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fort collins Archives - Genuinely

7 tips to giving an Ignite presentation you’ll wanna share on social media

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So…raise your hands if you’ve heard of Ignite? To those of you with your hands up: well done. To the rest of you, I have to say…Get yourselves on Twitter. Yesterday.

I first heard of Ignite through the many tweets that sporadically showed on my Twitter list. I would see tweets about witty lines from amazing speakers at Ignite.Ignite Fort Collins logo

So I decided to delve a little deeper because I am a) nosy and b) a naturally curious social media professional. I followed the buzz from @ignitefc to the local site for Ignite Fort Collins.

How Ignite works

So here’s what I’ve found through my delving: Ignite is a global event organized by volunteers interested in what passionate people have to say…about anything really. You can pitch pretty much any topic you can dream up.

The event’s tagline is “Enlighten Us – But Make it Quick!”. Presenters have 5 minutes each to deliver a talk set into a narrow format: exactly 20 slides that automatically change at the 15 second mark.

Ignite Fort Collins has people submit topics and 6 people are chosen through public votes, while 8 others are chosen by the committee. Once presenters are chosen, they have about a week before their slide deck is turned in and a few days before they go live on stage and enlighten a full house.

The whole experience evokes anxiety in just about anyone and, for me, that was blended with a strong note of nostalgia, since I chose to share stories of growing up in a Korean/American household.

My takeaways

In the end, I survived, I had a great time, and I took away these 7 key elements to giving an Ignite presentation that you’ll be proud to share with friends and family on social media outlets.

1. Be genuinely passionate

The point of Ignite is to “ignite the audience” and stimulate thought. In order to get people to really hear ya, your presentation must be passionate. Like I said, I chose to speak on my Korean culture, but one of the most inspiring presenters was Kathleen Baumgarder who spoke on the development of a non-profit cafe here in Fort Collins.

FoCo Cafe’s mission is building community by providing nutritious and delicious meals using local, organic, and sustainably grown ingredients to the people of Fort Collins regardless of their ability to pay.
Kathleen shared some staggering statistics on the Fort Collins homeless population and encouraged audience participation throughout her presentation. By the end people were shouting out questions like, “Where is the cafe’s location?” and “When will this open?” I personally found myself wondering when and how I’d be able to donate items and time. Now that is a spark.

2. Practice

I bribed the Mack Web team to my home with the promise of a taco bar and margaritas in order to practice my speech. I also used a window in my guest room that showed my reflection. I must have practiced 5 out of 7 days.
Because I practiced I knew that it is best to use at least 2 slides per idea. I was able to weed out different stories so my presentation had a natural flow and I hammered out my transitions.

Come time for the presentation, I had excited butterflies soaring inside my stomach, but as soon as the lights hit my face I was on.

3. Wear a comfortable outfitJune Macon, Peace Sign

Now, this one may sound silly or superficial or girly, but it’s important to feel good when you are on stage. I picked out an outfit that spoke to me. It said, “BUY ME.” So, naturally, I did. I was intentional with my shoe choice as well. Normally I wear heels, but I didn’t want any freak accidents so I wore some flats that still made me feel fierce. Men may not have this shoe issue, but please make sure you will be able to look back at the presentation and not be embarrassed of yourself.

4. Connect with the audience

At the venue for Ignite Fort Collins #12 we were fortunate to have the Lincoln Center as our stage.

June Macon speaking

This was an amazing location and made me feel like I was doing stand-up, so I cracked more jokes than planned (um, no I am not a comedian, but I have been reliably informed that I am a ham). 

Fortunately, all my jokes landed and provided a much-needed point of connection with the audience.

The spot light was bright and it would have been so easy to ignore the nerve-inducing presence of the audience altogether, but that is a big no-no. Instead, I scanned the room and found someone’s eyes to catch and hold onto. Make sure you connect with the people who are spending their time to hear you speak.

5. Pace yourself

The rate of the presentation is 20 slides at 15 seconds a pop so don’t try to stuff each slide with too much information. When you have too much to say in 15 seconds, naturally you talk fast. People won’t be able to soak in what you are saying.

Pace your talk with your slides and please, oh please, don’t stand there waiting, telling your slide to hurry up or wondering out loud where your slide went. It’s awkward for the audience, so instead, just ad-lib rather than mumbling to yourself.

6. Have good visuals

Coloradoan Editor There were people at the Ignite talk who had amazing slides. Josh Awtry, editor of the Coloradoan, was one of those people. He had some great images and memes.

I, on the other hand, had slides that were minimalistic. Next time, as a seasoned presenter, I will definitely be upping my slideshow game.

7. Don’t drink too much

Ignite Fort Collins had drinks available for the speakers and for the audience which was great. (They also had a band to play before the talk began and during intermission).

Thanks to the ADD butterflies in my stomach, it was tempting to indulge in the bar scene, but I also didn’t want to make a fool of myself so I opted out of the “drunk” speech. Now, no one at our Ignite was intoxicated, but I did hear horror stories of past presenters so…keep it classy, folks.

Ignite!

If you haven’t been to an Ignite presentation, do it. Either attend one or submit a pitch to be a presenter. It’s a fun experience that gives you a platform to set fire to a willing gathering of minds with your passions, your experiences, and your causes.

And, as an added bonus, participating in Ignite can help you get over the fear of public speaking, become a better story teller, or provide evidence to potential audiences that that you are a capable and engaging presenter. (Which is not what my purpose was at all. Nope.)

So…

On a totally unrelated note, I am available for speaking…and, believe it or not, I can speak on more than the topic of the Korean culture. I already have requests for an Ignite talk on recessive genes. (Gotta start brushing up on those Mendel squares). You can check out my presentation to find out why, it’s only 5 minutes long!

 

Mack Web Solutions Top 10, uh, 15 List: Food and Drinks in Fort Collins

By | Miscellany | No Comments

So, here’s a true thing: Mack Web Solutions loves Fort Collins. Full-on big, sloppy, puppy adoration.

And what is one of the hands-down best things about this town-that-we-love?

Well, the food, obviously. Rumor has it that Fort Collins has more restaurants per capita than any other city in the Union.

This, obviously, has nothing to do with Web Design, SEO, or Social Media. (Except for the fact that we find deliciousness inspiring for mind and body alike).

All the same, we still felt that our giant crush on Fort Collins’ gustatory delights was worthy of some small celebration.

Which is why we’ve put together this list of our top 10 favorite local food and beverage spots. Except, we couldn’t decide on just ten. So we bumped it up to fifteen.

Just ‘cuz we can.

If you, dear reader, are a local, you might already know this stuff or maybe you’ll find something new to try. If you’re not a local, well…you should come visit. Some of this stuff really is worth the trip.

So, without further ado, we present “Mack Web’s Official Favorites (Insofar as Dining, Snacking, and Imbibing Are Concerned).”

(Long, yes. But so descriptive, no?)

1. Onion Rings at The Crown Pub. Just the best onion rings. Certainly around here and possibly in the whole world. They practically melt in your mouth to begin with and they come with this dipping sauce and…yum. Plus, the Crown is one of the few bars where you can Strongbow. Tart cider and sweet, rich onion rings: heaven.

2. Avo’s (more formally known as Avogadro’s Number) great tempeh burgers (2 for 1 on Tempeh Tuesday!) and strawberry milkshakes. They have other shakes, too, but, according to Courtney, strawberry is the only true milkshake.

3. The gluten-free burger buns at Al’s Burgers. These are a dream come true for Natalie, who is partial to (by which we mean “is required to eat”) all things gluten-free. It says a lot when she calls a restaurant “dreamy”. (Presumably, she means that the remainder of the burger is good, too. The rest of us here certainly think so).

4. Drinking margaritas at the Rio (on the back patio). This is a great activity for Friday summer evenings. We think everyone in town would agree. It certainly seems like we see them all there.

5. Ice Cream stops at Walrus. These are an office favorite for sunny afternoons. They have some great original flavors and are just enormously satisfying. Some of us don’t even need it to be sunny as an excuse to visit.

6. Bann Thai’s Drunken Noodle dish (ordered super hot). This is Natalie’s feel-better-quick remedy for colds. Something spicy and delicious always makes her feel better.

7. The Cobb salad for lunch at Austin’s. It is the best Cobb salad in town…and yes, Mack has tried them all. Plus it comes with that cornbread…

8. Coffee (and homemade treats) from Cafe Ardour and Starry Night. We can’t decide between them. And, really, why choose when you can just alternate?

9. The breakfast burritos from La Luz. We love them. We eat them with glee. And great frequency. This has as much to do with how good they are as it does with the fact that our office is right above them.

10.  The Helvis (a bloody mary martini) from Elliot’s. It’s delicious and satisfying, but it doesn’t make you feel full. It has just the right amount of spice, and June recommends pairing it with bleu cheese-stuffed olives.

11. Bottomless Mimosas for brunch at Cafe Vino. It’s only $10 bucks for the Signature and, so far, is the best deal June can find in town. The ambience is relaxing and the outdoor seating area is just lovely in the summer. And what says lazy, luxurious summer mornings like champagne and sunshine?

12. Eileen’s colossal cookies. In our collective wisdom and through careful experimentation, we have come to the conclusion that they make fantastic bribes for your kids. June’s son loves the sprinkled and frosted sugar cookie. And, to be perfectly honest, so does June.

13. Vodka Martini straight up with 2 olives, from Jay’s Bistro. Don’t you be putting no olive juice in Mack’s martini.

14. The Chicken Tortilla Soup from Zquila’s. It is super scrumptious. Just the right amount of fresh avocado and spice.

15. The Chocolate cafe. Really, anything on the menu, but if we have to choose? The Chocolate Noire with Raspberry Sherbet and a split of champagne. Dare we say it? Downright delectable.

So, what would be on on your top 10 list for your town? Will you too, find it too hard to choose just ten.

Please join Mack Web in welcoming our new Social Media Strategist

By | Miscellany, Social Media | No Comments

All of us here at Mack Web Solutions would like to welcome our new Social Media Strategist into this world of search engine marketing and web design. June Macon is the newest edition to our roster of innovative employees.

Ms. Macon is experienced in public relations, marketing and social media and enhances the creativity, reliability and professionalism Mack Web Solutions currently provides for clients. Macon, with her expertise in social media and ability to identify the wants and needs of a company’s audience, will focus on social strategy and social engagement.

Prior to joining Mack Web Solutions, Macon held the position of Director of Public Relations, Professional Relationships and Events at a local company with a focus in education. She also consulted with companies in the education, health and real estate fields, providing web writing, social media management, social media strategies, social media campaigns and services in public relations. Macon holds a Master of Arts in Adult Education and Training and a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism with an emphasis in Public Relations.

“In today’s web-driven world, it is imperative for businesses to establish an online presence,” says owner Mackenzie Fogelson. “We’ve found an approach and process that really works, giving our clients the web exposure they want and need. Bringing June onto the team expands our expertise and opens new avenues to generating great results for our clients.”

If your company would like a free consultation to learn how Mack Web Solutions can improve your search engine marketing and increase engagement in your current social media efforts or you are interested in learning more about what Mack Web Solutions can do for your company, contact info@mackwebsolutions.com.

About Mack Web Solutions:

Mack Web Solutions specializes in custom website design and development, search engine marketing, email marketing, social media, public relations and navigation development. For more information or to look at Mack Web’s portfolio please visit www.mackwebsolutions.com.