8 Creative Thinking Techniques Used by Famous Presenters

8 Creative Thinking Techniques Used by Famous Presenters

We all, to some extent, know how to deliver a decent PowerPoint presentation. But each time we do that, we don’t know what to expect. The reactions are always mixed. We sometimes yield positive results. Other times – people just don’t care. In this article, I want to show you 8 creative thinking techniques used by famous presenters to deliver outstanding speeches.

These innovative thinking exercises are important because they help you understand what you want to communicate. This helps you get in touch with the core of what you want to say to your audience. And when you know exactly what you want to say, you get to dictate what your presentation will look like. When you’re in this special state of understanding the core of your message, the results are consistently positive!

One of the most powerful creative thinking techniques used by famous presenters is looking inside for ideas.

  • Understand the Rules of a Good Presentation

In an article titled The 4 Most Important PowerPoint RULES for Successful Presentations, Slideshare lists some key rules for presenters. Tips like: don’t overburden your slides with text, use images, don’t look at your feet while talking etc. But, if you aspire to become a creative thinker, shouldn’t you abandon those rules and craft your own, authentic presentation? If you want to craft an innovative presentation, shouldn’t you think outside the box?

Unfortunately, it’s not as easy as that. One of the most important creative thinking techniques used by famous presenters is thinking inside the box, first. How do you break the rules if you don’t know what they are? The innovators in any field will tell you that they spent years and years studying the rules. In the same way, the most creative presenters you see on stage followed the rules at some point. They knew the structure of a good presentation before they knew how to break it.

The trick that will help you find the perfect balance between structure and innovation is simple: learn all the rules. Just make sure to question each one as you go along. Ask why they’re there. Why must you use images?  What is their actual purpose in a presentation? Why not look at your feet? There’s a reason behind every rule. They’re in place because someone thought it’s a good idea. Once you know that, you know what advice you want to follow, and what you want to innovate on yourself. Remember: Don’t try to be creative in your presentation until you know basic presentation rules by heart!

  • Break Them

As it turns out, breaking the rules is the hardest of all the creative thinking techniques used by famous presenters today. Once you find out why some presentation rules are in place, try to come up with your authentic way of breaking them. This means you’ll have to find an alternative to the rules in place.

There’s a good reason slides shouldn’t contain too much text. The audience just can’t process that comfortably. So, when you decide to break that rule and overburden the slide with text, how will you manage to keep the audience interested? Will you implement some neat chart template that organizes it so that it can be processed more easily? Will you inter-connect it with the design so that you’re using an innovative storytelling technique? If you’re interested in experimenting with your visuals, you might find something among our most popular free PowerPoint templates.

What helps with answering all those questions is to ask yourself: Why am I breaking this rule? Usually, if you feel you want to breaks a rule it’s because you think it’s not effective. But your dissatisfaction arises also from the deep feeling that you can do it better. And you can set better rules for yourself. Be confident in your ability to decide which rules you’ll break.

  • Procrastinate

It turns out that that procrastination is the most common out of all the creative thinking exercises used by famous presenters. See? Even smart guys can put of tasks! But, the way they do it might actually be different from the way you procrastinate.

Firstly, people who procrastinate productively don’t feel anxious about it. When you feel like your mind is about to wander off don’t reach for any distractions. Just sit there, and be with your thoughts. When you can’t concentrate on your work, it means something important is on your mind. Distractions won’t help you use that time wisely. Be more mindful during your procrastination moments, and allow them to exist.

Another important thing to remember is to read through your work material from time to time. This will shift your wandering and creative mind to think about the subject you want to work on. Procrastination, if done productively, can really help solve many of your creative problems. Creative solutions just flow naturally to you in this state where the mind is relaxed and meandering. It’s in a perfect state to absorb stimuli. The smart thing is to feed it the stimuli you want it to absorb. Know what your creative task at hand is before you procrastinate. This will make the ideas you generate during that rest period relevant to your current creative goals.

  • Trust Your Internal System

One of the most important creative thinking techniques used by famous presenters is to trust our internal system. This is crucial because, in order to break the rules, we need to know why we don’t want to play by them. Why are we in opposition to the rules in the first place? What exactly about the approach to PowerPoint presentations do we want to change? Is there anything in particular that annoys us about the craft of presenting? What is the common knowledge you’re rebelling against? Why do you want to break the rules?

This is, in fact, the biggest step where you get to showcase your creativity in a presentation. Rules and structure are imposed. They are external. When you want to create an authentic presentation, you need to look internally. See exactly why you want to be an innovator. Then, evaluate how you can go about doing this. This will make it easy for you to see the full picture and craft the most authentic PowerPoint presentation your audience has ever seen!

  • Cause Creative Leaps

Did you know that there is a model of thinking that can instantly boost your creativity? And, better yet – anyone can adopt it!

Neuroscientists discovered that creativity requires 2 kinds of thinking: convergent and divergent. Convergent thinking is our intellectual side. It’s the way we use reasoning to get through life. Convergent thinking is the standard mode we’re in when we’re working. Divergent thinking is a bit different. It’s more chaotic and focused on the senses. But the thing is: we need to use both modes of thinking interchangeably in order to come up with innovative ideas.

Scientists have found that people who aced creative tests used both modes of thinking interchangeably. This is because every creative process requires a stage of simply generating ideas, and the stage of systematically evaluating which ones to pursue, and how.

Creative leaps can be practiced during moments of procrastination, for example. Pretend that you are not working at all. Take the information – and play with it. Combine it in surprising ways. Think of different ways the data tells a story. But don’t be in your ‘working’ convergent mode. Just observe the information and play with it. See what comes up.

  • Don’t Over-Prepare

When it comes to preparing your PowerPoint presentation, make sure not to overdo it. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t practice at all! Make an effort to memorize your speech and study the organization of your points. But, try to adopt a more lenient approach to crafting your presentation. Find that sweet spot between divergent and convergent thinking. See what happens as a result of that.

When you’re on stage, you ‘ll have to follow through with your narrative. But the narrative may change depending on the situation. This is why being too strict to remember everything and where it is in your presentation is not a good idea. Instead of letting the living moment lead the narrative, you’re trying to fit your narrative where it might not work. This is a bad idea. Why? Because the core to all of the creative thinking techniques used by famous presenters is flexibility.

Your brain needs to be open to accepting new and challenging ideas and concepts. Why shouldn’t your presentation reflect this? Be confident in the knowledge you have, and be more lenient with its organization. Experiment with the ways to express it. That’s at the core of every creative cognitive process.

  • Embrace the Adjacent Possible

The digital age has brought many good things with it. We’re more informed and connected than ever. More and more people are gaining access to knowledge and the platforms to express it.

But this has its drawbacks as well. The more people get to express themselves, the bigger the standards for that expression become. The scary fact is that ideas get old very quickly in the age when so many ideas are accessible. For this reason, one of the most important creative thinking techniques used by famous presenters in this day and age is simply staying up to date. The Adjacent Possible is a concept that addresses just that – all the ideas and innovations that could come from observing how the people in your field choose to express themselves, and how the target demographic reacts to that. Creative expression is changing from day to day. This is yet another good reason to be flexible.

This means that the innovation bar for creative expression in your chosen field is being lifted constantly. Whatever your area of expertise happens to be, stay informed. Follow the latest trends in expression. See what kind of innovation is happening around you in your particular field. As Vittorio Loreto, a famous presenter and a frequent TED speaker said: Start at the edge of what is known. Explore those parts of your area of study which have not yet been explored in depth. Build on them, and make it yours.

  • Aim to Teach Instead of Sell

    Thinking of your presentation as an opportunity to teach instead of just sell is one of the most important creative thinking techniques used by famous presenters

If your only aim is to sell something to your audience they’ll feel it.

Having a product or a service to sell is nothing to be ashamed of. Neither is the fact that you have something to gain from your audience. But what’s pretty shameful is to try to sell something to people under the guise of teaching them. If they came to listen to you, to your voice, your ideas and passions, give them a good time. Sure, play with the information, experiment with the structure, but make sure to say something valuable as well. That’s at the heart of every successful PowerPoint presentation.

People came to learn. And they came to you because they think you have something to teach them. Be a teacher. Think about how you’d explain this to a child in a kindergarten, or in a cartoon, or in a funny song. Today, so many ideas are being shared, and most of them are re-hashed. But even if you can’t think of something genuinely new and authentic as a concept, you can as a way of expression.

If you have aspirations in the business world you’re going to stand in front of many audiences in your life, and deliver many speeches. During that time you’ll realize that the subjects you talk about often repeat. Just as teachers have to teach the same lessons through their whole careers. But even if the information in all of your presentations remains the same, the creative ways in which you can deliver it are countless. There’s always room for innovation and creativity there. A good teacher is excited each time they cover an old lesson because they get to do it in a new way, with a completely new and different group of students. This is the attitude you should embrace if you want to deliver the most creative presentation.

  • Are You Excited to Try Out These New Creative Thinking Techniques Used by Famous Presenters?

Now you know the essential creative thinking techniques used by famous presenters and speakers. If you pay some attention to the way your brain works, you can program it for creativity! If you follow these few steps and start thinking in innovative ways, you won’t be able to wrestle all the ideas! Make sure to know why you are breaking the rules and why they’re there in the first place. Know the core of what you want to say and procrastinate with intention! And remember: Be a teacher, not a seller. Appreciate that so many people are listening to you, and give them the most creative PowerPoint presentation of their lives.

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