“Everyone needs to be prepared. The speakers, the moderators and even the audience. The speakers must know what they really want to say, the moderators must ensure a quick change between speakers and they need to set everything up so there’s no pause … the audience must be willing to listen and to forgive possible errors.”
Do you have something to say at the 25C3? Can you say it in 5 minutes or less? Give a lightning talk! These speaker-driven, self organizing collections of short presentations are a great way to get a quick taste of a lot of wonderful topics usually hidden from mainstream view. Scheduled presentations include everything from serious technical topics like Freifunk, and OpenVAS to performances poking fun at political personalities. Moderated by Sven Guckes and Oliver Pritzkow, lightning talks are happening on Day 2, 3, and 4 of the 25C3.
According to Guckes, “any topic that you are really passionate about,” makes for a good lightning talk.
“There was the ‘talk’ on then forthcoming Xbox hacks by a guy in ninja clothing. He set up the box, started it, and it showed a combined logo of a linux penguin and a Macintosh happy face with the words ‘coming soon’. No words spoken at all–but he said everything he needed to!”
For those without a flashy demo, Guckes recommends some simple techniques for maximizing the short amount of time allotted to each speaker. He believes speaking slowly, without hesitation or repeating points, staying focused and finishing right on time are all keys to great lightning talks. Not following any of these suggestions is key to a bad lightning talk. Guckes recalls one lightning speaker who used 20 minutes laying the groundwork for a complex topic.
“He finally gave a 5 minute talk which was still totally unintelligible. What a waste of time!,” says Guckes.
There are still spaces left on Day 4. You can sign up by creating a properly formatted entry on the Lightning talks page of the 25C3 wiki.