Presenting and cooperating in a creative way

How do you learn and work during the coronavirus crisis? Wijnand Langen shares his experiences, ideas and observations in the Learning in Lockdown series.

Today, Part 2: Online presenting and cooperating in a creative way (by trial and error)

Wijnand Langen
Wijnand Langen Creative strategist

I love to cooperate, but even so I often work by myself. ‘Let me do my thing, and I’ll send you the result in a minute.’ This is also a perfect method now. However, cooperation is often a matter of actually doing something together, although it has become a lot more difficult in the past few weeks.

A customer presentation is not a one-way affair with us. Of course, we start with the idea we have prepared, but this is the starting point of a brainstorm session rather than an assessment before a jury. There is a reason why ‘Together we can make things better’ is our motto. But then, all of a sudden, physical distance almost became an unbridgeable gap.

The first time was right away on Monday. The result was dramatic. We had a good story. I am certain we could have made this into something wonderful, but it did not come across, it was not well understood, let alone that there was any enthusiasm. Questioning glances on my screen – and these were the participants who had switched on the camera.

The second time, there was some improvement. I remembered our own online principles. Clear structure, create the right expectations, stick to the plan, and all participants on a single screen and switched to Mute. It worked. Result: fair at best. The story was clear, but we hardly got beyond sending, listening and nodding.

I missed the sketch or drawing on a whiteboard. Until I thought of Miro. I have been using it for some time now, and it allows you to visualise your thoughts with some simple tools without binding you to a presentation structure. With this online sketch tool it is as if you are in front of a whiteboard together. The input of others is in real time, and it comes with text, image, video, diagrams, and post-it notes.  

Sometimes, I start with a blank page, but Miro also has a series of handy templates for collective so-called ‘ideation’ sessions or to structure creativity further. 

Collective visualisation really works. You literally see a common ground in front of you, and active participation in visual creation makes everybody feel part of it more easily. Other TinQers were soon won over too. Our first official online co-creation session with Miro will start tomorrow.

I look forward to it.

Would you like to give it a try?

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