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 Lightning Talks


Lightning talks are short and efficiently run talks that are useful for developers.


Joe Mathes (jmathes at gmail dot com) is the organizer for the talks at Silicon Valley events.


What Lightning Talks aren't:

  • They're not a place to pitch your company
  • They're not a place to demo your product you think we should all buy
  • They're not a place for recruiting


An exception: You may present a new project that was fully coded during the devhouse in question.  


Lightning talks should be interesting to our audience: a bunch of bright people who like to make or break stuff.


Lightning talks must fit the following requirements:


  1. Talks must be 5 minutes
    1. You will be timed, please watch your timer for hand signals: 4 fingers = 4 minutes remaining, etc. Unless there's an hourglass for you to glance at.
    2. You get cut off at 5 minutes. That's because knowing you'll get cut off is enough to make everyone take less than 5 minutes. 
  2. If your talk has slides, they must be in an open format and sent to the organizer at least 2 hours before your talk.

    Acceptable formats are:

    1. Another page on the wiki (ideal!)
    2. PDF
    3. Flash
    4. HTML
    5. Text
    6. Anything you can make work on the presenter's laptop 
  3. Slides are best if they're online somewhere so we can link to them for posterity.
  4. Talks must be approved by the organizer at least 2 hours prior to the start of the Lightning Talks.


You can the slides from some of the past SuperHappyDevHouses, including 34, 33, 32, and 31.


UsePow is a great way to make slides for a talk: http://www.usepow.com


A good presentation format: 

  • First slide is a descriptive title
  • Second slide is who you are, with url / email
  • Third slide tells what the talk is going to be about
  • Last slide is title of the talk, who you are, and a URL or QR code for do-you-want-to-know-more 
  • For the other, meat'n'potato slides, keep in mind how many seconds you plan to spend on each slide. You need enough time to read each slide, and for the audience to read them. Usually you'll want 5 slides; 1 minute per slide.
  • The colors on your slides shouldn't be too flashy, but they should have high contrast
  • Slides work best with a white background
  • If you really want to go the extra mile, wear clothing that doesn't distract. Think Steve Jobs 



Running a devhouse?  Run your own lightning talks!