(WMC-TV) – Fourteen people who are passionate about Memphis, quitting, bitter beer, and a variety of other things took the stage Tuesday evening to light a fire in others.
The sixth Ignite Memphis was held at Crosstown Arts. Each speaker had five minutes to talk about whatever their hearts' desired. What's the catch? They had to do it with 20 PowerPoint slides – and only 15 seconds per slide.
Organizers said the turnout at Tuesday's event was the best they have seen yet. And with the use of the official hashtag #IgniteMem, it is not hard to find out what the audience thought about the event.
"Loved my first #ignitemem. @JonMcIntosh and @LaurenSquires were awesome. Simple words can carry a strong message of renewal," said first-timer Wes Milligan.
Out of dozens of submissions, eight presentation proposals were chosen.
Action News 5's Lauren Squires was the first speaker to take the microphone. It is something she does for work on a daily basis, but a live studio audience is not something she is accustomed to.
Lauren talked to the packed room about how one person sharing a story can change the world. She reminded the audience that the stories they share, whether it be with their friends at lunch or on their own Facebook pages, tell the world what is important to them.
A funny reference to the high number of pageviews this particular story caught the audience's attention – and showed the audience that, truly, what they read and share does reflect on what they find important.
She also told the audience of wonderful stories that captivated the country lately, for example, Batkid, and how the Mid-South community came together to help a man who was hit by a car while changing a tire.
A few other presenters included former 'I Love Memphis' blogger Kerry Crawford, who made a compelling case for why quitting is the secret to happiness, "I missed going out to eat without having to write about it."
Dustin Cann and Michael Hughes teamed up to tell people why they should give bitter beers a shot.
"Enough of the inspirational stories, we're gonna get you drunk," said Cann as the duo's presentation got underway. It was an appropriate statement considering the open bar that came with the purchase of a ticket to the event.
But not all of the people presenting were looking for laughs. Shayla Lawrence captured the audience with shocking statistics about Memphis' infant mortality rate and how we can work to overcome it as a community.
And Jon McIntosh, pastor of Christ City Church in Midtown, shared his love for the City of Memphis in his presentation titled "Every movement needs a God spark." His humorous approach to a serious topic was voted the fan favorite at the end of the night.
The event, which was promoted primarily on social media networks, sold out.
Will there be another? Only time will tell, but judging by its success, there very well could be an Ignite Memphis, Vol. 7 in the works.
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