When people have asked me about what to present at Ignite Denver over the course of the past few years, I’ve suggested they talk about their passions. And while pursuing that direction of thinking has provided countless amazing sparks, I’ve come to realize that focusing solely on our life passions can limit what options we have for presentations.
This time around, if you’re considering submitting a spark idea, either for the first time or as a repeat presenter, I’m going to challenge you to be different. Create something that will surprise people. Hell, create something that will surprise you. You don’t necessarily need to change the trajectory of a person’s life.
Do you buy collectible spoons with your name on it when you go on road trips from those shops along the side of the highway? Can you describe your first high school dance experience? Just how bad WAS your first job? How do you rank Halloween candy? What makes zombie crawls so magical? Be honest: Do you think adult coloring books are cool or weird? Why?
You don’t have to be funny, by the way. Some people find collectible spoons to be very serious business. For real, though – don’t be funny if you don’t want to be funny. Some of my favorite presentations have simply opened my eyes to things happening around the world I didn’t even realize were happening.
As the emcee of Ignite Denver, I’ve done several sparks since 2014. There have been a few times when I’ve known exactly what I’ve wanted to say. However, there have been an equal number of presentations I’ve thrown together at the last minute simply because I couldn’t think of anything “good” enough. Surprisingly, some of those talks turned out pretty great. For example, it wasn’t until I started talking about how much I loved the month of November that I actually realized that, dude, I really do love November.
This time, I’m approaching the process differently. My excitement for Ignite 24 has already begun to percolate. I’m undertaking this challenge to talk about something quirky, too. Here are a few ideas I’m mulling over right now:
· I Hate Possums
· That One Time I Got A Brazilian Wax on a Dare
· It’s Time I Come Clean: I Love Historical Romance Novels
Will I actually create a spark about one of these? Maybe. Am I excited to see where this line of thinking goes for me and the other speakers? Heck yes. Go for it, you guys. I can’t wait to see what’s up your weird, deviant little sleeves.