Ignite Talks Gain confidence in public speaking and strengthen your presentation skills

What is an Ignite Talk?

Ignite is an innovative and fast-paced style used to deliver a concise presentation. During an Ignite Talk, presenters discuss their research using 20 image-centric slides which automatically advance every 15 seconds. The result is a fun and engaging five-minute presentation.

Powerful Ignite Talks:

  • Start with strong introductions that pique the audience’s interest.
  • Explain why the topic is interesting and important.
  • Lay out what the audience will learn during the presentation.
  • Summarize the main points that were covered and what the audience learned.
  • End with a powerful call to action to further promote your research.

Why should you give an Ignite Talk?

One of the most important skills you will learn during your research experience is how to present your work to an audience. You know that your research is important, but in order for others to know what you are doing is important, you must be able to confidently talk about it. Presentation skills are not an innate ability, and instead must be learned and practiced. Because Ignite Talks have a simple and uniformed structure, they allow you to focus on sharpening your presentation skills.

“The process of getting ready for [my Ignite Talk] revealed a lot about myself to me, such as how I grasp information, areas of my public speaking I have to improve and more.” -Olaseni Adeniji, Nuclear Engineering Science Laboratory Synthesis (NESLS) internship program at Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Learning how to give an Ignite Talk will help you:

  • Practice public speaking
  • Talk about your work in an engaging way
  • Develop an "elevator pitch"
  • Network with STEM professionals
  • Become an expert at promoting yourself
  • Prepare for job interviews

The quick delivery of Ignite Talks creates a perfect for platform for a fun and lightly competitive Ignite Off competition. Qualifying ORISE participants and other research interns supported by the Department of Energy may be offered the opportunity to represent their hosting facility while presenting their research in a national competition.

How to create an Ignite talk

To keep to the point and on track while presenting your research, it is recommended to have just a few (3-5) key points in your Ignite talk. Each slide in your presentation should serve those main points with strong, relevant supporting details. You should strive to make the transition from point to point seamlessly and easy to follow. Your slides should be picture-centric, with a minimum amount of text.  Your slides serve as a background to your script, but you should be the center of attention. Controlling your script, facial expressions, body language, and vocal tone is highly important!

Current ORISE participants have access to Ignite Talk professional development training via ORISE Learn. Here’s a sneak peek of the training:

Related presentation styles you may be interested in:

2021 Ignite Off! Competition Winner

Janet Teng, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

ORISE | Ignite Off! 2021 Winner | Janet Teng from ORAU on Vimeo.

View 2021 finalists’ and other Ignite Off! presentations