If you’re a creative professional, it’s not enough to have sparkling ideas, or even to turn them into amazing work.
At some point you have to stand up in front of an audience and persuade them of the value of your creativity.
Many people shy away from presenting, or grit their teeth and try to get through it. But if you do this, you’re missing an opportunity to make a big impact – and have a lot of fun in the process.
My own attitude to presentations was transformed when I started to treat each presentation as a creative project in its own right – not just an add-on to the ‘real’ work. When did this, I found myself enjoying the whole process, and actually looking forward to presenting.
And the ability to deliver a range of different types of presentation – training workshops, conference speeches, new business pitches, webinars, e-learning modules and a TV documentary – has opened countless doors in my career.
(If you’re reading via email, click here to see the video.)
I was invited to speak by Laura North who runs Speaking Out, and is doing a fantastic job of help people become more comfortable and creative at presenting.
If you’d like me to speak or run a workshop on Creative Presentation Skills for your organisation, here are the details.
Is presenting something you enjoy or dread?
Which live speakers have you most enjoyed listening to? Why?
Any tips for injecting a little creativity into a presentation?
Here’s a video interview I recorded about Time Management for Creative People at the Royal College of Art, just before I gave a talk on the subject at the college. (If you’re reading via email, click here to see the video.)
Topics covered in the video include:
The lighting wasn’t ideal, so I’m looking a little more sepulchral than usual, but I hope you find the ideas in the video useful.
If you haven’t see my ebook Time Management for Creative People you can download it for free here.
If you’d like me to run a workshop on the subject for your organisation, here are the details.
Thanks to the team at FuelRCA for inviting me to speak – they are doing a great job of providing CPD tailored to the needs of the arts and design students at the college. And they have a cool blog, click here for their notes on my talk.
Creative blocks are among the most frustrating obstacles encountered by creative people.
Our creativity is so tied up with our sense of fulfilment and identity that we are just not ourselves when we are unable to create.
And if we rely on our creative work to pay the bills, this only adds to the frustration – and the pressure to find a solution.
This is why, over on my Lateral Action blog, I invited my readers to tell me about their creative blocks – and I wrote a series of articles offering solutions to help them. Marelisa Fábrega helped me out by writing an article which is included in the ebook.
I’ve now collected the entire series into an ebook: 20 Creative Blocks (and How to Break Through Them) which you can download for free here.
Creative blocks covered in the ebook include:
The ebook is published under a Creative Commons licence, which means you are welcome to copy and share it as long as you keep it intact in its original form, credit me as author and don’t exploit it commercially.
I hope you find it useful in tackling your own creative challenges – get your copy here and please pass it on to anyone who you think may find it helpful.
If you’re a creative freelancer or small business owner, one of the biggest challenges you face is staying on top of the financial side of things – while at the same time carving out enough time and mental space to do your best creative work.
So I’ve teamed up with Sarah Thelwall to record a 75-minute audio seminar to help you tackle both of these challenges. It’s called 5 Essential Money Skills for Creative People and it won’t cost you a penny.
Sarah is an expert on financial management for creative businesses, and the founder of MyCake, an online toolkit to help creative entrepreneurs manage their money.
The audio seminar follows on from my new ebook, 5 Big Mistakes Creative People Make with Money (just click on that link to download it) which tells the story of Jay and Oscar, two creative people with the world at their feet, whose careers take very different directions because of their different attitudes to the ‘money question’.
While the ebook describes the problems, the audio seminar gives you the solutions – Sarah and I go through each ‘money mistake’ in turn and show you what to do instead to build a thriving and sustainable creative business.
Topics we cover include:
This is what one listener had to say about it:
“Days later, your free audio that I listened to keeps re-appearing in various ways. For one: integrity in my finances monthly. My sense of my self worth has increased. Ideas for marketing are arriving daily as I am still while working. I noticed a BIG time issue of selling my work vs ‘the tax man’ and filling out year end forms. (Old mindset: Why sell? Just keep creating. NEW mindset: you are so gifted: SHARE your gift.)
“You two are awesome! Thank you.”
You can get a free copy of the audio seminar (with full transcript) on this page.
And if you’re serious about getting your creative business on a firm financial footing, check out the special launch offer on Money for Creative People – the in-depth course Sarah and I have just launched over at my Lateral Action site.
If you sign up now you can get the course at a discount of over 30% – but the offer will end shortly, so you might want to look at it sooner rather than later…
Following the success of my Creative Momentum workshops last summer, I’m pleased to announce two more public workshops in central London this July:
Time Management for Creative People — 7 July
Manage the mundane – create the extraordinary. Essential skills to maximise your creativity and minimise your stress levels at work!
From people who attended last year:
“Clear, intelligent and genuinely useful material.”
Thomas Heath, thomasheath.tv
“I liked the way the ideas for managing time were uncomplicated and realistic enough to start fitting them into your everyday life.”
Candida Bradley, candipops.com
“The content was clear and can be easily applied.”
Jacob Sam-La Rose, jacobsamlarose.com
Full details + booking here: http://www.wishfulthinking.co.uk/time-management-creativity
How to Motivate Creative People (Including Yourself) — 14 July
Motivate yourself to overcome obstacles and create amazing work – and a sustainable career.
From people who came last year:
“This was nothing like I expected and much better than I expected. Made me look at how I work and why I work, in a completely different way. Mark has a very laid back style which is great.”
Sarah Turner, turnerink.co.uk
“The group size was just right. The distinctions worked well, and gave me a different way of thinking about motivation. The material is interesting and well presented. An enjoyable and worth-while workshop!”
David Stevens, musicforspecialneeds.com
“I really liked the way you related the issues of the talk with stories which you almost acted out! It was interesting relating problems which you experience yourself to other people who have succeeded – it made it seem more achievable! I really enjoyed it, a really comfortable atmosphere was created and the group seemed to get on well. Thank you!”
Candida Bradley, candipops.com
“I liked your presentation style. I think it was the first time in a long while when I actually was captured by a presentation and the content and listened to what you had to say.”
Details and booking here: http://www.wishfulthinking.co.uk/motivate-create/
The workshops are designed for creative people of all descriptions — artists, creatives, freelancers, entrepreneurs, and anyone else who takes their creativity seriously.
As before, I’ll be tailoring the workshops to the specific needs of each group – when you book your place, I’ll send you some questions about what you want to get out of it, which will help me target the issues that are most important to you.
The workshops are designed to work equally well as standalone sessions, or to complement each other if you take both. There’s also a special offer if you book both workshops together.
Places will be strictly limited to 25 per workshop and allocated on a first-come-first-served basis. Last year they sold out well in advance, so early booking is a good idea if you want to be sure of your place.
Here’s the booking page (with secure payment via credit card or Paypal):
We had a lot of fun last year and I’m looking forward to more of the same this time round. I hope you can join us!
PS — I may be running some more workshops later in the summer — you can join my mailing list if you want to be first to know when they are announced.
If you’d like to inject some inspiration and momentum into your creative career, feel free to enrol on my new course: The Creative Pathfinder.
It’s a 25-week programme designed to equip you with the creative and professional skills you need to succeed in your chosen career path – whether you’re an employee, freelancer or creative entrepreneur.
Things you’ll learn include:
Every week, you’ll receive a new lesson via e-mail, containing:
And it won’t cost you a penny. Sign-up on the enrolment page and you will receive the entire course of 25 lessons for free.
Since I launched The Creative Pathfinder on Lateral Action last week, over 1,200 students have signed up. It would be great if you could join us on the journey…
Illustration by Joan Vincent Canto, licensed from istockphoto
The most popular things I’ve ever written here on Wishful Thinking have been my free ebooks. So I’ve written you another one.
It’s called Freedom, Money, Time – and the Key to Creative Success. Here’s the basic problem it addresses:
A creative person needs three things to be happy:
Usually, you’re lucky if you get two out of the three. But if one of them is missing, it compromises the other two.
Without money, you don’t have much freedom, because you have to spend your time chasing cash.
Without time off, money doesn’t buy you a lot of freedom.
And if you’re doing something you hate for a living, it doesn’t matter how big your salary is, or how much holiday you get. You still feel trapped.
Surely there must be a more creative solution?
The ebook describes my unconventional career journey, as a poet and creative coach, and the lessons I’ve learned about finding the right combination of freedom, money and time.
It’s full of practical advice you can apply to your own situation, if you want to earn a living from your creative talent, or if you’re a freelancer or small business owner and want to make your business less stressful and more profitable.
Click the link to download your copy of Freedom, Money, Time – and the Key to Creative Success.
As usual, you’re welcome to download the ebook for free, with no need to give your email address. And you’re welcome to share it with anyone who you think would like it.
If the ideas in the ebook touch a chord for you, you may like to know that The Creative Entrepreneur Roadmap (formerly known as the Lateral Action Entrepreneur Roadmap) will soon open its doors to a new group of students, over at my Lateral Action site. If you want to be first in line when the course opens (and to read the second free ebook I’ve written) you can hop on the advance notice list.