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Creativity — Renovate Communication Design, LLC

TODAY ONLY: Get the Presentation Renovation eBook/audiobook bundle FREE (March 15, 2013)

Presentation Renovation - Renovate Communication Design, LLC

We’ve been dropping hints all week so here’s the news:

You’re getting a copy of our Presentation Renovation ebook/audiobook bundle—FREE.

Renovate has been featured as the Lincoln Chamber’s Business of the Week. We’re celebrating by giving everyone a copy of Presentation Renovation, our 80+ page ebook AND the one-hour audiobook (read by silky-voiced Deanne) as our way of saying “thank you.”

Presentation Renovation has been recommended by top speakers and authors like Jill Savage and Nick Morgan. The ideas in Presentation Renovation can help you develop more dynamic and effective presentations, putting you on the path to more sales, success, and influence. It’s perfect for business people, authors, speakers, leaders or all kinds, teachers, students–in short, anyone who speaks or presents (or hopes to) before others. If you want to learn how to connect with other people and get them to act, Presentation Renovation will help.

You can download it right now and start improving your presentations, pitches, talks, and meetings immediately.

Here’s how to get your free copy:

  1. Go to the Renovate store.
  2. Scroll down and find Presentation Renovation v1 eBook + audiobook ($14.00). 
  3. Click the Add to Cart button.
  4. Enter the discount code BOTW13.
  5. Click the Update Cart button (you might not have to do this, depending on your browser).
  6. Click Checkout, enter your name and email, and you’re done.

VERY IMPORTANT: the discount code is only valid until 11:59 PM, Central time, today (March 15, 2013). Make sure you do your shopping before then.

Thanks again and enjoy your new—FREE—ebook and audiobook. Go make some killer presentations.


Michael & Deanne

The 5 Phonetic R’s of Creativity on Haiku Deck

The newest Haiku Deck is a fun and easy-to-use presentation tool for the iPad. The fact that it’s also free makes this app a must-have no-brainer for iPad presenters.

The deck above took me about 20 minutes to make and demonstrates the appeal of the app. Searching for the right images takes a bit of time but it’s far faster than sifting through stock photo sites, buying/downloading images, adding keywords, and importing them onto the slides.

I could easily take this deck and expand on last week’s creativity post to deliver a talk. This is what makes Haiku Deck so cool and so powerful.

How to Be More Creative: The 5 Phonetic R’s of Creativity

204027819_74140dfd3a“I can’t give a good presentation; I’m not creative enough.”

“I could never paint/draw/pitch/speak/photograph/write/design/build/code like she does; I’m not creative enough.”

“I just don’t know where to get good ideas; I’m not creative enough.”


Want to do interesting things? Here’s how.

The 5 Phonetic R’s of Creativity

Read — Creative people notice the world around them. Be a sponge: pay attention and absorb everything. Books, blogs, magazines, audio, and video. Your daily commute, the little things your friends and spouse and children say and do. Everything is fair game. Specifically for presentations, see what others are doing on TED and Slideshare. Make connections between the things that happen in your life and the stuff that feeds your mind.

Write — Keep a swipe file. Write things down in notebooks or journals. Personally, Evernote is my favorite tool. Take pictures with your phone. Make drawings. Write a blog. Don’t wait to write until you think you’ve gotten things figured out. In fact, writing is a great way to figure things out. You’ll see your ideas unfold as you write.

Rest — Your mind needs time and space to process, which means you can’t work 24/7. Sleep. Turn off the computer, take a walk, exercise. Take a bath or a shower (actually, you should do that anyway–not just to be creative). Get out of the house. Pray, reflect, be still. UPDATE: This article on Lifehacker explains some of the science behind rest and creativity.

Restrict — Creativity needs constraints and boundaries. Try the pomodoro technique (Dan Pink does it when he’s writing a book). When you design slides, impose limits: try one color, one font. See what you can design in just an hour. Try slides with pictures, no text. Try just 20 slides. Limit your talk to 10 minutes or 3 minutes. Experiment and see what you can do by thinking inside the box.

Risk — Try something you’ve never tried – you might fail! But you can learn from that. Or you might succeed. Either way, you won’t know unless you try. And what’s the worst that can happen? They can’t eat you (see rule #4).

Notice something about this list?

Creativity has less to do with innate talent and a lot more to do with habits.

In real life, depth of commitment is more important than talent. It’s more important than beauty or skill, more important even than luck, because its produce is perseverance, endurance, tenacity. – Steven Pressfield

That’s it.

No more excuses.

Created with Haiku Deck, the free presentation app for iPad

Photo credit: ~ wryonedwards ~
Rule # 4 is included with the permission of Bob Parsons and is copyright © 2004-2006 by Bob Parsons. All rights reserved.

Build a More Creative Presentation by Acting Like a Two-Year-Old

Earlier this week my two-year-old daughter was wandering through the house aimlessly, mostly causing trouble because her brothers and sisters were busy and had no time for her. After several minutes of pointless reminders (“Eva, that’s not yours.” “Eva, hands off.” “Eva, don’t touch.”), my wife put her in the Pack ‘n Play (that’s a playpen for the old schoolers) with a few toys.

The point was not to punish her; in fact, just the opposite. By giving Eva a few things to do (instead of virtually unlimited things to do) and some well-defined boundaries, she was able to play happily and–bonus–without mom and dad’s intervention. After just a few minutes, we heard her singing “Happy Birthday” and hosting a party for her dolls. You can see she was having great fun.

How to make a more creative PowerPoint presentation - Renovate Communication Design, LLC

In the creative process, we call these seemingly counterintuitive limitations “constraints.” If you’re stuck in a PowerPoint rut, try something different and embrace the power of constraints. Here are a few ideas:

  • Use no more than six words on a slide
  • Use only one word on your slides
  • Don’t use any words–pictures only
  • Get rid of your template–try a plain white or black background
  • Choose one font (not the default) and use it for a month
  • Limit yourself to 20 or 10 slides. Or 50 slides.
  • No bullets
  • No special text animation or slide transition effects
  • Go find a cool presentation and try to copy its style
  • No slides (!)

Make a game of finding your limitations–what’s one thing you can do differently on your next presentation? The point is not austerity; the point is creativity.

Speaking of creativity, do you know the 5 phonetic R’s of creativity? You can apply them in your presentations or wherever you’re feeling stuck: work, school, relationships. There’s no limit to thinking creatively.

In many cases, a better approach is right around the corner if you’re willing to stop doing something that you’re used to. If you really want to shake things up with your presenting, try some of these suggestions from John Jantsch over at the Duct Tape Marketing blog: Five Alternatives to PowerPoint Presentations.

9: A Simple Guide to Better Presentations -- Renovate Communication Design, LLC