Ignite Denver 18: Submit Your Spark (and making your pitch pitchier)

No doubt you’re putting the final touches on your pitch for Ignite Denver 18.  It’s a worthy endeavor because the pitch has become everything. It was once something reserved for sweet-talking start-up suits and hopeful screenwriters. Pitches are–

Wait. What? What are we doing? As my friend, Kate, said, “I love Ignite, but it’s baffling.” And I see what she’s saying. At Ignite Denver we get so involved in our process that we forget to fully share it with anyone who has some other kind of life. So it goes like this:

  • Pitch an idea or “spark” that you can present in five minutes and submit it before the end of September 7th.
  • The public votes on which ideas are something they’d most want to see on stage.
  • If you’re voted in, you begin the most fulfilling effort of putting together 20 simple slides that will automatically advance every fifteen seconds while you share your story/idea/passion.
  • The Ignite people offer assistance and rehearsals that will make you feel better about your presentation and life in general. Often there is beer.
  • And then, on October 9th, you present (and there’s beer.)

But it all begins with a pitch, so let’s get back to that. Pitches have become the entire Internet.

Ignite Denver Pitches
A picture of the Internet.

Every headline is its own pitch person barking its way into your brain. You might be busy at work or late for a date, but you can’t help but find out why Kanye West is the most important philosopher of our time. You can have the same power with your Ignite Spark Pitch. Surf the ‘net for ideas and know that it needs to touch on something people care about. It can offer a benefit or stir a little fear, but it’s got to make people click. Here are some actual Ignite Denver examples that made it past the public voting and onto the stage:

Becky Hensley: How to Build a Community in the Basement of a Bar with Glitter
Jill Carty: Why Assholes Make the Best Entrepreneurs
Traci Brown: How to talk your way out of a traffic ticket

Each one of those taut teases boasts an intrigue factor that has you either wanting to learn something to better your life (no, thank you, officer,) or have you sit back and enjoy a heartwarming story from someone in the community (which will better your life.)

Hopefully this is a good start to get you ruminating the possibilities. Ignite Denver 18 pitches are due September 7, 2014. After that, open voting begins as the public decides who’ll they’ll see at a packed Oriental Theater on October 9th. So if there’s anything you take away from this prattle, it’s that…in pure pitch form:

Getting your Spark in before deadline makes you a better lover.

Of course you have to have content to back that up, and we think we do. Once people do a Spark at Ignite Denver, they stride off the stage with the kind of awe-inspiring confidence that has them wanting to embrace the world in a big, squishy hug. Everyone likes hugs. And we all know the world could use better lovers. First, though, submit that pitch.