If you are a follower of our blog, you probably are no stranger to TED.  But have you met TED’s little cousin Ignite?

Where TED has “ideas worth spreading,” Ignite wants their presenters to, “Enlighten us, but make it quick.”

If you want to present at an Ignite event, you take a topic and present it in 20 slides in five minutes or less.  Your slides are on auto rotation so you have to have to know your stuff.  Otherwise, you just look like an idiot.

Which is why it is so great to watch.

Sure, we might not hear Dan Pink’s experiments with motivation or Ken Robinsons’s ideas on how schools kill creativity, but you can still find other enlightening talks like how to jump off a cliff by a professional rock climber, or how to get 5 million people to read your website by Mathew Inman (creator of The Oatmeal).

But, instead of just telling you about it and letting you go off to dig through the hundreds of presentations willy nilly until you might find one that was a hit, I thought I’d do you a favor and list some of my favorites.

I summarized some of the points below to give you an idea which ones you might want to check out.

1.  How to Get 5 Million People to Read Your Website by Matthew Inman

I think every professional should be involved on a website or have their own.  It’s a great source for sharing your expertise.

I loved this video in particular, because Matthew does this in a creative way not being done by anyone else at the moment.

Matthew Inman was a web designer who found he could grow quite the audience after he picked up on the ques of what makes a site popular.

1.  Pick a topic we all have a gripe with

– Printers

2.  Pick something everyone can relate to

– Cats trying ambush you

3.  Find something that is not being articulated and go for it

–  Common spelling errors people make that drive us nuts

4.  Pick something you can react to that everybody hates or is popular for no reason

– Twilight

5.  Pick something everyone is involved with but knows nothing about

– What’s in all those Starbucks drinks?

6.  Make something disgusting

– Women with Mustaches

– Marvelous Man Boobs

7.  Make an Engaging Title

– 6 Reasons Bacon is Better Than True Love

8.  Educate people, make it easy for them to learn

2.  Flash Mob Gone Wrong by Tom Scott

This was an incredibly pieced together story of the power of social media and the internet.  Just watch it.

3. The Practicality of Pessimism: Stoicism as a Productivity System – Tim Ferriss

Tim talks about a single exercise he did one night that led to his book and much of the success thereafter.

Define Your Fears Instead of Your Goals

Take a piece of paper and make three columns.  In the first column write down what your fear is and what the worst case scenario would be.

In the second column, list all the things you could do to minimize the likelihood of those things happening.

In the last column, list all the things you could do to re achieve the status-quo, or get back to where you are now.

He found that taking a step in the area he feared was an unlikely transient value of 2 while potential life changing possibilities in that direction were a ten

4.  The Pomodoro Techniqe by Greg Head

Sometimes it’s hard to get the most value out of our work day.  So Greg shares one technique that helps him get through the work.

1.  Choose a task

2.  Set a kitchen timer for 25 minutes

3.  Work on that task without stopping

4.  When time is up, stop for 5 minutes

5.  The 22 Minute Meeting by Nicole Steinbok

Don’t you wish you had a DVR for meetings?  Nicole breaks down how to run a meeting at its most efficient level, 22 minutes.

1.  Schedule a 22 minute meeting

2.  Have a goal based agenda

3.  Send a required reading 3 days beforehand

4.  Start on time

5.  Stand up

6.  No laptops, but presenter’s and note taker’s

7.  No phones, no exceptions

8.  Focus! Note off topic comments

9.  Send notes and action items ASAP

6.  Trading a Paperclip for a House by Kyle MacDonald

If you haven’t seen this story of how Kyle traded a red paperclip all the way to a house, then you need to watch this.

We mention Kyle whenever we want to talk about the power of connections.  He was able to achieve a remarkable feat all through networking.

Kyle didn’t have any special talents, skills, or knowledge, and demonstrated beautifully how far someone can go based on connections alone.

7.  How to Work a Crowd by Alexis Bauer

One skill that is valuable in any situation is the ability to win a crowd.  Alexis has this down to a science and investing five minutes in this is well worth it.

1.  Be a leader

2.  Use open ended questions

3.  Keep them talking about things you find interesting

4.  Use engaging body language

5.  Keep it real

6.  Practice with professionals

7.  Learn to use embarrassment as a bonding tool

8.  Add new people into the conversation

9.  Move eyes to the new and old person, going back and forth.

8.  Cup Noodle: Innovation, Inspiration, and Manga by Jason Grigsby

The story behind the product every college student lives off of was actually quite interesting.  Jason Grisby takes us through the process Nissin went through to come up with their solution.

This process can still be followed today with many of the projects we work on.

1.  Compelling Vision & Passionate Leaders

2.  Embrace Constraints

3.  Design For People

4.  Iterative Design

5.  Diverse Teams

6.  Don’t Limit Yourself

7.  Seek Simple Solutions

8.  Understand What Sets You Apart

9.  Word of Mouth

10.  Celebrate Your Victories

Which Were Your Favorites?

Did I leave off an Ignite video that should be mentioned?  Which was your favorite?