Watch the video of Ignite Bainbridge 3

video screen shot (Trashy Novel)A night to remember! Audrey Barbakoff had us in stitches with her “read a trashy novel” talk, but we all learned more about how our brains work because of it too. The evening was a great mix of inspiring and enlightening, and we had wonderful music by John Eisenhauer (founder of Kombi Corp) afterwards. Steve Stolee, our dedicated volunteer videographer, has pulled out the stops to get the video posted ALREADY. You can see the full show here.

The next day I bumped into Kathleen O’Brien at T&C, and she said something that has stuck with me. She noted that Ignite is like a “soapbox” for our community, playing an important role of giving a voice to (and an audience for!) our ideas and opinions. I love that! Meanwhile, Ignite Bainbridge has retired for another year and life more or less returns to normal for me, Jason, and our vivacious Emcee and Chief Firecracker, Linna Callaham. Thanks much to all our speakers and volunteers! Until next May.  ~Leslie


Tickets on sale for Ignite Bainbridge 3!

Stories told; passions revealed; ideas shared.

TONIGHT (May 6) IS THE NIGHT for our annual  community festival of ideas and passions. The audience will be filled with your  friends and neighbors, supporting the speakers who might also be your friends and neighbors, so you probably want to be there too!

Please buy your tickets in advance to show your support for this young island tradition, and pass the word so that others also discover the fun (and if you can post a flier or two, please stop by OfficeXpats and pick some up). You can buy tickets either right here online with a credit card, OR in person at OfficeXpats, with cash or check. By the way, the $5 ticket price ALSO gets you into the pre-party at 6pm for snacks and drinks upstairs at OfficeXpats. What a deal. Then 7pm is showtime. Thank you for helping to ignite our island!

Event management for Ignite Bainbridge 3 powered by Eventbrite

Get set for Ignite Bainbridge III

It’s near the end of January of 2014, and that means it’s time to start revving our engines for Ignite Bainbridge 3! A quick update: We are still a loose coalition of passionate volunteers and alumni speakers evangelizing “big ideas in 5 minutes = fun on Bainbridge Island.” May 6th is our performance date.

Linna Callaham has stepped forward to offer her organizational talents as lead Igniter, to support prospective speakers and plan the event, so don’t hesitate to contact her (please also sign up on the website to volunteer or consider being a speaker).  Linna can be reached at (206) 842-1707, or linna@callahamgroup.com. Also, as the ongoing “Community and Communications” lead, I’m still deeply committed to keeping this “tradition” alive on Bainbridge. (Can we claim “tradition” with only 24 months since our introduction to Ignite?).

Goals for Ignite Bainbridge 3: Each of the past two years we have built important processes and relationships that make the next year more successful.  Here are some new goals…

  • We will sell out this year! We got pretty close last year.
  • We are considering donating excess proceeds to—or adding a fundraiser for—the new Community Radio station on Bainbridge Island (link to Inside Bainbridge article). Note that we do not know yet about winning an FM license, but plans for an Internet radio station are moving forward regardless. Lots of future collaborations can be imagined for Ignite talks being podcasted, and Ignite speakers being interviewed. What do you think?
  • Last year we had a very talented high school senior, Chiara Patricio, do a talk that was one of my personal favorites, and a goal this year is to recruit/encourage 2-3 equally passionate and high performing students to participate. If you know a student with an important story to tell, encourage him or her to get involved.

Thinking of being a speaker? Don’t put off contacting us if you have an idea for a talk. It is likely that the roster will fill up moderately fast, and it will be by the people who get prepared first. More to come on the selection process, but fundamentally “first prepared, first assured a spot on the roster.” so please submit your interest as soon as possible.

 Speakers’ Workshops: One workshop a month (held at OfficeXpats) will take both novice and experienced speakers through the essential steps, and we encourage alumni to attend and offer mentoring. Attending the workshops is not mandatory but highly recommended. It’s the best way to stay informed on the process and get feedback on the talk you are planning, at any stage.

In addition to scheduled topics (see below), each of the three workshops will offer time for you—as a prospective speaker—to get feedback from alumni on your idea, script, or completed presentation, and reminders for how to become an accepted presenter.

If you can’t make any of the workshops due to a repeating conflict, be in touch with us and we will figure out a way for you to get the information and/or support that you need.

Save these dates! 

  • February 20, 6pm (Thursday): Be prepared… the Ignite format… 5 minutes, 20 slides, a big idea. How to get started, planning your talk.
  • March 18, 6pm (Tuesday):  Be concise… the script for your talk, what makes a good story, even in 5 minutes.
  • April 22, 6pm (Tuesday): Be visual…  the rules and restrictions for building your slides, tips for big impact, submitting your slides.

Want to help build our Ignite success?  We need volunteers NOW to help us get the word out in news media and on social sites, and to attract speakers with passion for a great idea. Please contact Linna if you have ideas or connections for stories that we can place, or if you are able to pass the word at an organization you belong to. More volunteer opportunities coming soon as well.

 Thanks,

Leslie Schneider
Ignite Community Lead (on behalf of OfficeXpats, the organizing sponsor)


We are prepared, concise, and visual. We are Ignite Bainbridge.

After months of prep and hours of what felt like near-chaos, the performance Tuesday night was pure relief and delight. It was the second time our Bainbridge community had put on our own local flavor of the international trend called “Ignite”—a high-energy evening listening to many inspirational 5-minute talks, each accompanied by 20 slides. Ignite speakers need to be prepared, concise, and visual with their presentation, but not necessarily experienced or comfortable in their role. That’s what I love about Ignite—it’s a big challenge, but achievable if we care enough about what we want to share.

Leigh Calvez at Ignite Bainbridge 2

So who is Ignite Bainbridge? How does it get done? How is it changing? Our first Ignite a year ago was inspired by Beth Robson, who introduced the idea, guided the volunteers, and was our first emcee. It was amazing: 14 presentations, 150+ attendees, some essential sponsorships that kept costs down, an enthusiastic crowd at the mixers before and after the event, and videos on YouTube for each speaker by island filmmaker Steve Stolee.

For this year, we wanted to lock in a culture of community support for return performances. I think we made progress! Over 210 attendees, 16 presentations, new volunteers and sponsors, and stories in the local papers to promote the event. Alex Sanso set the tone with some beautiful updated designs for our materials. Lynn Smith, Karen Hallis, and Leigh Calvez were three volunteers who came to so many weekly meetings in the past couple months to manage promotion, food, ticketing and more. Bhama Roget, a dangerously funny frequent flier with the Edge Improv hosted the stage as our Emcee. Read the rest of this entry »


Get out of your comfort zone with Free Trait Theory

by Tom Leurquin, Ignite Bainbridge 2012 alumnus “Clean out your garage

Do personality differences affect a person’s ability to give an Ignite presentation? The simple answer is “No.” The general perception is that extroverts just get up in front of an audience and start talking and are perfectly comfortable being on stage, and introverts simply wouldn’t do it or aren’t capable of doing such a thing. The truth is a bit more complex than that. Both introverts and extroverts are more than capable of getting in front of a group of people and talking about a passion they have. Read the rest of this entry »