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 »

Alumni Speakers Series: Christine Castigliano

May 2012 was the first ever Ignite Bainbridge, and 14 brave souls pioneered the way for this inspiring event. But what were their motivations and why did they do it? What did they learn and what advice do they have for future Igniters? Those questions and others were asked of these three Ignite Bainbridge first-timers: Alex Sanso, Tom Leurquin, and Christine Castigliano.

This post is a compilation of Christine’s answers. Christine is a writer, singer and teacher of Sparkology, which is her term for the process of awakening and uncovering the divine essence within, and welcoming the many facets of our wholeness. She may be reached at 360-598-3846 and www.christinecastigliano.com

Why did you participate in Ignite Bainbridge? Christine: Ignite Bainbridge is about stories, passion and community, and I love all three. I’d been working with my personal story to fuel a midlife career transition. Turning 50, I woke up to the fact that I don’t have forever. What matters most? What am I here for? What are my gifts, my challenges? How can I make a difference, help the world become a better place? Read the rest of this entry »

Alumni Speakers Series: Alex Sanso

Last May, 14 brave souls pioneered the way for Ignite Bainbridge. As we are gathering a whole new crop of speakers, we’ve asked a few of these alumni to share a bit of their memories from this inspiring event.  Hopefully, their words will offer some insight into their experiences that you can apply to your presentation as well as provide you with greater comfort and confidence to move forward. Because, you know, we would love to hear from you.

Why did you participate in Ignite Bainbridge?

Alex: The basic idea behind Ignite was “compelling” and it sounded “interesting and fun.” “I like to be on stage” and have done improv and karaoke in the past. So Ignite was a means to “put myself in front of people and be on stage. I liked that.”

Why did you choose the topic that you did?

Alex: When deciding on a topic, I “set this bar in my mind that it has to be monumental and profound.” I was getting the TED speeches inside my head and using those as a guide and basis for what was expected. After thinking more about it, I realized that it doesn’t have to be this. It just has to be interesting…something that I like to do. Karaoke seemed to fit the bill. But how do you turn this in to something interesting, rather than just rambling on about getting up in front of a bunch of people and singing? This was a “fun challenge” in trying to express “what effect does karaoke have on me? What feelings did this generate for me?” Figuring out how to integrate this into a talk that goes beyond just singing, so that it can apply to and be interesting to anyone and also become both a learning experience and entertaining was an objective. Using karaoke as a metaphor for overcoming a person’s problems in life was a creative and entertaining approach. Read the rest of this entry »

Save the date! Ignite Bainbridge 2 is coming back on May 14, 2013

We are excited to announce that Ignite Bainbridge 2 is scheduled for Tuesday, May 14, 2013 at the Bainbridge Pavilion. The idea for Ignite Bainbridge was freshly hatched in late December 2011, and the first Ignite Bainbridge held on May 16, 2012 went beyond the wildest dreams of those early organizers. Fourteen speakers and more than 150 attendees celebrated stories, inspiration, and big ideas from our lives on Bainbridge Island or a bit beyond. Many of those 150 showed up early for the pre-party and came again for the post-party! We all got a chance to connect with the speakers, and we hope there were many who wondered if they might be the ones on stage “next time.”

So it’s time to start thinking about “next time!” If you have a topic you are passionate about, we highly encourage you to entertain the idea of speaking about it. No matter if this would be your first ever speaking experience, or if you tried to be a speaker but did not make it to the roster the first time around.  We even encourage the now-experienced “alumni” speakers to consider signing up again with a new topics. Read the rest of this entry »