Boston University COM PR professor Amy Shanler asked me to present “how to be creative” in six minutes for a “speed dating” like session for her PR students. If being creative isn’t already enough of a challenge, trying to explain how to do it in six minutes.
Obviously it’s something I think about a lot in a never ending attempt to inspire students who are eager to create, invent, and make stuff that’s interesting. But we all know that you learn and improve by doing, not be listening or sitting through a deck.
Nevertheless, I gave it shot, reducing everything I know (which may or may not be very much) to three key points.
One, learn to make surprising combinations and collisions out of words, pictures, media, technology, and community participation. After all, there is no such thing as a new idea. Every idea is simply a combination of elements and ingredients that already exist. We simply put them together in new, and we hope, interesting ways.
Two, always start the process by asking what you can do, not what you can say. What can you do that will invite participation, generate new content, inspire sharing and ultimately end up earning attention. From the press, from users, from non-participating interested parties. Sure, people still listen if you are really interesting, but getting attention, filling the void, populating the endless bits and getting your content distributed takes more than a soapbox or even a big budget.
Three, master the art of dissection. We are surrounded by good ideas in all walks of life. Art, film, music, experiences, cultural events. Learning to see what makes them work and taking them apart gives us good material to remix and mash up into new combinations.
I’ll share more on this in a week or so as I am speaking at a Biogen Idec conference and have a talk called Talent Imitates, Genius Steals (thank you Faris Yakob for the title.) that gets into it a bit more deeply.
Thanks for stopping by. Comments, suggestions always welcome.