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Saturday, February 6, 2010

This Toastmaster's Quest: IgniteDetroit

I heard from a friend, Brandon Chesnutt on about an upcoming event called Ignite Detroit. When I initially read the description, I thought it sounded like an interesting concept but not for me. Then I YouTubed (is that a word or am I inventing as I go?) the event and watched a few videos from another Ignite event. And I thought, "hey, I could do that!"

The concept of Ignite Detroit is simple: 15 speakers, each have a 5-minute speaking slot. Here's the twist: each presenter must use 20 PowerPoint slides that automatically advance every 15 seconds.

Toastmasters has given me endless opportunities to practice and refine my public speaking and presentation skills. I'm always open to learning more and know I can still improve, which is part of the reason that I stay active in Toastmasters even after I've earned my "Competent Communicator" designation.

Sometimes I compete in the Toastmasters speech contests. Competition is a great way to keep you on your toes, as well as to learn speaking techniques from other experienced Toastmasters.

This is part of reason I'm interested in competing (performing?) in Ignite Detroit. There are 36 speaker submissions and only the top 7 vote-getters earn a spot. The other 8 spots are chosen by the Ignite Detroit organizers. I have a feeling they may take into account the number of comments left by voters, but this is just speculation on my part. I haven't been asking people to comment but they've been leaving comments. I have 19 comments and 151 votes as of today, Saturday, Feb. 6th. This puts me into 9th placed based on votes. I thought voting ended yesterday and had a few friends helping spread the word within their networks, which resulted in enough votes to earn me 7th ranking for a few hours. Today I'm back to 9th place - just 15 votes behind 7th place, so as you can probably tell, it's anyone's game.

The topics submitted for Ignite Detroit range from retraining the unemployed to end of the world tips to fundraising and much more. The intent of the event is to inform, inspire, and entertain the audience. Right now, there are 200 seats and the event is sold out. (well, not technically "sold" out because the tickets are free.... but all tickets have been spoken for!

You can read all entries by visiting this website:

My topic and description:

And You Don't Even Have to Buy Me Lunch.

Plug an inquisitive marketer into social media and what do you get? A bucket load of cool tips - the kind that earns me a lunch or coffee invitation just about every month. You'll be inspired by stuff you never knew about social media - and you'll definitely want to try out at home. Think of this as "easter eggs" in social media. This 5-minute presentation will give every Ignite Detroit attendee -- from the beginner to the social media expert -- some new insights. I'll share with you some of my personal favorites - some of which I've never shared in front of a group. And speaking of... don't just take my word for how great this presentation will be. Check out my linkedin profile to read a few recommendations I've been given from folks who have attended my presentations over the past year. Pull up a chair and I'll share a few tricks up my sleeve. And you don't even have to buy me lunch.

Voting ends Monday. If you're interested in voting, the process is pretty simple and takes about 2 minutes of your time.

Here are the step-by-step instructions on how to vote:

1. Visit to see all entries, or visit to visit my entry.

2. To the left of the topic name, there is a box with the total number of votes received. Under the box there is a button "VOTE" - click on this button.

3. Sign up using any of these accounts: Facebook, Google, Twitter, Yahoo, OpenID, MySpace, Windows Live ID, Blogger, Verisign, Hyves, AOL, Wordpress, or you can create a UserVoice account.

4. After you sign up and log in to vote, you'll be taken back to the list of entries. If it does not take you automatically to the entry you'd like to vote for, you may need to scroll down the page. Or, type in one word from the title ("Lunch" for my entry, as an example).

5. Mouseover the box that appears below the total number of votes for the entry. You'll notice that you can cast 1, 2, or 3 votes for an entry. You are allocated a total of 6 entries that you can use across all topics. But, no more than 3 votes for any one individual entry.

6. Click the number of votes and you're done.

7. (optional) Send a message on Twitter or Facebook telling people that you've voted, and encourage them to vote, too.

Hope this helps! Happy voting and hope to see you at IgniteDetroit.

ps - Learn more about Ignite Detroit by visiting:
On the web:
Follow on Twitter: @ignitedetroit (you can view comments without having a Twitter account)
Become a fan on their Facebook fan page

1 comment:

Brenda Meller said...

your comments and feedback are welcome!