I want my speech to leave you feeling inspired to be the creative people you are.
Creativity comes in many forms. I’ve spent years – most of my life in fact – telling myself I’m not creative. I still do, every day.
When I was a child, I read a poem my dad wrote on my Grandma’s 100th birthday cake. It surprised me – I hadn’t seen a poem on a cake: in a card, yes, but not on a cake.
It inspired me to have a go. On my mum’s next birthday, I wrote her a poem. It was about her being 25, even though she was 40. When I read it to her at her party, something amazing happened: people laughed (and my mum cried). I wish I still had it.
I now use my poetry to talk to audiences about creativity. I like to think it’s a more creative approach than just getting up and making another speech on the subject.
I want my speech to leave you feeling inspired to be the creative people you are. The biggest barrier to your creativity is a lack of self-belief. Just like mine, before I started writing and performing poetry.
You’ll hear stories about tea-bags, fly-tipping and hi-viz authoritarians. And all about my own battles with introversion and self-doubt as a child – an eczema-encrusted loner with only one friend, Lavinia Load from the Farnham Road.
That poem of my dad’s. Like I said, it surprised me. But at the same time it made sense to me: the economy of language, the rhyming couplets, the humour – what an intelligent, unusual and memorable way to say happy birthday.
My dad had taken time too. Time is a rare and precious commodity. To spend time on someone else is a true act of love.
The thing about writing a poem is that the process is like most other creative processes. Whether it’s generating ideas for a product launch, finding new ways of attracting customers or planning a Christmas party staff will actually want to come to: there will always be self-doubt, blank page, mining the unconscious mind. Insight. Ideas. And a result no-one can take away.
All this is hugely relevant for your business: companies need to understand more about creativity. They need to disrupt, set trends not follow them; the only way they can do this is through their people. An organisation thinks creatively because it has established a culture of creativity from the ground up. Creativity is not something to fear, it’s something to embrace.
We all have something creative to give to our workplace, our family, our community. My speech will help you find out how – through a humour, story-telling and years of insight drawn from working in business.
Let me help you explore what creativity is, what it takes to be creative and how to make your workplace a place where creativity is the norm, not the exception.
“Al gave us a masterclass in public speaking. A must-have at any creativity event. Keynote speaking with a twist!”
HR Director, London
As well as performing his poetry as a key-note speaker, Al also uses his knack for words to tell the story of a conference or event through poetry, which he then recites to participants as a celebration of what they’ve learnt and achieved. A bit of a change from the usual wrap-up.