Lightening Talk Experience

Last night I did my first ever lightening talk at Agile Yorkshire.

I really enjoyed the experience and hopefully something that I’ll do again. I was a little nervous, but nothing ventured nothing gained…


This was something which I’d wanted to do for some time but never really had the guts to do so.

Each speaker is given 10 minutes to talk about a topic of their choice

How I Went About Doing It

I worked out what point it was I wanted to make, i.e. my conclusions and then I worked  backwards. As I knew where I wanted to get to I just had to work out the route there. Things that would support my conclusions

Scribbles & Notes

I scribbled down all the points I wanted to make and put them into some sort of grouping.

  • Setting the scene / intro
  • Pros
  • Cons
  • Summary

Its a really basic mechanism stuff and a technique I think that every child doing GCSE English is taught.

Presentation Prep

Knowing that I had 10 minutes to do the talk I then broke down the slide deck into 5 parts – one for every 2 minutes.

I decided that I wouldn’t include any text on the slide and just have relevant slides that kind of illustrated the point I wanted to make. There are a load of licence free image websites out there which are full of images you can use:

and my personal favourite


I then practiced the talk, looking a my notes for each of the sections.

  • By recorded myself doing each section, I worked out what was important for me to stay.
  • Reviewed what I said and then tried again. (and again)
  • Timed myself on each section, ensuring that I didn’t go over the 2 minute time span,
  • Wrote down key points on record cards, highlighting things that I must say and want to stress
  • Ran through the whole presentation ( and then again)


If you’re going to do a talk – good luck to you and enjoy it




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