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Add Originality To Your Presentations

Lesson 7 of 7

Corral Your Creativity

Kimberly MacLean, Sammy Wegent

Add Originality To Your Presentations

Kimberly MacLean, Sammy Wegent

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Lesson Info

7. Corral Your Creativity

Lesson Info

Corral Your Creativity

So now we're moving into "Corral Your Creativity." This gets a little bit closer to the actual speechless show, which is the idea of having slides prepared. So, do you know what CTA stands for? Call to action? Call to action, yeah. So we want to first get into just the format of this, so that we understand how it's gonna work. And think about this idea of stating a problem, offering a solution, and then proposing a call to action. And really trying to keep it succinct for us. Like this is just part of a talk, perhaps. Or bullet points throughout an entire talk. This isn't the talk necessarily itself, so we don't have to worry too much about elaboration. So what is a current problem, perhaps not political, a current problem in our world that you're thinking about? What's a real thing that you sort of think about and care about? Climate warming. Climate warming. Yeah? Great. So climate change, global warming, climate change. So the problem that we see is what? How would you phras...

e that sentence: the climate change is the problem? Humans are messing up the planet. (laughs) Well said. "Humans are messing up the planet," and resulting in climate change. What is a solution that we could offer? Maybe we'll fix the world right now. What's a solution, or at least one solution, that we could offer to help change that problem? Stop eating the animals. So we could stop eating animals. So if everyone stopped eating animals, in your opinion, that would... It reduces... the gases in the atmosphere. It's a huge... Factor. It would have a huge impact? Yes. Great. So what is the call to action? What would you ask me to do to make that happen? Protest at McDonald's. Protest at McDonald's. Thank you for the clear... Let's get out there. (audience laughs) actionable item. I got signs in the back. I like that it's specifically a place, right? Not just "protest." Just McDonald's that you... But, just there. Burger King is totally cool. (Sammy laughs) Well a certain politician we can't name, eats at McDonald's... Sure. So that's another reason... Another reason. to protest. So but this idea, that's just the idea of like, I'm gonna give you a problem, I'm gonna tell you my solution, and then I'm going to give you a really clear thing that you can do to take action. And this shows up in a lot of presentations and a lot of talks. We actually wanted to game-ify it, a little bit. So we actually are going to ask one, and you can also bring a partner up with you. I think we've done it this way before. We're gonna ask someone to come up here and give us a problem, solution, call to action. And we have slides up here, much like the speechless game show, or the speechless show that we play, where you are going to talk, and then you will click to a slide, and you will use that slide to support whatever you've already said. So if I'm playing the game, for example, I would state the problem, and then I would click to the slide and talk to you about how the slide demonstrates the problem. And then I would state what I think the solution is, perhaps, or I might click to the next slide. And we're gonna just try to play this game, and just get into that funny bone of just being silly, being funny, enjoying that we can do this stuff and build skills while also having some fun together. With hilarious topics like climate change. (audience laughs) With hilarious, right. It can be whatever topic you want. It can be serious or not, it's really up to you. So who would like to give this a try? Who's up for this? It's so fun. And you can bring a partner up... as I said. Out of the group, who actually has to use some sort of visual aid... Oh good question. when they present? I think there's someone in particular. There's a couple of people. You? Come on up. Yeah? Alright. Are you up for it? Yeah, of course. Are you up for doing it solo, or would you like a support system? Would you like a partner? Oh yeah. Who wants to come up with me? It's more fun. Yeah, great, bring a partner up. Yeah, one partner jump up. Come on, Jared. Alright. Great. Okay. So, we've obviously been demonstrating really well today, how to work as partners, so you know, you can lean on that. You have. Sure thanks. Excellent example. You're welcome. So the way that this works, just so you know, because that you can see slides back there... Okay. There's a blank slide between each actual image slides, that you can't cheat and look ahead and plan ahead. I should've worn my glasses. (laughs) Do you wanna lug our space closer? Eventually, it will be behind you. Oh okay. And it's totally okay to turn around and look at it between. Cool. So, you guys haven't presented together before? No, we haven't. So, just lean on those skills of "yes, and-ing" ideas, making each other look good, and pretend like you know exactly what you're talking about. Do we wanna give them a topic? Or to talk, or do we, from the audience, or do we wanna just let them go? Uh yeah, let's get a... (Volunteers laugh) Yep? Like an industry. Like an industry where there's maybe a particular problem they're gonna address. Oh great. Oh good, you're in product, right? [Curly Hair Woman] Vehicles that... (Volunteers laugh) Okay, so transportation. Oh, transportation. Okay. Transportation. So I'll click it ahead. You tell me when to click and I'll click it ahead for you. Okay. Yeah? Okay, so you can, why don't you, we're gonna go here and you can give us... Nope. You can give use the problem. You can state the problem and then I'll click to the slide for you. Okay, so I'm going to say the problem based off of transportation, yes? Yep, so you guys just go ahead and chat, and then you tell me when to click the slide... Oh yeah. and I will. Oh, okay. Give us your presentation to us. Oh, okay. Got it. Sorry. Present to us, but as two people presenting together. Oh, got it. I'm losing my words, it's late in the day. Are we having like a personal talk right now about what problem? No, you're presenting to us. Oh, okay. You prepared this presentation like weeks ago and we're practicing, obviously. Right. Of course you have. Of course we have. Right, right, right. So, it's a big challenge these days to get around San Francisco. It's seven by seven miles, but it can literally take an hour to get from the Marina to the Mission. It's true, traffic's so bad. It's very bad. Yes, and what would you say the crux of the problem is? Like what's contributing to that, Jared? The crux of the transportation problem in San Francisco? Yeah. The absolute crux? Yeah. Well, I think the crux is probably the fact that there just aren't enough subterranean tunnels in San Francisco. Yes, I couldn't agree with you more. Yeah, we need more roads, more tunnels. Are you ready for me to click to the slide you've prepared? Yes. I think so, yeah. Yes? Okay. And dancing on public transportation is super important, right? Yes. Or is that karaoke Santa? (laughs) It's whatever you think it is. It's whatever you think it is. Yes, I really don't think that MUNI has thought about the design and the infrastructure that would make it really fun to sing every single morning. Correct. (Volunteer laughs) I think they haven't planned that. I think the city planners haven't thought about that at all. But we need to do something about it. Yes, and did you know that they are releasing new MUNI vehicles right now? They're testing them. Really? Yeah. So do you think it's too late? I don't think it's too late. I think that they can release autonomous MUNI vehicles that are powered by voice. And Santa Claus. And Santa. Okay. Okay. Let's see what else we got here? (volunteer and Jared laugh) So this is your solution. Yeah? This is your solution. Yeah. That you can add to the cars you've already talked about. Yeah. Yeah, this is the M Class... 2035... autonomous cyborg car. (everyone laughs) Yeah. Yeah. I love that it's pink. Me too. I'm so happy about that. Yeah, I'm glad we hired that artist that's in the MOMA right now. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Absolutely. Do you wanna show the audience how that the cyborg moves people around? Sure, I'll get into position. You're the cyborg, right? I, yeah. (Kimberly laughs) Okay, so what happens is you start to sing a little bit, or do a rhythm thing. (slaps hands, claps, snaps fingers) Oh I've done this before, it feels familiar. (volunteer and Jared claps and snaps fingers) And then the cyborg picks you up, right? Oh. (shushing and snaps fingers) And then it'll just carry me where I need to go. Right, and it makes this amazing sound. (volunteer and Jared laugh) Makes an amazing sound. Yeah. That's how the car works. And so, therefore... What's your call to action? our call to action is everybody should start riding... Oh um, everyone should start riding this new 2035 M Class. Yes. And bring your animal! That's right. (volunteer laughs) They are pet-friendly. They are pet-friendly. Yeah, so buy today. Yay! (Jared laughs) (audience clapping) That was so good! You guys! It's hard, right? It's hard. (volunteer laughs) It's a challenge and that's why we wanted you to have a partner, too. Cuz then there's someone you can look at and be like, "I don't know. Do you know?" Yeah, thanks for really, you're a really good partner. You're a good partner, too. Thank you. Yeah, what are some things that you did feel? Like what was supportive? How did your partner support you? I just felt like you teed me up really well. So you created a story and context and then you just kinda let me come in and you know? Say let's all wear pink. Which was, I really... Let's all wear pink. Right. I appreciated that. It was a nice "yes, and" right? Like we heard them, we literally heard the words "yes, and." And we saw them just going, "Uh huh, okay, "if you say so, you got it." (everyone laughing) That's right. Right, in a way that feels really affirming for us, then. Right? We love seeing people say "yes, and" to each other. What were some thing they did that you really appreciated? Ideas, or just... The playful physicality. (volunteers laugh) That was a great "yes, and," right? Like, "Do you wanna show them what they look like?" "Yep, sure, here I am." (everyone laughs) That was like the physical manifestation of piggybacking on someone's idea. (everybody laughs) Yeah, it was. It was a great physical "yes, and," yeah. Well the visual helps. (laughs) It was. Oh yeah? You're a great cyborg. They were listening to each other. Like, she repeated exactly what the "M Class 2035." I know. [Curly Hair Woman] So instead of, yeah, just saying what they were thinking. They were listening to each other at the same time. And we love seeing that listening, right? And really knowing that someone's listening. That was fun and that you knew it. I didn't know if you got it right, I'll be honest. But the fact that you repeated it, I was like, "Oh, she got it." (everyone laughs) I didn't know what it was. She was listening really well. Yeah, what are some other things you saw them do really well? Uh, you guys were giggling a lot. Oh yeah, Elva. They seem to be enjoying it, which really helped me enjoy it. It just seemed positive and... Yeah, fun. It was fun to watch. Yeah. And we, as an audience, understand that you're seeing the slides for the first time. You're doing the problem, solution, call to action for the first time. Like we know all of it's happening on the fly, so we appreciate it even more. And we're empathetic even more, and then when you say something magical, it feels incredible to us. When you turned around, and you were like, "Oh yeah, that's the M blah blah blah blah." I was like, "Yeah, it is. Of course it was." (everyone laughs) When you say the things with such confidence, right, which we really enjoy seeing you play and it does feel incredible that human minds can do this amazing stuff. That was fun. So thank you for trying that. Thank you. Yeah. (audience clapping) Did you wanna add anything to that? The only thing I'll add is that... Yeah. You know, while this is how our speechless live show format works, and we use it in training settings like this, there's also some other things to take away from it. One being that your visuals can be a lot more personality driven, as well. We all know that. Yeah. But people very rarely take risks with what they put on the screen and people always are rewarded when they are themselves. So if you have to use some sort of visual aid, know that you can accentuate your presentation with that. And a really big part of that exercise is about a very simple structure: the problem, solution, call to action. So you know you have three points to make. You know that those are the points. And you know that you have to tie them back to each slide. So think about creativity in those terms. Like we've done a lot in this particular class, and upcoming classes we have more of time boxing. Like how can you restrict yourself in terms of the way that you are creative and the way your creativity can, I guess, enhance your own originality and your own communication skills? We focused on different ways to name multiple things, or how long you have to talk, or how many people are on stage, or how many slides there are. So all these different ways to kinda restrict your creativity lead to great things. And it's really about practicing them, but also learning how to like capture the ones that work the best. So you can actually have a finished product to use. Yeah, so these are the things we said we would go over, we would talk about. And so we wanna, once again, do those tangible takeaways with you. And think about what are those things from this class that are really resonating with you, that you wanna carry forward, and that you wanna really remember it, maybe keep practicing. What are those things that stand out? And it's okay to take a moment to think about it. So "practice your point of view." We had someone doing a solo debate, where they were trying to like really establish a strong point of view on both sides. "Sharing your sense of humor" is when we were actually having a eulogy about an object. We all cried about a coffee mug. (presenters laugh) Yep. "Revealing your super powers." You know, we were trying to figure out what are those things about you that you can kind of, say juxtapose, and then put them into the "celebrating your imperfections" into that particular talk. So those are just a few of the things that obviously we did in this class. And the inspiration. Yeah the inspiration. "Combining your passion with your work." What are some of the things that stood out to you that you could take away and you feel like you can build upon? Yeah, Jared. I feel like each drill pulled different things out of us. And so, I kinda wanna, I wanna do it, like I wanna do these drills and these exercises on a story. Or on another presentation and like do them several times. Maybe on different days or spaced different times apart, because I think it like draws something different out. And there was a moment where I realized, oo like I kinda messed up when we were partnering a little bit. Cuz I was like, "Oo, I said, 'There weren't enough roads.'" And then I was like, "But we need subterranean layers... (woman laughs) or tunnels." And I was just like, "Woohoo... Yeah. "like make that mistake." Totally. And like mistakes are good. And you learn from it. Yeah. And if you do the exercise again, it's really... I guess what I'm trying to say is, these exercises like help you generate material. And help me see things from different points of view. And I think that's really cool. Great. Yeah. Yeah, John. So I really like the "Combine Your Passion & Your Work." And I give lots of different kinds of talks, and I also interview people, and I'm usually thinking about the work, right? Yeah. And now I'm gonna think about, well what passion can I bring to this person or this group and weave that with the work? And it's gonna be different every time. Yeah. Oh, cool. That sounds fun for you, too, right? That just sounds fun for you to be part of that exploration of yourself, but also of the people you're with then. Anything else come up for you? Yeah, Elva? I think of the thing that really I enjoyed a lot about everyone's presentation, as well as my own, is using details about how things were for me, for the reality of my perspective or my experience, and learning about each person here individually. It just having those details and opinions, you know things they feel important about, is really fascinating and wonderful. It is fascinating and wonderful. I agree with you. I love learning... I mean it is a little bit of storytelling, like even in its originality, a lot of it is what parts of a story are we gonna share? What parts, what details are we giving? That can be really fascinating and engaging. Yeah. Anything else? Oh yeah. So for me, originality, authenticity, that's a really... It's intimidating, right? Yeah. And so I manage a team at work and I think what came up for me is how important doing this exercise with other people can be. So, friends, like you said, can really... You know, you called up your friend and said, "Hey, how would you describe me?" So doing that exercise, but also doing it for your team, and sort of supporting each other through trying to find, hey, what are your super powers? You don't have to do it in a vacuum. Yeah, yeah.

Class Description

Have you ever sat through an excruciatingly mind-numbing speech, one that you seem to have heard a thousand times before? If you don’t want to be that presenter who bores people to tears, you’ll need to find a way to inject some originality into your presentations. But how?

The key to making your presentations interesting is to amplify and embrace your unique self. This course is all about developing your point of view, cultivating your individual humor and honing your distinctive voice. By using improvisational and theater-based exercises, we’ll tap into your extraordinary individuality.

In this class, you’ll learn how to:

  • Build confidence and embrace authenticity.
  • Apply your unique perspective to storytelling and creation.
  • Discover what is distinctive about your point of view.
  • Cultivate your sense of humor in an authentic way.
  • Conquer your stage fright.
  • Avoid being boring, too technical, or too bland.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Add Originality to Your Presentations

Speechless - Add Originality to Your Presentations - Super You Sheet

Bonus Materials with RSVP

Adobe Stock - Get Started

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Student Work

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