Denise Beaver recalls the time she gave her Ignite Carroll presentation concerning something she's passionate about in her personal life -- essential oils.
In just five minutes, Beaver, the deputy director of economic development for the Carroll County Government, discussed how to use the oils, what to use them for and their benefits.
"It was a challenge, for sure, and that's why I wanted to do it," she said.
The Carroll Technology Council is now holding Ignite Carroll 3, its third round of short, informative presentations, Thursday at the Carroll County Arts Council. The event will feature 10 speakers who will tackle a variety of topics including estate planning, LinkedIn and making time for adult relationships.
Kati Townsley, administrator with the Tech Council, said at Ignite events, which take place in more than 100 cities worldwide, presenters share their personal and professional passions, using 20 slides that auto-advance every 15 seconds for a total of just five minutes.
"The slogan is 'Enlighten us, but make it quick,'" Townsley said.
This is the third time the Tech Council has held an Ignite event, for which it has a permit to participate, she said. The other events were held in January and September 2013.
It's a community event at minimal cost and would prove to be a great date night, Townsley said.
"It's something different and unique to this area," she said. "It's just a fun night out."
Profits from the event will benefit the Carroll Technology Council, which helps the community by distributing refurbished computers to children and adults who can't afford computers, Townsley said.
Beaver said the event is a great way to educate and enlighten the community.
"We just think it's a great opportunity to reach out into the community and let them know ... the interesting things people are doing," she said.
People have talked about a number of topics in this presentation style, including online dating, drumming, beer making and autism, Beaver said.
"It's an inexpensive evening of entertainment," she said.
For speakers, it's an opportunity to hone their presentation skills in a fun and creative way. It gives Carroll County people another recreational outlet, Beaver said.
Those who can't make it to the event can visit the website and watch former Ignite talks, she said.
Vince Buscemi, director of digital communications and social media at McDaniel College, is co-organizer of the event and host of the show. He also serves on the Tech Council's board and as Education Committee chairman.
Presenters with primarily a Carroll County focus will be sharing all kinds of experiences with the audience.
"This is an event that every single person is going to walk away having learned a lot," he said.
Ignite Carroll is one of only two such initiatives in the state that have been around for more than one event, Buscemi said.
"We've been really, really successful in finding passionate speakers that are willing to share their experiences with us on a stage," he said.
Buscemi, who has given an Ignite presentation about home brewing, said he touched on the topic's different aspects in an effort to get people excited about his hobby. To keep the audience engaged, presenters can also use visual aids and sound in the presentation.
"For the presenters, it's sometimes a challenge not to get caught up on trying to drive home a particular point," he said. "For the audience, it's really just about trying to keep up."
The event takes the support of the community to be successful, Buscemi said. The presentations are something that will stay with people for a long time.
"We're hoping people will start talking about what they saw, what they heard and what they felt," he said.