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Lightning Talks: Home

General advice and resources on developing and presenting a lightning talk

What is a Lightning Talk?

Lightning Talks are concise, 5-7 minute presentations (but length can depend on the organizer). The main idea behind the talks is to spark new conversations, ideas, and collaboration in an engaging format. Lightning talks encourage presenters to emphasize the topic's most essential points, focusing on key insights.


They are an efficient way to share expertise, experience, or innovations with the audience while keeping them engaged and interested. It is a great way to learn about the work being done among colleagues with similar interests in a short period.

Lightning Tips

  • Be concise - get to the point quickly, but as a narrative
    • don't compress a conference presentation into a 5 minute talk. 
  • Don't rush - instead cut back and say less
  • Identify 2-3 key points to convey - these should be the most important points
  • Have a good hook - let your audience know why they should pay attention
  • Provide brief examples - avoid extra details 
  • Show, don't tell - instead use images rather than words 
  • Call to action - encourage audience to learn more, try out a new approach, something they can take away and remember
  • Practice, practice, practice

A Lightning Talk About Lightning Talks

Additional Resources on Preparing a Lightning Talk