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Learning and Knowledge Exchange

Lightning Talks

Sharing and learning at lightning speed

Lightning Talks are a series (usually at least 4 - 5) of 5 minute talks/presentations by different speakers, each introducing a topic or idea very quickly. A set of Lightning Talks is an excellent way to rapidly and compellingly share information about diverse topics from several presenters, without overwhelming the absorptive capacity of the audience. They are very useful when you have many presenters but a short schedule. Some advance briefing is needed for presenters who are unfamiliar with the format. Two popular variants, Ignite and Pecha Kucha, are also described here.


  • Facilitator
  • Meeting room/ auditorium (for large audiences)
  • LCD projector and screen
  • Laptop computer
  • 4 - 5 presenters
  • Audience (limited by seating space only)
  • Time: Normally 30 minutes (including transition time) for a standalone session of 5 Lightning Talks, or up to a maximum of 60 minutes for 10 talks during a workshop

Download the full module on Lightning Talks (PDF), including when and why to use, how to apply, tips for success, variations, and references.



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