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Kelly Vandever at TEDxAtlanta – Creativ!ty


Yesterday, March 15, 2011 was the TEDxAtlanta event – the theme:  Creativ!ty.

The presentation skills person in me wanted to praise those presenters that just started with their content … those who got right into a story rather than spending their first few minutes with the blah, blah, blahs (thank you for coming, happy to be here, hate to follow that person, blah, blah, blah).  That side of me also wanted to say “Please just stand still!” to the couple of speakers that seemed to a do-si-do around the platform.   And yes, that side of me wanted to tell a couple of speakers to “Please, PLEASE just look at an audience member… not the floor and not the ceiling in the back of the room.”

But that side of me seems pretty shallow.  When it comes right down to it, the content – the perspective on creativity that each of the speakers shared – was interesting, inspiring, engaging.  I was able to tweet something nice about each of them!

While it wasn’t a formal “theme,” what struck me – woven within the messages of all of the speakers –  was the connection between vulnerability and creativity.  The connection was made as speakers recommended creating an environment that make it OK to make mistakes.  The connection came when speakers described getting out of our own way and follow the drives toward their art.  The connection was made in the recommendation to give ourselves permission to look stupid.

All the talk about vulnerability got me thinking about what I’ve been speaking and writing concerning being vulnerable with your audience.  It made me think about what I’ve been trying to learn myself about being vulnerable with my friends and with my audiences.  It got me into my own head with my own issues.

That’s what good speaking does.  It gets the audience into their own heads, thinking about their own issues.  After all, when we’re in the role of audience member, we bring through the door whatever baggage and preferences we have with us.   If a speaker is challenging us to think differently, then he or she is doing their job.

I enjoyed yesterday’s TEDxAtlanta event.  I enjoyed being challenged by the Creativ!ty of the speakers.  I was challenged to think differently.  Here are some of my tweets … may the speaker’s words find you where you are and challenge you too.

That’s why I don’t have tatoos or bumper stickers on my car, immediately after I’d do it I’d change my mind Linton Hopkins #creativity2011

Who is your audience and why are you creating it? Who can I connect with? Margaret Baldwin #creativity2011

Beauty comes in the iteration Viktor Venson #creativity2011

RT @cannonball31: #creativity2011 viktor venson: with creativity you go to war with yourself every day #creativity2011

RT @tedxatlanta: keys to creativity…write badly, stay foolish, be stupid …proof there is at least potential in all of us #creativity2011

Relationship between vulnerability & creativity #Creativity2011

RT @WiProwess: #creativity2011 Viktor Venson “stay foolish-not knowing but doing it anyway” @TEDXAtlanta #Creativity2011

Armin Vit stupidity is stupidity until proven creative! #Creativity2011

Armin Vit with great stupidity comes great responsibility #Creativity2011

Armin Vit Stupidity fuels creativity #Creativity2011

Elizabeth Turk the context is where the work is interpreted #Creativity2011

Margaret Baldwin assume nothing, notice everything. #Creativity2011

Margaret Baldwin Talking about the flawed hero – audiences love flaws #Creativity2011

Margaret Baldwin plays are not written, they’re wrought, like a ship is wrought. #Creativity2011

Make it ok to say a bad idea, make safe place @michaeltheowl #Creativity2011

Creative people say ‘I HAVE to create’ Bonnie Cramond #Creativity2011

Terrify yourself as often as possible @michaetheowl #Creativity2011

@sallyhogshead evoke an emotional response – stories do that #Creativity2011

We listen to our friends stories over stats Bonnie Cramond #Creativity2011

Make people fall in love with your ideas @sallyhogshead #Creativity2011

Harness your first 9 seconds @sallyhogshead #Creativity2011

@michaeltheowl humor makes us more human #Creativity2011

Michael Ouweleen very entertaining http://plixi.com/p/84222448

Share movies about creative people with our kids. Bonnie Cramond #Creativity2011

Diversity increases survival Bonnie Cramond #Creativity2011

No expecting, just accepting. Don’t edit yourself. India Arie #Creativity2011

RT @jgough: Pray first, listen,and then write. #Creativity2011

Creativity & spirituality are inexplicitively tied. India Arie #Creativity2011