THE INTERSECTIONS & ASKING BETTER QUESTIONS BLOG

The Power Of A Great Introduction | Be A (Helpful) Diva

How to start a conference talk and / or presentation.

We can’t all be blessed with a hype-man like the one above, although if you are to speak at any kind of event, making sure you’re introduced properly is so important. Why? Because the first line of any talk and / or presentation is not the beginning of the experience the audience has of you, that is what the MC’s role is.

And we’ve probably all been to conferences where on occasions, they go too big, expounding statements of wonderment and pedigree beyond expectation and how much wisdom is now going to ensue. Other times there’s hardly a set-up, no context and a hospital pass of ‘will allow them to introduce themselves’, oof!

As a speaker, make sure you connect with the master or mistress of ceremonies (or whomever is doing the intro) and share with them a bio which is succinct enough to take about thirty seconds to read out (if it’s longer just highlight the important bits for them). Impress on them (if they don’t already know), how the aim is to aid them in enabling you to start with that arresting question and / or statement to hook the audience in.

Be a (helpful) diva!

Celebrating Nothing | How The Light Gets In

Championing zilch.

The mind produces something when you don’t think (via):

When the Hubble Ultra Deep Field telescope looked at a blank region of space there was so much to see:

Pauses in storytelling amplifies:

Jazz is the space between the notes:

There is never nothing going on:

Just some stuff I’ve collected which create smiles and thoughts.

#13 January 2020 | Monthly Digital Breadcrumbs

Time to wrap up last months Tweetmails in one tasty curation post.

READ

Brazil fines Facebook (only) $1.6 million for improper sharing of user data.

The smartphone tracking industry has been rumbled (will anything change?).

Reasons to be cheerful from the international news review of 2019 (we need this).

A simple guide to exactly how the United Nations is funded.

WATCH

EXPLORE

Make a Tesla Cybertruck out of paper.

Simple breathing visual to relax.

FuzzyTime makes it more human to tell the time on my Mac.

All monthly digital breadcrumbs posts.
“Rhapsody in Blue” is copyright free and now in public domain for 2020.

2019 Done | Embracing Possibility

Reviewing the year and setting the sights on the new decade.

As I reflect, I keep coming back to the foundational values rather than put too much emphasis on the past or future:

Be kind. Embrace possibility. Be present.

From a client perspective in 2019, had four wonderful Creative Producing opportunities with Kiwibank, SSC and TEDxWellington, CLNZ19.

Along with delivering thirteen speaker coaching sessions and seven masterclasses to the following good humans: Creative HQ, DIA, Hummingly, IRD, Kiwibank, Massey Uni, MBIE, NZQA, Pro-Clima, PWC, Sports NZ, UNICEF, Volpara and ACC, DIA, IBI Group, IRD, NZFE, Pro-Clima, TBIG.

There were two overseas trip:

And as in recent years, my blogging efforts has again been modest:

So as the 20’s roll into view, am keen to develop more of the creative producing side and dial back the speaker coaching so there’s some parity in my analogue service offerings. Am also playing around with a new podcast series to further hone the craft of experience design.

What will your focus be in 2020 and beyond?

Creative Leadership NZ 2019 | Reflections & Insights

The continued adventure of establishing a bold event brand in NZ.

Last week was the third Creative Leadership NZ (and second time) at, NZ’s new Institute of Creativity, Te Auaha. It was another sold out affair hosting nearly two hundred humans exploring the intersection of creativity and leadership.

The feedback has been very positive with the general theme of ‘warmth’ coming through. The speakers modelled this in their talks and delivery plus openness to connect in the breakouts, as well as the eagerness of the delegates to embrace the opportunity to share their stories whilst participating in the sessions and / or conversations with others.

As with previous years (2017 and 2018), here’s my review as I continue to learn out loud:

Stats

As you can see from above, over two thirds of attendees have female names and anecdotally the average age is about thirty-five to fourty.

This year over eighty cross sector organisations and brands were represented, aiding the variety of discussions and connections made in this community of leaders. In theory, the experience and learnings will be taken back to the seven and a half thousand people managed by the delegates.

CLNZ truly bucks the trend of other leadership conferences, away from the pale, male and stale.

Speakers

What an amazing array of folks we had this year. Tried really hard to again balance the breadth of arenas in the two respected focusses of the conference and the delegate feedback has reflected that aim.

This year I put together a speaker guide which simplified communications of all the aspects of the conference whilst also outlining expectations.

Thanks to these good humans below—a pure delight to collaborate with.

David Bill (keynote / masterclass) : designing empathy at scale,
Interaction Designer, Booz Allen Hamilton

David Bill is an interaction designer. He has done research on, redesigned websites and mobile apps for, and brought service design to federal government agencies and startups.

David has a background in education and design. He taught secondary school world history and was an education technology director for two schools. As a design strategist, he redesigned classrooms, helped reimagine libraries, improved the service and customer experience at a mobile food market, and created the framework for and coached two incubator programs.

His passions are varied and lie at the intersection of design & technology, movement / wellness / mindfulness, learning, culture & society, biking, and porridge.

Emily Chang (keynote / workshop) : The Power of AND – unlocking new ideas by finding the intersection of seeming juxtapositions,
Commercial Leader / ex-SVP Marketing at Starbucks

A strategic business leader with over 20 years’ experience, Emily was most recently SVP, marketing at Starbucks. She joined Starbucks as China CMO in 2017, responsible for marketing, sales, loyalty, customer engagement, and digital flywheel (ecommerce, payments, partnerships). She helped open the first Starbucks Roastery outside of Seattle, tripled digital tender, managed the commercial side of Starbucks’ largest merger, and launching the brand’s delivery program.

Prior to Starbucks, Emily was the Chief Commercial Officer for IHG, Greater China, where she was responsible for all commercial functions across Greater China. Looking after 320+ hotels and an extended team of 5,200 Sales & Marketing members, Emily spearheaded the market share turnaround of six hotel brands.

Moving to Shanghai back in 2011, Emily built a high-performance marketing organization that established the face of Apple Retail in Asia Pacific. She first developed her Marketing expertise at Procter & Gamble, with 11 years of end-to-end business experience across all three business units and spanning everything from upstream design to retail marketing with Walmart.

Greg Broadmore (keynote interview) : leading at the intersection of cutting-edge technology and creative processes,
Studio Director, Weta Gameshop / Magic Leap

I am a human male who likes to make things up and pretend that they’re real.

Kaila Colbin (keynote / masterclass) : why courage is the new leadership skill (via Brene Brown),
Co-founder, Boma Global / CEO, Boma New Zealand, Boma Global / Boma New Zealand

She spearheaded the hugely successful SingularityU New Zealand and Australia Summits, introducing more than 2,500 people to exponential technologies and their impact on humanity. She is a certified facilitator of Brené Brown’s Dare To Lead™ programme.

Kaila is also a co-founder of the non-profit Ministry of Awesome; the Curator and Licensee for TEDxChristchurch in New Zealand and TEDxScottBase in Antarctica; Chair of the New York-based culinary school Natural Gourmet Institute; Deputy Chair of CORE Education; and Deputy Chair of ChristchurchNZ.

Her purpose in life is to be an uplifting presence.

Samantha Gadd (keynote / workshop) : nurturing brave cultures,
CEO / Director, Humankind / Kin

Samantha Gadd is Founder and Managing Director of Humankind, a business with the vision to create the best employee experiences in the world. Humankind (formerly HR Shop) was a 2015 Deloitte Fast 50 winner, and named fastest growing services business in the Wellington region in the same year.

Samantha is obsessed with Employee Experience and the difference it can have on business performance. Samantha has advised hundreds of organisations over the last 15 years on leadership, culture, performance and all things people. She is passionate about the future of work and the importance of modern leadership to attract and retain top talent. Samantha is currently focused on growing Humankind and recently launched Kin (sister company to Humankind) and building an exemplar employee experience in both organisations. In 2018 Samantha also launched the first Employee Experience Awards programme in New Zealand. Also Mum to three young boys, Samantha is experienced at blending life and work.

Sarb Johal (keynote / workshop) : Making space for creativity: Leading yourself well
Dad / Content Creator / Consultant Clinical Psychologist

Dr Sarb Johal is a Clinical Psychologist with over 30 years’ experience in research, training, clinical practice, and policy development, in both NZ and the UK.

He has a passion for storytelling, communicating sometimes difficult or unique topics to non-technical audiences. He has been a creative content creator and producer for 24 years, including; BBC World Service Radio, regular contributions on RNZ’s Nine to Noon Parenting slot, his own podcast, Who cares? What’s the Point?, and collaborating with James Nokise on RNZ’s Eating Fried Chicken in the Shower. Most recently, he has ventured on a steep learning curve on YouTube, creating two (here and here) channels, with over 150 videos in 9 months.

Sarb is dad to three young girls, enjoys TV made for kids, and wears burp stains with pride.

Savannah Peterson (interviewer / workshop) : millinial management
Founder, Savvy Millennial

Savannah Peterson is a 2016 Forbes 30 Under 30 in Consumer Technology and the Founder of Savvy Millennial. She makes the future less scary by dispelling myths and building community around new technology. Savannah is one of the judges for the New Zealand Hi-Tech Awards and an international advocate for New Zealand innovation (see her 10 reasons NZ innovation is so unique article).

Before starting Savvy Millennial, she was the Director of Innovation Strategy at Speck Design and Massive Labs. She was also previously the Director of Global Community at Shapeways, the world’s largest 3D Printing community in New York City, where she empowered and enabled the over 25,000 3D Printing businesses. She guest teaches entrepreneurship, community management and digital marketing at Stanford, NYU, UCLA, PACE and Xavier. She has been featured in/on the Today Show, the BBC, NBC, The Wall Street Journal, CNBC, Gizmodo, CNET, The Verge, and more.

Selina Tusitala Marsh (keynote / workshop) : the power of poetry,
Poet / Academic, NZ Poet Laureate 2017-19

Dr Selina Tusitala Marsh is of Samoan, Tuvaluan, English and French descent. She was the first Pacific Islander to graduate with a PhD in English from The University of Auckland and is now a lecturer in the English Department, specialising in Pasifika literature. Her first collection, the bestselling Fast Talking PI, won the NZSA Jessie Mackay Award for Best First Book of Poetry in 2010. Marsh represented Tuvalu at the London Olympics Poetry Parnassus event in 2012; her work has been translated into Ukrainian and Spanish and has appeared in numerous forms live in schools, museums, parks, billboards, print and online literary journals. As Commonwealth Poet (2016), she composed and performed for the Queen at Westminster Abbey. She became New Zealand’s Poet Laureate in 2017. She was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order Of Merit this year and won the Royal Society Aronui Award for outstanding contribution to Humanities.

Image credit – Wikipedia CC BY 4.0

Topaz Litman Adizes (keynote / masterclass) : courageous conversations,
Founder / Creative Director, The Skin Deep / {THE AND}

Topaz Adizes is an award winning Writer, Director & Experience designer. His films have been selected to Cannes (BOY), Sundance (Trece Años, Laredo Texas, {THE AND} Marcela & Rock), IDFA, SXSW, Cinéma Du Réel, and other festivals around the world.

His interactive documentary {THE AND} won the Emmy for New Approaches to Documentary 2015 as well as the World Press Photo award for Best Interactive Documentary 2015. {THE AND} was also a viral sensation reaching #1 on Reddit and Buzzfeed and experienced by over 70 million users, featured on the CBS Morning show and Good Morning America and selected to numerous international digital storytelling competitions.

Trent Yeo (keynote / workshop) : how sustainability ignites creative thinking,
Co-founder / Director, ZipTrek Ecotours

I am a happy generalist. Happy to be generally in this space.

A very proud New Zealand resident. I grew up in Australia as a Chinese Malaysian Australian, spent a reasonable amount of time in Asia and have New Zealand business partners that are Canadian…to get a diverse view of the world.

My primary role was establishing Ziptrek NZ with a view that sustainability in tourism is both a responsibility and a characteristic that we must value. Earth is really a good planet and travel within it should be one of the most powerful forces for good.

As I generalist away I am a board member Tourism Industry Aotearoa, founding trustee of Startup Queenstown Lakes, retired TEDx organiser, sustainability broken record and active participant in all things new and shiny.

DK (Master of Ceremonies)
Creative Producer / Speaker Coach

As a Creative Producer, DK crafts delicious learning experiences for clients and is the TEDxWellington / TEDxWellingtonWomen licensee, plus the founder of the Creative Leadership NZ conference. He’s also a Speaker Coach, working with CEO’s and senior executives plus a random ex-All Black and Dame thrown into the mix. Previously, DK founded Mediasnackers and through it has over a decade of working in the social media space consulting / delivering training on five continents and to a cross-sector range of clients from UNICEF, Gates Foundation, BBC, Ubisoft, Hasbro plus spent time as a social media manager for a national education company in NZ. He also established Collider, a city-wide programme focussed on transforming Wellington into an internationally recognised Smart Capital (with 200 events in 14 months with over 5000 attendees averaging quality rating of 4.2 and above (out of 5)). DK loves ‽’s.

As an aside, one of the overseas speakers pulled out with three weeks to go before the event due to a board meeting timing change which they had to be at. This added thousands to the costs with all the flight changes which had to be made. A fun little hurdle to get over although after a couple of days of panic it all came good.

Sponsors / Partners

This year was the first time CLNZ took cash sponsorship. The Institute Of Management New Zealand (IMNZ) was the founding sponsor and with that got featured heavily in all promotions, received a bunch of VIP passes to share to staff and clients plus also had the opportunity to run an interaction to engage with the delegates. The monies received enabled some additions to the conference (see below in ‘extra costs’).

The second sponsor was for our technical side of the event and enabled the recording of the main keynote talks for the first time (which will be released in the new year). NW Group stepped into this role and looking forward to releasing the videos early next year of the main keynotes.

The other partners contributed either cut-rate services and / or free plus financial grant support for specific speakers.

Finances / Extra Costs

As with previous conferences CLNZ19 was profitable and very pleased to again increase the profit margin from last years event.

All speakers were remunerated financially plus many of them had their expenses covered. When a significant promotional support didn’t transpire I had two invest in a third party agency to assist in the marketing and sales. Other costs included:

  • Reprint of event brochure due to design error (click the above for pdf version);
  • Banner for arrivals and video backdrop;
  • Massage therapists for interactions;
  • Carpet tiles to make speaker rug;
  • Recording / editing of all keynote talks.

Over half a dozen folks registered who then didn’t pay / attend which equated to over four thousand potential profit lost so next year will have to think how to manage this.

DIY

As with the first two years, did a lot myself, including: speaker curation, PR content (like the example above, here are the rest of them: David Bill, Emily Chang, Kaila Colbin, Greg Broadmore, Samantha Gadd, Sarb Johal, Savannah Peterson, Selina Tusitala Marsh, Topaz Adizes, Trent Yeo.), event design, partner / sponsor negotiation / management, website manager, majority of marketing and sales, delegate invoicing, event management, MC’ing etc.

Even though we sold out the week before, definitely need help in the area of ‘Sales’ as have no interest in this area (so feel free to reach out if you can assist for 2020).

Interactions

The video above played when delegates arrived into the main theatre and was crowdsourced from the registration process. It served to prime the audience and get them situated into the subject matter of the conference.

The massage therapists I have seen and done in previous events so was a lovely addition to this years offering and was constantly utilised.

Our main sponsor IMNZ installed a Christmas tree and invited delegates to write a future message to themselves along the lines of the event theme of ‘nurturing courage’:

At the opening of the second day, I ran an exercise exploring where delegates ‘stand’ on certain topics and get them in the interactive and exploration mindset for the masterclasses:

Lessons / Future

Last year the three future aims for the 2019 event were to gain sponsorship (tick), record videos (tick), build an ongoing community opportunity (ongoing).

For 2020, the focus will be on:

  • Building out the interactions both in the main theatre and break out spaces to promote connection through conversation;
  • Been approached to explore hosting the event in Auckland by an attendee who is from a major institution up there so will explore that;
  • Further financial sponsorship which amplifies the conference values and offer.

Due to the positive feedback specifically relating to the venue have already booked in next years event which will be Monday 30th November & 1st December 2020, put it in your diaries now!

Photos – Day One & Two

So did you attend and if so how was it for you? Are you a creative producer who can answer some of the challenges I have above? Any other observations for me?

Related posts: Creative Leadership NZ 2017 | Reflections & Insights plus Speaking with Purpose 2017 | Reflections On Running A Successful Conference
AI face

#12 December 2019 | Monthly Digital Breadcrumbs

AI face

Stop a while, looks around, explore, digest, reflect, apply.

READ

This Guardian piece on a rare piece of hope in the climate emergency.

About a Cryptoqueen scammed the world, then vanished.

How after 15 years the browser Firefox is leading the privacy-first renaissance.

Why it’s not too late to save the planet from someone who is doing more than their bit.

WATCH

If this were our last conversation…

10 random questions answered through music…

The 1999 future as envisaged from 1967…

EXPLORE

Beautiful News for uplifting stats on the world.

The “Unlocked Recordings” category on Internet Archive has over 750 digitized LPs available in full.

NASA’s image of the day.

The Derek Sivers podcast (for short inspirations).

All monthly digital breadcrumbs posts.
Image Credit from the this AI face generator..

#11 November 2019 | Monthly Digital Breadcrumbs

Pearls for your human form.

READ

About Copenhagen’s race to be the first carbon-neutral city.

How technology flatten the rich texture of urban life.

A study of 2.7m startups found the perfect age to start a business is much older than you think.

The biggest lie tech people tell themselves — and the rest of us.

WATCH

For your brain.

For your heart.

For your soul.

EXPLORE

Feed Flipper – a free service which extracts the source #RSS URL from iTunes audio.

Listen to WETA Digital’s first ‘Unsupervised’ podcast.

This free font inspired by climate activist Greta Thunberg.

All monthly digital breadcrumbs posts.
Image Credit from the John J Audubon’s ‘Birds of America’ which are free to download..
frank oz innocence quote

The Process Of Remaining Innocent | Building Creative Literacies

Lessons on the creative approach.

Learned so much from this chat / discussion / interview with the great Frank Oz, Actor, Director, Storyteller and the equally amazing Derek DelGaudio, Writer & Performer recorded at the EG Conference this year.

This is both an example of superb panel / interview approach for events laced with so many insights and applicable takeaways:

In what we do knowledge is not that helpful… I have to be in the position of not knowing, because once I know there is no discovery.

frank oz innocence quote

WONDERFUL!

A challenge to unlearn and relearn so many things and an invitation to explore a more creative mindset.

Data Dignity | Fixing The Interwebs

A way to tidy up this messy and immoral tech / data world.

You should have the moral rights to every bit of data which exists because you exist, now and forever.

From the lips / mind of Jaron Lanier (the kernel of the idea was explored in his ‘How we need to remake the internet’ TED talk) via NY Times and also here’s a similar call by Will.I.Am in the Economist at the beginning of the year:

Personal data needs to be regarded as a human right, just as access to water is a human right. The ability for people to own and control their data should be considered a central human value. The data itself should be treated like property and people should be fairly compensated for it.

Thoughts?