It’s not irony, exactly, but it’s that thing that people often call irony.
A couple of weeks ago I decided I wanted to get involved in the Ignite Madison that happens on May 21. I have to run a similar event in July, and I thought it would be good to get my feet wet. I emailed the organizers, offering to volunteer, and also put in a proposal to speak.
They had all the volunteers they needed, and also all the speakers, but they were gracious and offered to give me a guest pass to observe. I played around with the idea of creating my proposed presentation anyway, but elected not to on the grounds that I’m busy enough. I looked forward to going to the event, though, especially after seeing some incredible presentations on the main Ignite Website.
In case you haven’t heard of it, Ignite presentations are 5 minutes – no more, no less – with 20 slides each advancing after 15 seconds, whether you’re ready or not. Enlighten us, but make it quick! is the basic mantra, and it makes for some pretty energizing talks.
Fast forward to Tuesday, May 20th. I get an email: We’ve had a speaker back out. Are you still interested and able to present? Without hesitation, of course, I said “Yes!”
When in Danger or in Doubt…
I then panicked. It turned out, I discovered over the next few hours, that it’s hard to create an Ignite talk. Especially since I first ignored their advice of Start from Scratch! and attempted to modify an old presentation to fit in the 5-minute format.
That didn’t go so well. Nor did it go so well when I tried to start from scratch. In fact, I felt a bit like Don Music trying to create a song. I’ll never get this! Why did I say Yes?
And of course in the back of my head was this chuckling, wry voice: Be ready for anything, you said. Improvise, you said. How you like it now, boyo?
In about an hour I go to my one and only “rehearsal”, and I can tell you that it’s come together. I have a story, I have slides, and I will be ready to go on the stage to talk about how pancakes saved my children and my sanity. Here’s a sample slide:
Not much of a lesson here, except to say that your life is as exciting or boring as you decide to make it. Me, I decided to make today pretty exciting.
How’s your day going?