Lightning Talk Guidelines

Adapted from Mark Fowler’s PERL article, 7/30/04:


  • Offers an opportunity for speakers to present exciting ideas and programs that do not require the length of a longer talk
  • Offers a variety of topics to a large audience without them having to change locations


  • Talks should be energetic, exciting, challenging
  • The entire session will consist of no more than 5 lightning talks
  • Talks last no more than seven minutes each


  • No more than 20 presentation slides
  • Moderator will notify speaker at specific time intervals and end session promptly after seven minutes
  • Question/Answer period, if any, must occur within the seven-minute time limit; we do not recommend Q&A due to the session format constraints


  • Make the point and explain it quickly (though do not rush)
  • Always keep your rapport with your audience, not the computer
  • Don’t get caught up in background info (no more than one minute)
  • Only include details if they are necessary and fit within the overall scope for such a short presentation
  • Slides should show things to the audience, not help presenter remember what to talk about
  • Provide contact info somewhere (e.g., on the last slide) in presentation materials (or on a handout)
  • Practice, practice, practice to fit it into seven minutes


  • Send PowerPoint, PDF and/or other presentation materials to the Lightning Talk coordinator by Wednesday, May 1, 2024
  • Meet with the Lightning Talk coordinator before lunch on Saturday, May 4 to test and verify PowerPoint, web links, etc, prior to your talk
  • Give handouts (if any) to moderator prior to presentation

If There Are Any Problems...

Someone from LOEX will be ready to assist, but in the main, if something unexpected happens, just keep talking and move on


  • Encourage the audience to talk with you later, individually, during conference
  • Remember: you have seven minutes total – that’s it!