I was teaching/coaching a group last week and they were hitting their head against the wall. We were discussing making things interesting with good openers, and the basic tenor in the class was “I don’t think this topic (I) is (am) very interesting.” I always disagree with this attitude, but we let it slide. We introduced some methods to use and we got a few people to share what they were coming up with. One guy starts a story, then stops and shakes his head. “It just doesn’t flow,” he said.
What happened next was fun to watch. One of the other students piped up and made a connection the first guy never saw. Two others chimed in. Within 90 seconds, we had collectively put together a pretty good looking opener for a talk. The original author was amazed.
Then it happened to me. I’m in the middle of crafting a talk and had just gotten bored with it. It was going nowhere. One phone call and a lunch date later, all is cured. It’s amazing how quickly a few minds can solve a creative problem that one mind may never solve. I can’t think of a speaking engagement where a little group banter didn’t make something pop to the surface. Great ideas, like fish, are best when they travel in groups. Great ideas, unlike fish, don’t stink. Therein lies the trouble with analogies and creativity. We can’t always figure it out from one side.
Side note — never have a conversation without pen and paper handy. When an idea pops its head up and you can’t remember it later, the frustration level can drive you nuts.
Brainstorm for creative ideas in groups. Many minds will quickly come up with a great idea.