Tuesday, September 14, 2010

A new audience awaits

I am thrilled to report that Mary Wollstonecraft will soon be exposed to a whole new fanbase. I will be talking on her life at IGNITE London 3, and am in the process of attempting to condense the "sex, religion, and politics" aspects into a very brief five minutes. The USP, or gimmick if you prefer, of Ignite events is that each presenter is alowed 20 slides, no more, no less, and they auto-forward every 15 seconds, hence the time limit. Ignite's motto is "Enlighten us, but make it quick."

I have no problem coming up with the words, although compressing and selecting is a challenge. (A mere 300 seconds!)  "Remember to focus on the audience": always good advice for speakers or writers. What is a whole different kettle of metaphors is choosing relevant and compelling images. There are only a couple of portraits of Mary. I don't want to bring more people than necessary into the story (Ardent Jane - Fanny Blood - Fusilli & saucy wife - Cad Gilbert - Hero William -- Fairy Godmother - Dr Price - Uncle Johnson - family in the background), and anyway many of these don't have images.Those that don't, I have improvised: enjoy the mouse-overs. Some of those links may lead to unexpected places.

Otherwise: buildings? Nowhere she lived still stands. First editions? One can overdo a good thing. Blue plaque? I don't even have a proper image. We'll see.

Among other Ignite speakers, I was inspired by Matt Edgar. Last autumn ago I "met" him on Twitter (what is the correct verb?), when he was planning his talk on the year 1794 -- So much to answer for. He was aware of the embarassing lack of women, and gives me a hat tip for reminding him about Mary. On that site he has written more generally about the process of planning an Ignite talk, so that's where I'll be starting.

The event takes place at the Luminaire on Tuesday 28th September, doors open 7pm. 311 High Road, Kilburn, NW6 7JR. Tickets are available via the Ignite site. Free, of course, and last time I attended Ignite, the drinks were too.

[Addendum: here are the words and here is the video.]

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