Have a big idea? Pitch an ONA16 Lightning Talk


Every ONA conference is driven by ideas from the digital journalism community. In the spring, we take session pitches through the Suggestion Box, and throughout the spring and summer, the Program Team helps select and build out sessions. Now, just before the conference, we’re opening up two more ways to get involved: the Lightning Talks and the Unconference.

If you’ve got an idea for a full-blown conference session, you should pitch the unconference. If you’ve got a big idea to share and the guts to present it in five minutes or less, send us your lightning talk by Thursday, September 15.

The best part about lightning talks is that they are exciting, fast,  invigorating and full of good ideas.

Here’s what you do:

  1. Figure out what you want to talk about.  (A highlight reel on a great project, your side hustle that no one knows about yet, a love letter to your favorite beat … the sky’s the limit, as long as you’re PASSIONATE about it).
  2. Pitch your idea to the ONA16 Lightning Talks.
  3. Convince your friends and other conference attendees to vote for your session. You can use #ONA16lt to join the conversation on social or our main conference hashtag, #ONA16.
  4. Vote for your own session and other lightning talks you want to see. Voting takes place at the conference on Friday.
  5. When you win, (as you will since you will have submitted an exciting idea that you are passionate about and people are fascinated by),  prep your lightning talk! Keep it under five minutes and get to the point quickly! No need for lots of background — explain your idea as quickly as possible. If you make a presentation, use it to show the audience good examples and great jokes. Don’t create a slide deck of every word you are going to say. We can’t read that fast.
  6. Give your awesome lighting talk in front of ONA16 attendees on Saturday, Sept. 17 from 4 – 5 p.m., after our Saturday keynote and before the Online Journalism Awards banquet!