Igniting my passion

On Wednesday evening I was grateful to be a speaker at the 9th Ignite Bristol. I spoke at the very first one which I wrote about here. At the time the Polish Club setup seemed pretty intimidating though looking back I didn’t know lucky I was!


The venue for this latest event was ‘The Lantern’ at the Colston Hall and it was plush! The room was pretty formal and it was a decent sized crowd (maybe two hundred I’d guess). It was a proper stage and if I thought the first night felt like the set-up for a standup comedian then this time I felt like Jerry Seinfeld up on there.

I get horribly nervous by public speaking and despite the short, sharp, shock that is the Ignite format I find it even harder as I find myself obsessed by the timings. The thing is I find the buzz I get from doing it incredibly gratifying and that (just about) outweighs the stress beforehand. Despite all impressions to the contrary I am not a confident person, especially when not drinking, so it does take considerable amounts of willpower for me to do these things but I am (almost) always glad I force myself in to it.

Funnily enough I screwed up the version of the presentation I sent in so it was one slide short and until I started talking I wasn’t 100% sure what slide was missing! I also decided to wing it note free despite having decided to change significant bits of the talk that afternoon. I think it went OK though – I got some laughs and had forgotten just how fast it goes when you are up there.


The rush I got from this talk lasted long enough for me to put in a proposal for the next Ignite Cardiff as well. An ‘away game’ will certainly push me to my limits I think!

As ever there was a real mix of talks – Nick Clarkson gave a brilliant talk that was a unique take on the Ignite format and both Conor Houghton and Sam Green demonstrated truly amazing storytelling technique in their five minutes. I also enjoyed Jake Johnson talking about @Bristol52. Unfortunately I have long since given up on that great initiative due to some frustrations with the way it attracted its own little police force but I love the idea of #fatherbristmas and I’ll be contributing. Everyone who has the bottle to get up there and speak deserves credit though.

A conversation with Dan Roddy on the evening about his plans for a learning/training themed Ignite did get me thinking about whether there would be some mileage in doing a Government/Civic/Digital by Default themed evening. The guys at Delib seem up for it and I reckon we could get a decent bunch of speakers and a fun crowd. I’d love to do it in Bristol but there might be a case for doing it the night before #ukgc14 in January (though that might be a bit soon!)

At some point a video will be released which I’ll add here and Stef took some snaps so if any of the ones I am in aren’t too bad I’ll also embed them (there should be a fun pick of me and my Ignite twin anyway!)

**update 30/11/2013**

My slides and notes are on Speakerdeck now and as you can see pics are in place.

Ignite doppelgangers

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