Ignite Freelance – Lightning Talk

Last night I was honored to speak at Ignite Freelance about Mothers Who Code. What a night! First, to be surrounded by so many incredible entrepreneurs, freelancers and creative talent was mind-blowing. Plus there was a lot of laughing. So much laughing. It helped calm my nerves quite a bit. The setlist covers the following speakers and topics, including yours truly:

Don Osmond – The Journey From Expectation to Passion
CJ Romberger – ADHD – The Entrepreneur Superpower
Shelley Delayne – How a Computer Error Nearly Got Me Exorcised
Stephanie Denny – Mothers Who Code
Donna Imam – The secret to landing a freelance gig – Every. Single. Time.
Becky DeAcetis – CPR For Your Business
Case Erickson – Faith vs. Denial: Dumbass or Badass?
Alex Cequea – Which Type of Freelancer Are You?
Scott Mason – How To Stand Out In A Competitive Market
Allison Levy – “Always Cross the finish line”
Michael Garfield – Tech Ethics as Psychedelic Parenting
Julie Niehoff – Luck Is A Myth & Hope Is Not A Strategy: Taking The Reigns On Your Own Success Story

First, if you’ve never seen an Ignite talk, check out some of these inspiring talks.

An Ignite talk is like a Ted Talk but it the difference is it’s only 5 minutes. Oh, that’s not hard, you say. Yeah, right. The talk consists of 20 auto-advancing slides every 15 seconds for the full 5 minutes of your talk. You are not allowed to look at notes, so you must memorize your talk in sync with how your slides advance. Plus, it’s super challenging to fit an inspiring, funny, informative, passionate topic into 5 minutes. I must have made 30 different drafts of my speech and spent every spare minute I could find for two weeks rehearsing just how to perfectly execute my delivery. Not easy.

Now, I’ve done many presentations and workshops in front of medium to large audiences in the past. I’ve even taught coding courses where you simultaneously talk about code while typing it out at the same time. That’s not easy because suddenly my typing skills go out the window when everyone watches me live code. But fitting my talk into this 5-minute lightning talk was quite a different challenge, and I was stoked when my talk was accepted.

Of course, I was one of the last on the schedule to speak that evening, so I had to wait in agony, sweating like a crazy person in the back of the room while all the speakers made their deliveries. But despite my nerves, I was totally inspired by each talk. The community at Ignite is incredibly welcoming and engaging. During the event, there are two impromptu talks given by random members of the audience who have not prepared a speech. They are given a microphone and a random set of slides and must deliver a 5-minute Ignite Talk on the spot. Hilarity ensues.

My turn. Of course there was technical difficulty getting my slides to start. But we got it working and I was off! I shared about how Mothers who want to work or bring in extra income are left with poor choices. I introduced Mothers Who Code and how it has changed my life. I gave some statistics about the low number of women working in tech, how that hurts the technology we use. I showed how companies benefit more by hiring more gender-diverse engineering teams. I compared the qualities that make a great mother and how they make for a great developer. And I shared how my kids inspire me to build great technology and how I can set an example for their future career choices. Wow! The reception was incredible.

So many folks came up to me after the event and shared how inspired they were. It was such an incredible experience. I encourage anyone to attend an Ignite event, they are held all over the world. Or submit your talk to an Ignite event. You will love the challenge of telling your inspiring story in such a fun and engaging way.

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One thought on “Ignite Freelance – Lightning Talk”

  1. Also, where did you get this photo from? I’m trying to remember if they sent us all photos, or if there was somewhere we could get them from?

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