Brains on Creativity at SXSW Interactive

Brains on Creativity at SXSW Interactive

First, there was my request for votes in the SXSW Interactive Panel Picker to get my presentation to be a part of the SXSW 2013’s programming.

In November, when I found out that my presentation had been chosen, I wrote a post of thanks to everyone who supported my submission with votes.

Austin, Texas was the last stop on a four-week speaking “tour” that took me to Europe, Scandinavia, and finally deposited me at SXSW Interactive amongst a multitude of other web, film, and music enthusiasts at what has been affectionately deemed “geek spring break”.

When I submitted my presentation proposal, my original intention was to do a full hour presentation. However, it was accepted as a “Future 15”, which is SXSW’s version of 15-minute long lightening talks. When I first found out, I thought, “fifteen minutes?! That’s not enough time!” However, because my recent experience with doing a TEDx talk put me in “short, but effective” presenting mode, I was up to the challenge.

My first SXSW was in 2006, and the modest attendee count of 500 of that time has grown exponentially to a number of roughly 30,000 attendees. So I guess that even though my presentation was not in the main conference center, but was instead across the street at the conference rooms in the Hilton, I should not have been surprised to find that the room was full, with a “one out, one in” policy preventing anyone else from entering.

Much to my dismay, this meant that many of my friends who promised to come see me couldn’t get in.


Despite having another 7 minutes before I was slated to start, I decided that my presentation would be a “Future 22” since the room was already full, and I had a lot of content to cover. So, as they used to say in the vernacular, I got the party started.

I condensed 50-60 minutes of content into 22 minutes, and the audience seemed to love it. These are some of my favorite tweets from the presentation:

“@denisejacobs You flew through the info like a skilled acrobat. Very inspiring! Planning to do a talk later this year on a brain topic, too.”
– Sheri Guyse ‏@MyJRNY

“The most useful workshop I’ve had at #SXSW #brainwork with @denisejacobs”
– Merredith Branscombe @Merredith

“20 minutes of brilliance. I’m still thinking about the “brain on creativity” session. cc: @denisejacobs #SXSW #booneoakley”
– Kenya Madyun ‏@k_madyun

And Andrea Hutson created a fantastic Venn diagram which included content from the talk:

Here are all of the tweets, Storified:

Additionally, the slideshow was voted as one of the top presentations of SXSW on the SlideShare blog.

Much like my TEDx talk, it seemed like I said “hi” and then all of a sudden, the presentation was over. At the end, I thanked my generous sponsors Post-it Brand Big Pads (whom I got to meet afterwards), announced the Create, Generate, Produce meetup that I would be hosting later on in the week, and of course, thanked the audience for choosing this presentation to attend out of the dozens of others to choose from.

It was a great way to spend the Saturday afternoon at SXSW Interactive.

Full disclaimer: This blog post is sponsored by Post-it Brand Big Pads.

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