A Lightning talk is a short presentation given at a conference or similar forum. Unlike other presentations, lightning talks last only a few minutes and several will usually be delivered in a single period by different speakers.
History and format 
Lightning talks may have originated at the Python conference in 1997, where they were simply called short talks. The term "lightning talk" was first coined by Mark Jason Dominus for a similar session at the YAPC 19100 Conference (Yet Another Perl Conference) in June 2000 and gradually spread to other technical conferences.
Formats vary between venues. Most conferences will assign a speaking slot (30 to 90 minutes) to them and arrange several talks one after the other during the session. The length of talks are usually between 1 and 10 minutes with a 5 minute limit being common. In order to allow rapid changes between speakers, slides may either be discouraged or a single computer running a Presentation program is used by all speakers.
The term data blitz is sometimes used to refer to a session of lightning talks, particularly at academic conferences in the sciences and social sciences such as the annual conference of the Society of Personality and Social Psychology.
See also 
- "Wanted: Short Talks". Retrieved 2008-03-20.
- "Talks that were presented at YAPC 19100". Retrieved 2007-01-27.
- Berkun, Scott (January 14, 2010). "The End Of Boring Presentations". Forbes.com. Forbes. Retrieved January 14, 2010.
- "SPSP 2012 Data Blitz". SPSP 2012 Conference. The Society for Personality and Social Psychology. Retrieved 29 December 2012.
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