You might think that creativity is only reserved for poets and artists. But it’s not a personal trait that someone is immediately born with. While there are people who are more inclined to creative pursuits, everyone is capable of thinking outside the box and coming up with new ideas. And this is especially crucial if you’re preparing for a presentation.
If you’re feeling like you’re running short on creativity, you just need to re-orient yourself with a different outlook and you’ll soon come up with bigger and better presentation ideas.
Instead of waiting for your muse, give these techniques a try for creative presentation ideas:
Try not to stress yourself out
We’re often pressured to come up with creative solutions when there’s a lot on the line. The higher the stakes, the more you feel overwhelmed and stressed out. Soon enough, you’ll find yourself in a cycle of stress and frustration.
So how will you save yourself from pulling out all your hair?
According to Sparring Mind‘s Gregory Ciotti, it’s important to create “psychological distance” between yourself and the task at hand. In a study conducted last 2009, researchers found that respondents were able to jog their creativity when they thought of their tasks as something distant. By detaching yourself from your presentation, you’ll be able to ease some of the tension you feel.
You can also try creating some physical distance between you and your workstation. Reduce your stress by taking a moment away from brainstorming. Enjoy a quick stroll outside, and you might come across something that will give you new ideas.
The fresh air might also help in relieving the stress you feel from your creative block. If you don’t want to go outside, a quick nap can do wonders to refresh your mind. Several studies have found that a short snooze can help improve memory, cognitive function, and creativity.
Ask yourself the right questions
When faced with a difficult task, we often stick to the solutions that have worked for us before. With presentations, you immediately try to visualize how your PowerPoint deck is going to look like. You might even ask how many slides you need to make. This technique can stifle your creativity because you’re focusing too much on the finished product. What you need to do is take a step back and ask yourself the right questions.
The questions you ask should be more specific to the goal you want to achieve. Instead of wondering how you’re supposed to start a PowerPoint deck for an investment pitch, go into the rationale behind your presentation.
If coming up with the right questions seems too difficult, try the “Six Hats” technique:
- Red Hat: Look at the situation emotionally. What do your feelings tell you?
- White Hat: Look at the situation objectively. What are the facts?
- Yellow Hat: Use a positive perspective. Which elements of the solution will work?
- Black Hat: Use a negative perspective. Which elements of the solution won’t work?
- Green Hat: Think creatively. What are some alternative ideas?
- Blue Hat: Think broadly. What is the best overall solution?
Inspiration can be found anywhere. In the case of presentations, there are plenty of sources to get you started. The Internet is a great place to look for presentation ideas.
After a quick Google search, you’ll find plenty of blogs and websites offering their own tips and tricks to solve your dilemma. Don’t just stare at a blank slide all day. Do your research and look for things that can inspire you. If you’re finding it difficult to write your content, try creating a presentation storyboard to get you started.
You can also get great ideas from things that don’t seem related to your task at all. You might think it’s crazy, but a lot of random things can relate to presentations. Think about the movies that made an impact on you. Browse through the book you just finished reading. You might even find inspiration from watching a soccer match.
The Final Word
But while it’s important to search for inspiration, don’t use it as an excuse to procrastinate from your task. While surfing the Internet, try to avoid sites that might distract you.
Social media networks are the usual suspects. Web tools like StayFocused can block sites for a specific period of time to keep you on the right track.
Give yourself time and space to look for inspiration and refresh your mind. Using these three strategies, you’ll be able to come up with a more creative presentation in no time.
Ciotti, Gregory. “Nine of the Best Ways to Boost Creative Thinking.” Lifehacker. Accessed September 5, 2014.
Cooper, Belle. “The Science Behind What Naps Do For Your Brain–And Why You Should Have One Today.” Fast Company. September 16, 2013. Accessed September 5, 2014.
Jia, Lile, et. al., “Lessons from a Faraway Land: The Effect of Spatial Distance on Creative Cognition.” Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 45, no. 5 (September 2009): 1127-131. Accessed September 5, 2014.
Featured Image: photosteve101 via Flickr