Review of November’s Meeting

November’s program meeting was a fun, engaging, and informative blend of lecture and audience participation. Our presenter was Jennifer Yaros, a veteran technical communicator and instructional designer, who recently took her career in a more “creative” direction with a venture called “BrainSpark.” Jennifer has written a book and gives seminars and workshops on creativity. Last month, she shared with us some of her secrets on “Conditioning Your Mind to Fuel Creativity.”

From the outset, it was no ordinary presentation—it was a “Choose Your Own Presentation” presentation. The audience selected topics in preparing one’s body, mind, and ego for creativity by voting with their cell phones. Jennifer’s charismatic and energetic style is only matched by her passion for and knowledge of her subject matter. Far from being a shallow presentation, Jennifer supported her ideas with well-reasoned thinking, fresh anecdotes, and even science. Her assertions were inescapable, as we were immediately called upon to apply what we had just learned through a myriad of games, puzzles, and team-building exercises that caused us to get out of our comfort zones and challenge our preconceptions about personal limitations and patterns of thinking. Jennifer offered up many big-picture ideas with simple, workable follow-ups, giving attendees the opportunity to incorporate these principles into their daily practice.

From a compelling defense of procrastination to the brain chemistry of creativity, Jennifer’s presentation was filled with novel views and information I had never come across before. Her initial definition of creativity, thinking in a different way, was a powerful yet simple and accessible way to introduce her subject. Her message that anyone can be creative was empowering and resonated with me. It may sound counter-intuitive, but after Jennifer’s presentation, I feel equipped to take practical steps to become more creative. I never knew that was possible!

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