What’s Ignite Portland? Ignite Portland is an evening where people share things that they’re passionate about in five minute talks. Today is the 10th installment of the biannual event.

I heard of the event through work and decided to talk about something that I’m pretty passionate about– ways we work and get things done.

We can either slug through a work day, or do little things here and there to get through it with a bit more inspiration, energy, and fun.


It ended up being a great experience. By the end of the evening, I learned all kinds of random things. Some of my favorite talks included one about a robot cat feeder and another about how memories can be erased. Here’s mine:

What did I learn?

It was a nice reminder that good things come from hard work and practice.

It was a crazy feeling to connect to that many people with my own voice and body gestures. I’m much more used to connecting to people nowadays through the web, via content or social media. The shift was a bit nuts.

Writing the speech wasn’t that big of a deal. My topic was much softer than that of my colleagues, since I didn’t have any awesome facts or statistics. I’m a firm believer that if you work on things you’re passionate about, you’ll typically have a much better and easier time. That was definitely the case with my talk.

Practicing was the difficult part. Memorizing five minutes of spoken word wasn’t too bad, but making sure that I didn’t sound like a robot or revealing my nervousness took lots and lots of practice.

My end product made me feel proud. So, I consider it a win. I met new people and created some great opportunities. All that, from hard work and practice.

Would I do it again? Yes. I also encourage anyone who wants to share something they give a care about to do the same. The Ignite crowd is kind, supportive, and tipsy– a fine audience and community.

[edit 02.22.12: I added my video and links to my favorite talks.]