Monthly Archives: March 2017

5 Simple Enhancements

5 Simple Enhancements for Presenters


Assuming you have done your audience needs assessment, tailored your content and rehearsed your presentation, you can now spice it up. Sprinkle these 5 enhancements into your next presentation and make it an experience:

1. Walk-in / Walk-out Music
Pick songs that give you and your audience energy. Last year’s Top 40 is usually a safe bet, or, calculate the average age of your audience and select the top hit from the summer they were 18 years old. Or ask the sound tech to choose a playlist. Start the music before the doors open, right up until you take the stage, and have them play the walk out music as soon as your presentation is done.

2. Treats
Chocolate. Candies. Healthy snacks. Fancy sparkling water. It is amazing how far the small things go.

3. Icebreaker
You want to know your audience, and your audience wants to know each other. Take 5 to 10 minutes from your presentation time for interactivity by simply having everyone introduce themselves to the people beside them, or by asking them to work in pairs to create questions for you. A favourite at Audience is a two-minute interview on a question relevant to your topic, such as “who was the best presenter you have seen in the past year and what made them so good?”

4. Handouts
Something to write on, something to read. Gadgets, mind teasers, arts and crafts materials, or even just coloured markers and sticky notes. Link them to your message, create engagement, and give the audience something they can carry home.

5. Gratitude
For investing their time in you, listening with an open mind, and asking you pertinent questions, don’t forget to show your audience your appreciation. Take time for a thoughtful, sincere thank you.

Happy presenting!

Organizational Binaries, Revisited



We posted back in March 2016 about our efforts to find the sweet spot between creativity and organization, complete freedom and rigid order. Over this year, we’ve moved deeper into the idea of mental models, designing and building a Creative Concept Database to house some of our best work.

The process of thinking through what we want to catalogue, as well as what makes a project exceptional, has been revealing. We’ve identified certain creative patterns and design processes within these 5-star projects—and identifying them has led us to solidifying the workflow and clarifying the deliverables. And while it might seem backwards to do this organizational work after the fact, rather than mapping it out beforehand, it’s proven invaluable. We’re learning more about ourselves, our clients, and our audiences as we invest this time.

Time and Space—Away

We’ve also learned that one of our best creative habits is to get offline and away from the screen. Whether that means going for a walk, writing by hand on paper (writing, not printing!), or taking five minutes to chat with colleagues (about anything, but most especially about anything outside work/jobs/clients), our teams are breaking up time and moving into different spaces.

And we’re not alone in this: It’s Nice That posted about the connection between switching off and creativity; Mashable reminded us what it was like to have a phone that was just, you know, a phone; and Wired acknowledged the value of leaning into boredom, rather than Netflixing (or Instagramming, or Tweeting, or Snapchatting) it away. When was the last time you were genuinely bored? It might be a good time to revisit that experience, and see what you can create with it.

The Well

Which leads to our next (re)discovery: creativity needs to be fed. Regularly. It’s easy, especially in our industry, to devote all our time to clients. Because we’re trusted with their projects, and because those relationships matter to us.

But when we’re not taking time off/away, particularly in creative environments, we start to run dry. The usual tasks can become harder and slower. We’re proud of the creative, offline work of our team: we have musicians and photographers and artists and singers and hockey players and chefs and DIYers in our ranks. But we realized, this past fall, that we haven’t been prioritizing creative encounters in/as teams.

The RGD DesignThinkers Conference—where we sent members of our Creative and Account teams—was electric. Inspiring. And so deeply resonant: we’re still having conversations about what we saw and heard there. Letting our creativity hang out with the creativity of others is unsurprisingly rich in its results.

So here’s to more of all that, as well as a glance back to where we were last year…

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