Ignite Charlotte 5

Mark your calendars! Tuesday, September 25th is the 5th annual Ignite Charlotte series and yours truly is one of the 15 speakers presenting.

What is Ignite Charlotte? From their website:

"Enlighten us, but make it quick” is the mantra for [worldwide] Ignite talks. During Ignite Charlotte, members from the community will share their personal or professional passions using 20 slides that auto-advance every 15 seconds for a total talk time of 5 minutes.  

How did I become involved? Apparently I decided that having a book due to my editor, traveling to Italy, doing client work and training for a marathon wasn't enough to keep me busy. My friend David Horne sent me a link to the Ignite Charlotte website and--on a whim--I sent in an application. I was equal parts pleased and horrified when I found out I'd been selected. 

The speaking part doesn't bother me. It's more the "I have 2 weeks to pull together a speech and 20 slides and I have NO TIME." 

My talk, "How 'Bout A Side of BBQ With That Tofu?" is a humorous look on living vegetarian in the South. The 15 speakers attended an informational session last night that included our line-up, and I'll be speaking third from last. 

If anyone would like to journey to Charlotte--for moral support AND it will truly be a free evening of entertainment--you can RSVP here. Tickets are free, but they are asking you sign up ahead of time so they know approximately how many people to expect. (They're aiming for around 500.) If my speaking isn't enough of a pull, a cash bar will be available. 

Why do this? For all the stress of pulling together a last minute speech (and learning PowerPoint), I like to test myself. I enjoy public speaking and learning to speak within the framework required here - speaking for approximately 15 seconds for each slide--is a challenge. My biggest challenge, as always with my speaking, will be to SLOW DOWN. I'm a fast talker in day-to-day life and that gets amped up in a speech. S-L-O-W will be my mantra. 

Yeah, right. ;)

See you in Charlotte!