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Brainstorming Techniques for Every Situation

“Brainstorming is the nexus of ideas.” – Asa Don Brown, Interpersonal Skills in the Workplace, Finding Solutions that Work

Brainstorming, developed in the early 1940s by advertising executive Alex Osborn, became a tool with staying power.

For companies that provide professional PowerPoint services, it’s important for there to be a collaboration between the client and the company, as the client’s input is vital to how the design experts will approach the project.

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Conducting a brainstorming session of your own? Remember that for it to work and not feel like a total waste of time, everybody must be open and respectful to everyone’s ideas and opinions. Problems arise when there are people that think they need to filter good ideas from the bad because of the fear of judgment.

How does it work? In a nutshell, brainstorming consists of three steps:

  • Pose a problem or opportunity.
  • Ask the team to pitch their ideas, no matter how unusual these may seem—there is no right or wrong idea.
  • Review and select the most interesting ideas and then discuss how these can be implemented.

For example, working with marketing presentation consultants require brainstorming so they can translate your specifications and their design into an effective and engaging PowerPoint. If you’re having difficulties in generating ideas on the top of your head, then why not try one of these interesting techniques instead?

Mind Mapping

Conceptualized by Tony Buzan in the 1960s, this visual tool enhances the brainstorming process. This organizes thoughts by showing how these can be connected, encouraging the continuous flow of ideas and associations.

SWOT Analysis

This stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats and what this type of brainstorming does is that it helps flesh out ideas in an objective manner. It specifies the goals of the project or business venture, identifying the internal and external factors that may affect its success or failure in the long run.

Starbursting

Usually, people brainstorm to find answers—with starbursting, it focuses on forming questions. It starts with a star, which has product, service, or concept to be discussed, and expands as more questions are asked. The should answer who, what, when, where, why, and how.

Brain-Netting

This involves brainstorming on the Internet, which means team members will share their ideas over a private channel and then discuss it in person. They may also choose to generate and discuss concepts online.

Round Robin

This method of brainstorming gives everybody in the group an opportunity to speak their minds. Once gathered in a circle, members of the group are encouraged to pitch in and contribute, as there are times that one or two people in the group may be too shy to voice their opinion on the subject. Plus, this is a way to keep dominant personalities from taking over the session.

Once everyone has shared their ideas, this is the only time that other members may suggest a second concept.

Brainstorming combines lateral thinking with an informal approach to problem solving. It promotes collaboration among teammates, encouraging each person to be as creative and original as they can. With this tool, it helps companies generate radical solutions to problems.

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References:

Tucker, Robert. “Seven Brainstorming Techniques for Your Next Ideation Session.” Forbes. November 16, 2017. https://www.forbes.com/sites/robertbtucker/2017/11/16/seven-brainstorming-techniques-for-your-next-ideation-session/#18a15bb66d5d

“Brainstorming and Mind Mapping.” Monash University. https://www.monash.edu/rlo/research-writing-assignments/understanding-the-assignment/brainstorming#Mindmapping

Madsen, Dag Øivind. “SWOT Analysis: A Management Fashion Perspective.” International Journal of Business Research. https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Dag_Madsen/publication/299278178_SWOT_Analysis_A_Management_Fashion_Perspective/links/56f05fee08ae70bdd6c94a74/SWOT-Analysis-A-Management-Fashion-Perspective.pdf

Brainstorming Techniques for the Dazed Presenter

Presentations are enormous and often difficult tasks. Whether you’re set to pitch investors or address potential clients, you’ll feel plenty of pressure to ace your performance. The pressure can be even more debilitating when you realize that the road to success requires plenty of steps. Writing the perfect speech and content involve several factors. Aside from that, there’s also the challenge of designing a PowerPoint presentation that’s both effective and engaging.

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First coined by Madison Avenue advertising executive Alex Osborn, brainstorming has been defined as a “relaxed and informal approach to problem-solving.” You lead with your topic and try to generate several different ideas that build off of each other. During the process, you can list down the craziest and most impossible solutions. The only goal is to sort through everything in order to pick out the best ideas.

Here are a few brainstorming techniques you can try to jump start your presentation prep:

Freewriting

In a quiet space, write down as much as you can in 9 minutes. Don’t stop until the time is up. Just let your pen run through the page. Keep writing down your thoughts, even when you feel like they’re pretty unsubstantial. When the time is up, read back on everything you’ve written. Pick out the ideas that stand out and try the next three techniques to arrive at a more specific message.

Cubing

Pare down your ideas by considering your subject from a variety of different perspectives. Just as a cube has 6 sides, you can approach the subject of your presentation using 6 methods. Take a sheet of paper and try to answer the following points:

  • Describe peculiarities of the topic
  • Compare it with a related idea
  • Associate it with something else
  • Analyze the components closely
  • Apply it for a particular situation
  • Argue for and against it

Desired outcome

Another way to sort through ideas is by understanding the goals you want to achieve. In other words, try to figure out your main purpose. Why were you asked to deliver the presentation? What do you want to accomplish? What is the outcome you’re hoping for?

Audience perspective

You can also narrow down your list by keeping the audience in mind. Consider their point of view, and what they might feel about your presentation. In particular, ask yourself these questions:

  • Who are in your audience?
  • Why are they coming to hear you speak?
  • What do you want them to do?
  • How might they disagree with your ideas?

If you’re in this situation, it’s not strange to feel a bit dazed and confused. There’s so much to consider and it can be hard to get started. The only way to know where to start is by figuring out which direction to take. You’ll need to know the message you want to deliver, and the ideas that you want the audience to take away. This is where brainstorming comes in.

Organize your thoughts to arrive at a clear and definite direction for your presentation. Try these brainstorming techniques to find the exact message you want to share and deliver.

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Reference

Brainstorming: Generating Many Radical, Creative Ideas.” Mind Tools. Accessed October 6, 2014.

 

Featured Image: Carl Milner via Flickr