We’re in full-on prep mode for our first event in Europe in four years: Hackaday Berlin. And while we’ve got a great slate of speakers lined up, and to be announced soon, I’m personally most excited for the lightning talks.
Why? Because the lightning talks give you all, the attendees, the chance to get up and let everyone know what you’re up to. They’re longer than an elevator pitch, so you have time to at least start to explain the most interesting detail or two, but they’re not long enough that you can cover every aspect of a project. And that’s the trick!
By being short enough that you couldn’t possibly cover everything, you don’t need to worry about covering everything. Just go for the highlights. And because you left a lot of the interesting details back, everyone in the audience is going to want to bend your ear about it for the rest of the conference. It’s like the ultimate icebreaker.
For the audience? Lightning talks, when they’re good, are like a fountain of non-stop great ideas and inspiration. And if you happen on that just doesn’t tickle your hacker-bone, it’s probably over in another five minutes, so no worries.
We didn’t have time to run a full-on call for proposals for Berlin, but we’re hoping that you’ll ride the lightning. We’d all love to hear what you’ve got to say!
9 thoughts on “Hackaday Berlin: In Praise Of Lightning Talks”
When I was a kid, I got a Scholastic Book Club book, The Man Who Tamed Lightning. About Charles Proteus Steinmetz, born in Germany.
I wish you guys would have a conference in Brevard county Florida or Orlando. I work for L3Harris there and we have more than 1000 engineers of all kinds. You also have NASA, SpaceX, Blue Origin, ULA, Raytheon, Collins, Thales, GE, Northrup Grumman, and in Orlando Lockheed Martin. I think a lot of us would love to go to a Hack a Day event. I know just about everyone does little side projects at home, restores cars, wood working, plays music, and so on. I know I would love to go.
I like it. Or you can watch it later on YouTube at 2X.
Here is a rule that can really cut the time and increase the information density. Presenters must never use the word “what” unless they are asking a question and absolutely never use the “wanna” or “want to”. This eliminates all the goofy “What you wanna do now is…” and “What you wanna do now is you wanna…” and all the related filler phrases. Also do not allow “So what I did was I…..”. For many speakers and YouTubers this will cut the length by a good 20% and for a surprising number, it will cut it to less than 1/2 the length.
Now if there is just a way to stop millennial YouTubers and pr4esenters from shaking and waving their hands as they speak while holding something I’m supposed to be looking at. I can not for the life of me understand where this habit comes from.
I have doubts that German speaking presenters will use those phrases.
(Though some may use a lot of umm or uhh)
Change the W’s to V’s and the D’ to T’s. Or compromise with Dutch.
FOSDEM lightning talks last 15 minutes, which is not lightning anymore:
When I initiated Lightning Talks at FOSDEM 20 years ago, they were lasting 5 mins each, 12 talks per hour.
I’ve been planning on moving to Berlin for awhile, but I’m still working on liquidating my stuff in LA. However, a Hackaday event in Berlin seems worth flying out for!
I’m interested in participating in the lightning talks. How does one sign up for them?
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