August 26, 2009

Seven ways to kickstart the creative process

"Thanks for inviting me to the meeting on Saturday. It was lots of fun and I am motivated to learn and grow more in this creative endeavor of presenting.

Unfortunately not enough people see it as a creative process and that is where most presenters are stuck."

I received this e-mail from a client recently, and I honestly have to say that it filled me with joy. I wish more people approached presenting as the creative (and fun) process it can be rather than the boring, rule-laden chore they make it.

Here are some ideas for facing your next presentation with an open, creative thought process:

1. Try on a new perspective and be willing to brainstorm and try new ideas.

2. Ask yourself, "Why have we always done it this way? What would be the benefit to my audience of offering something new?"

3. Put yourself in the audience's shoes: "What would I like to see and hear if I were an audience member?"

4. Ask yourself, "What do I REALLY want to say?" Take the risk of being honest and authentic.

5. Let yourself feel uncomfortable as you entertain these new ideas and challenges. You don't have to keep every idea, but brainstorm enough that you have some to throw away and some to keep.

6. If you normally start creating your presentation in PowerPoint, try creating an outline in Word. If you normally start in Word, try handwriting some ideas. If you normally write, try storyboarding.

7. Stop worrying about being seen as "different" and let yourself be unique.

There are so many more ways to open your mind to the creative process. Please share in the comments some ideas for getting out of your comfort zone when creating a presentation.

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4 comments. Please add yours! :

Greg Friese said...

Creativity will increase if you don't script the presentation (either in your notes or on the slides).

Getting to know members in the audience helps me be creative because I try to connect something I am presenting with the name, interests, and needs of specific members in the audience. Audiences appreciate spontaneous efforts to connect with them personally.

Lisa Braithwaite said...

Great tips, Greg. Thanks!

Dr. Jim Anderson said...

Hmm, thinking about creating a presentation as a boring task would require a very negative frame of mind!

Ultimately, any time you have a chance to talk to a group you are in a position to share information with them - almost like a teaching gig.

Just like the teachers that we had oh so long ago, you've got to be in a positive frame of mind every time that you get ready to create a speech...

- Dr. Jim Anderson
The Accidental Communicator Blog
"Learn How To intimately connect with your audience in order to make an lasting impact in their lives."

Lisa Braithwaite said...

I so agree! I remember teachers, however, who seemed completely miserable in the classroom. They may have felt positive and creative when they started out, but after 20+ years of teaching, were over it. So sad!

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