Thank you for agreeing to give a presentation at Ignite Sydney. We’re extremely grateful for your help in making this a stand-out event.

The Rules of Ignite

The Ignite format is really simple. You must have 20 slides, and each slide must change automatically after 15 seconds.

To get an idea of what it’s all about, take 5 minutes and watch this:

An excellent talk, with a clear message told simply, with minimal text.

Putting your slides together

Before you fire up your laptop, consider the advice of Slide:ology and go analog. Use post-it notes to plan what you really want to say.

Treat the slides like a set of index cards that you use to prompt yourself for the next point. That way, if you get slightly out of sync with the slides it won’t matter so much.

Use a single idea per slide, and illustrate it with a nice clear image.

Finding free (or cheap) legal images

Start strong

You don’t need to talk about yourself on the first slide – the MC will introduce you, and explain where you’re from and what you’ll be talking about. This means you can launch straight into an exciting and compelling opening, and grab the audience’s attention from the first slide – like a good action film.

But (especially if your topic is technical) don’t assume the audience knows what you’re talking about. Those acronyms may mean something to you, but to us they could be meaningless. Put yourself in our shoes and make sure it still makes sense.

Can I use animations?

We don’t allow the use of animations like moving text, images appearing after a delay, embedded videos, etc. They’re mostly distracting, often fail, and are unnecessary in the Ignite format – you’ve only got 15 seconds, so don’t waste it with animations.

Great use of cartoons to simplify things and keep them fun

Some suggestions

Do it without notes! There will be a monitor facing the presenter so you won’t need to look back at the screen.

Make sure you practise your presentation a few times in front of a live audience (your partner, your colleagues, your cat) to get your timing right. You’ll be amazed how fast the 5 minutes actually goes.

There is an excellent article here written by an Ignite presenter, giving advice on how to put your talk together, and here is some great advice from previous Ignite Sydney presenter Mark Pollard.

Most of all, remember that Ignite is meant to be a bit of fun – it’s an antidote to all the boring conferences and lectures that people are used to. So make your presentation entertaining, grab a drink, and enjoy yourself.

Another great talk with minimal words and hand-drawn imagery

What format?

You can use any version of PowerPoint or Keynote. The projector resolution is Full HD (1920 x 1080px) widescreen. Please note that we don’t use Presenter’s View so be prepared for this.

It’s 18+ so you can use rude words – but don’t be offensive towards any person or group

The lowdown

Infographic by Martha Denton at Ignite NYC

Infographic by Martha Denton at Ignite NYC


If you need any help, or you’re stuck for ideas, drop us an email at and we’ll do our best to help.

Thanks again, and see you on the night.