The Dating Ninja does Ignite Portland 7

In June of 2009, my friend Andrew sent me an email and said, “Hey I got accepted to Ignite Portland!” I had never heard of Ignite Portland, but it sounded interesting.

bagdad_homepicThe premise, if you had five minutes onstage what would you say? And what if you had five minutes and 20 slides that advanced every 15 seconds? And what if you could do it in the Bagdad Theater in front of a full house?

That’s Ignite Portland.

Ignite was started in Seattle in 2006 by Brady Forrest and Bre Pettis. Since then hundreds, if not thousands, of 5-minute talks have been given across the world. There are thriving Ignite communities in Seattle, Portland, Paris, and NYC.

On “Ignite Night,” Andrew lined up at the side of the stage at the Bagdad with the 16 other people who’s proposals had been chosen, and he delivered his do-over of his 1989 commencement speech for his high school in Anchorage, Alaska. It was hysterical, and right then and there I thought, I have to submit a proposal next time. I want to do this!

Andrew and I went out after the show and had a bite to eat. I said, “Andrew, I really want to do this. What topic do I know a lot about that would be entertaining?” Without missing a beat he said, “Dating.”

“Oh my gosh!” I said, “You’re right! I’m a Dating Ninja!” And my proposal idea was born.

This past weekend I got notification that I am one of the 20 proposals they selected to present at Ignite Portland 7 on November 19, at the Bagdad Theater in Portland!

And what’s the name of my proposal? Confessions of a Dating Ninja of course.

When: November 19,2009

Where: Bagdad Theater Portland

Cost: FREE

Time: Doors open at 5:30. Show starts promptly at 7pm.

The event is FREE, but you have to line up early if you want to get a seat. It packs out every time. If you can’t attend in person, don’t worry, all of the presentations are posted online afterwards.

You can see the speaker lineup, and all of the proposals here:

You can see all of the videos from Ignite Portland 6 (including Andrew’s commencement speech) here:

I have included my proposal below as well. You can follow me that night on Twitter at #DatingNinja. Hope to see you at Ignite 7!

Confessions of a Dating Ninja

Kelly Jo Horton

Kelly Jo Horton lives the life of a software and database geek by day, and the creative life of an actress, writer and improv comedienne at ComedySportz by night. She has traveled to 36 countries, and still finds the Pacific Northwest to be one of her favorite places on earth. Kelly has been an avid runner for the past 25 years, with half marathons being her favorite distance.

Kelly is the former writer, host and co-producer of TVC-TV’s political talk show “To the Point!” She is also known for appearing in various ads on the Web page as “Mrs. Miller,” the woman who loves to do laundry. She holds a degree in journalism from San Diego State University, and an M.A. in Dating Ninja Skills from the School of Hard Knocks.

According to Japanese legend, a ninja is the ultimate warrior, skilled in maneuvers such as espionage, scouting, and the art of stealth — all useful skills when navigating the underworld of online dating. But when I created my first online dating profile in 2002, I possessed none of these skills. I was the antithesis of the Dating Ninja — a rank amateur.

I have spent the last seven years building my ninja skills on,, eHarmony, Plenty of Fish, Craigslist, It’s Just Lunch, Fitness Singles, Speed Dating, Hot or Not and more. Yes, I’ve tried them all, and in the process have amassed the skills necessary to become a true warrior — a Dating Ninja.

The blind date who meets you for lunch looks like he just walked off a golf course at a retirement community in Florida. What should a Dating Ninja do?

His online profile has no photo and says he’s “separated.” What would a Dating Ninja do?

Allow me to share with you my “Confessions of a Dating Ninja,” the time-honored secrets of transforming yourself from rank amateur to a Dating Ninja in five minutes or less.

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