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For the March Write the Docs SF meetup, we're opening up the schedule for lightning talks. Anyone can participate...even you! Especially you! And they're easy. If you've ever spoken extemporaneously for more than a few minutes about any topic (think about the last time you told someone about a TV show you liked or commute experience you hated) you can probably give a lightning talk.

We want YOU to participate! Please sign up in advance here (

• Lightning talks are short presentations no more than five minutes long.

• Ideally a lightning talk focuses on one concept in a quick and clear manner. It could be a favorite bit of writing advice, an authoring tool tip, a UX messaging concept, a tidbit of Agile for docs methodology that you live by...or any one of a thousand other things. What's on your mind this week?

• The subject should be relevant to the WtD audience. Keep in mind, however, that you can be as serious or as silly as you like.

• You can use slides, but you'll probably want 15 or fewer unless you plan to click through them quickly (

• If you're not used to public speaking, keep two things in mind: a) the audience is on your side and wants you to succeed and b) five minutes goes by FAST.

At conferences, lightning talks are the second most popular presentation type, after the keynote presentation. They're a favorite because in addition to hearing many speakers in a single time slot, the audience learns many facts in a short time.

For more tips about creating lightning talks, see:

• Barrie Byron's "So you want to give a lightning talk. ("

• The Lightning Talks page ( from the North American 2015 WtD Conference. Lightning talks are a feature of every WtD conference.

For some lightning talk examples, see:

• Lightning talks from the North Ameircan 2015 WtD conference (

• A talk for Android game developers called "The Top Three Game Design Mistakes You're Making (" Notice the usage of images over text in the slides.