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SATURN 2013 Lightning Talks: 300 Seconds to Make an Impact

The January 7, 2013 deadline for submitting an abstract for SATURN 2013 gets closer every day. For the first time, the SATURN program committee is inviting proposals for five-minute lightning talks. Lightning talks at SATURN 2013 will consist of a series of executive briefings given in rapid succession in a 30-minute time block. This style of presentation gives more people the opportunity to participate and to spark new and interesting discussions within our community.

Let’s Be Brief

To quote Blaise Pascal, “I would have written a shorter letter, but I did not have the time.” The key to constructing a lightning talk is understanding the importance of being concise. As a lightning talk presenter, you have just 300 seconds to convey your information and why it matters to the audience, so you must make each second count. It takes careful planning and creativity to express yourself clearly in such a short amount of time, so as with traditional presentations, it may be helpful to begin organizing your thoughts in an outline. However, instead of ideas I, II, III, and IV—with supporting points a, b, c, and d for each—scale back and focus on just one main idea with several facts to back it up.

Once you have identified your main idea, consider your delivery carefully. How will you capture and keep the attention of the attendees? Get to your main idea quickly and try to avoid complex diagrams or empty rhetoric. Every sentence of your talk must have a purpose and support your main idea. You may wish to illustrate or reinforce your idea with audiovisual aids. Feel free to use supporting PowerPoint slides with economical text, graphics, images, simple charts, and even video or audio recordings to illustrate points you can’t fully convey verbally.

Building the Buzz

With just five minutes to present, it is impossible to cover every single idea related to your topic. However, your five minutes on stage, if used wisely, will leave attendees wanting to hear more. Make your key point so compelling that participants seek you out during breaks to continue the discussion.

Have an Idea? Tell Us About it in 150 Words

Be a part of this new and exciting offering for SATURN 2013. Send us 150 words that describe your lightning talk idea and, optionally, a full set of proposed presentation slides by January 7, 2013, and you could be part of the electrifying lineup.

For more information on SATURN 2013 or the guidelines for submissions, visit the SATURN 2013 software architecture conference Call for Submissions.

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