Lightning Talks are ten five-minutes talks in a sixty-minute slot. As a speaker, I enjoy them because they sharpen my mind. There’s no time for an introductory joke, no long agenda, no 15 minutes of “body” with 15 minutes of Q&A at the end. Nothing to hide behind. You get to make one point, make it well, and get off the stage. If you’re full of it, the audience knows pretty quick. Then again, if you do a bad job, it’s over quickly.
As a learner, I enjoy lightning talks for, well … pretty much the same reasons. Plus, there’s the chance to learn five or six things in a one-hour slot. Things that must be easily defensible and easy to implement, because they have to be explained in five minutes.
I will be moderating lightning talks in San Mateo, California in April for the ST&P Conference. That means I need speakers – and that means, (maybe), you! I’m afraid I cannot offer you a conference discount or freedbies; you’ll have to speak for it’s own benefit. But, if you want to try speaking by dipping your toe in the pool, or you are speaking at the conference but have the one odd thing in the corner that’s itching you – please, drop me a line.
Note: I am using the term with written permission from Mark Jason Dominus, who introduced lightning talks at YAPC in 2001. If you are looking for more information on lightning talks or ideas, here are a few web pages:
Here’s an interesting lightning talk on YouTube: Sellenium Vs. Web Driver
Again, I’d love to hear from you. If you’re interested in giving at lightning talk at ST&P, please, send me an email.