Sparks Talks provide motivation

Chris Reed, founder of Sparks Talks. (Submitted photo)

Chris Reed, founder of Sparks Talks. (Submitted photo)

By Mark Ambrogi

The three tenets of Sparks Talks are: Mingle, Be Inspired and Share.

The talks, whose motto is Bright Ideas Shared, begins with some an hour of networking with professionals followed three individuals with timed talks.

There are two 4-minute talks  and one 10-minute talk. There is a big clock on the stage and if the speaker fails to end his talk in time, he is clapped off the stage. The talks are run by Indianapolis resident Chris Reed once a month at Moon Dog Tavern, 4825 E. 96th St., Indianapolis. The next talk is scheduled for Aug. 12. Reed, who runs Cast a Bigger Net marketing company out of Launch Fishers, said the audience’s average is 120.

His idea was inspired by TED (Technology Education and Design) talks, a nonprofit whose motto is ideas worth spreading.

“These are not pitches, they are experiential learning (talks) where you are understanding a new way of thinking,” Reed said.

Realizing there was nothing like that in Indianapolis, Reed started the Sparks talks three years ago. Sponsorship dollars offset the cost.

Reed, 46, said the idea of the shared experience is there might be someone in your life you might be separated from for long period.

“But the moment you get back together it’s right where that relationship left off,” Reed said. “That’s because the relationship got solidified based on a shared experience, you went to high school together, you got drunk together … whatever you’re blood brothers. That’s the kind of relationship you’d love to get with people but it’s hard to get there.”

So Reed said people coming to Sparks are relaxed with a couple of cocktails after work, but still have high energy because they want to network.

“That share after the talk about what they got from it and what nugget they are walking away from it because you may not have caught that,” Reed said. “That way we all grow faster.”

Reed said the clock keeps the audience’s attention because they are wondering if the speaker is going to make it.

“When it hits zero, they don’t get an extra second to finish their thought, they’re done,” Reed said.

Sandi Ballard, who lives in Lawrence Township, gave the 10-minute talk at the July 8 talk. Ballard recently wrote a book “From There to Here,” which is her story on how she let fear control her path.

“One of those things is to get through the fear and get up and do it,” Ballard said of speaking in public.

Reed also is working on Sparks talks centered on topics, such as well-being and tech. The Sparks Well-Being is set for July 31 at Transformation Fitness and Wellness, 1222 N. Pennsylvania, St., Reed said.

“I’ve lost 65 pounds in the last four-and-a-half months so I’m going to give a Sparks Well-Being talk because I was encouraged by a guy who came to Sparks six months ago and talked about how he lost 100 pounds in a year,” Reed said.

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