follow some of the innovations found via Ignite and Barcamps.
Okay, if you're wondering how the American Birkebeiner relates to Ignite, I decided to create my own Ignite style of presentation. For better or worse, I give you Skiing Outside the Tracks (YouTube Link). Innovation in the guise of the Birkie Tour. Given the fact that most Nordic skiers will never actually win a race, the Birkebeiner has created a new kind of "marathon", the Birkie Tour. The idea seems simple; innovation often is!
If you like the concept of Ignite, and can't attend .. you may wish to watch past presentations via Ignite's YouTube Channel. The upcoming event in March will also be webcast. You may even learn how to be a better Scrabble player!