Here’s the photo story of Heart Decorations I made with shells, seaglass and pottery pieces from the Gourock shore, now selling at the fabulous No. 26 Crafters shop, Kempock Street, Gourock.
A month ago today was TEDx Glasgow 2018, the second year I’ve volunteered as a speaker coach. It has been a great experience to work with Nick Earle, SVP Global Operations, Virgin Hyperloop One and Gillian Docherty, CEO, The Datalab and winner of UK Digital Leader of the Year Award 2018. Here I share some of my insights and reflections on the TEDx speaker coaching experience.
A key challenge is striking a balance between ‘what I want to say’ and ‘what the audience needs to hear’ to achieve maximum impact on the day and engagement with the talk once it’s live on YouTube. Part of the coaching role is helping the speaker connect their story to the audience and explore ways of doing that.
I had feedback that one of my most powerful questions was ‘how do you want the audience to feel?’ Whilst that might seem obvious, the corporate environment often sees speaking as adherence to core message and standard delivery. Whereas with TEDx the maverick is encouraged!
So feelings….what emotions do we want the audience to experience? Early connection with the audience is critical; in 12 minutes every second counts.
‘Who is it that’s walking on stage?’ is another powerful question in exploring how that connection can be made. A significant insight for me this time was that TEDx is fundamentally a personal process. So tapping into whatever has driven the speaker to apply to TEDx will reveal hooks that are gifts for a coach in finding ways to connect the speaker motivations with audience engagement.
One of the things I love about coaching is the absolute privilege it is to respectfully share in the world of another person for a time and work human to human to enable a goal to be achieved.
There are of course practical ways to connect with the audience; images being one. Both Gillian and Nick had excellent professional help with visuals, so as coach I advised on fine tuning of image content and sequence to enable maximum connection for the audience e.g. showing an autonomous vehicle with people inside.
Often there are complex concepts to be conveyed in a matter of seconds:
3D printing featured twice in Gillian’s talk – a breakfast and a heart transplant – amazing how one technology can do such different things! Although fascinated by 3D printing, I didn’t understand how it actually worked. Gillian explained it printed in layers and she had a very natural way of complementing the visuals with a hand gesture showing layering up. Body language thus enhancing the words.
With Hyperloop, there were technical concepts to be conveyed and I reflected that distinguishing between technical operation and user experience could help. It was great to hear after the talk that one of the positives of Nick’s talk was that he spoke to the audience as citizens.
A real bonus of being part of TEDx Glasgow is the fantastic team of people to work with; Gurjit, Iain, Pauline and Wendy do an amazing job of pulling it all together. The other speaker coaches are a brilliant group to work with and this year we were treated to an insightful learning session on Storytelling with Bob Keiller, Chair of Scottish Enterprise.
Really looking forward to TEDx Glasgow 2019!! Meantime take a look at these fantastic talks:
Nick Earle: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZORdiH6pDyg
Gillian Docherty: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yjXa7ROwgq8
In February 2015 on a weekend break to Milan we took a day trip to Bergamo; an old walled city in the hills. The train took us through snowy fields and we were stunned on arrival in Citta Alta (the high city) at the old narrow streets, the pink and grey marble of the cathedral and confetti amongst the snow in the main square. We fell in love with Bergamo and have been back twice since.
In June 2017, we experienced Bergamo in the summer for the first time. We were out walking one day and I noticed (as I love looking at trees and bark patterns), some amazing coloured bark lying on the grass. All curled up in mottled shades of pinks, greens, fawns, orange and pale stone colour, I couldn’t stop gathering it up. You can see here the range as I laid it out back home.
They were perfect for box frames and through trial and error I worked out a process.
I made three frames; one with khaki patterned greens. one with beige & stone bark; and the other with fawn/ orange curled pieces .
I had great feedback at craft fairs. Even though I usually only displayed one of them, I secretly hoped that someone would buy all 3. I could really visualize how they would look together on a wall as a very unusual art piece.
My wish was fulfilled on 2nd of December at Heart of Scotstoun Makers Market when all three were bought as a Christmas present.
Remember Scotland’s one week of heat wave in summer 2017? Well, we were in Skye; arriving in Portree all geared up for windproof walks to find warm sun and sparkling water.
As always if there’s anything you’d like made from what you see here just let me know.
And if you have an old mirror or picture frame that you would like up-cycled then I would love to work with you to design something for your chosen setting.
It was New Year 2017 and my daughter Nadia had her friends Kirsty and Lena to stay; miraculously alert after dancing and singing the night away, they were noticing objects around the house that I’ve made: “Did you make these? You could sell them!”. That got me thinking and a couple of days later at the hairdressers, I swapped Hello magazine for Etsy browsing and several screenshots later I believed there was a market for my stuff.
Fast forward to April and good friends, Marilyn and Bill Copland were round and commented on the framed photos of seaweed from Iona in 2015; “You must make these available - give other people the opportunity to appreciate this”. Two weeks later, I had a batch of cards printed via Snapfish.
In May and June, I ran evening classes in decoupage and beach crafts at a local community café – big thanks to Kate Cooper for the opportunity. The name Flow Creativity was borne of knowing that I find my flow in creative activities and seeing how others found a path to relaxation through an evening’s crafting. I decided to go for it. With help from good friend and mentor Mary Bonatti, I got my Etsy Shop set up and thanks to Nadia; all my social media sorted. Having great encouragement and support from all my family and from many friends has really spurred me on.
I got to work on a range of products and Flow Creativity's first launch was the local Scotstoun Primary School Summer Fair on a sunny(ish) 3 June and in July & August I was at the Byres Road Makers Market. Many more craft fairs were to follow. I loved the experience; talking with people, sharing interests, listening to what they like, learning what works and the amazing buzz when someone makes a purchase. By December I was sold out of crescent moons.
I had a fantastic time learning how to make stained glass at Partickhill Bowling Club Community Hub. This great course was led by Partickhill Art School.