Brainstorming is an essential skill to gather thoughts and ideas on your own or from a group of people. Oftentimes, however, you hit a stone wall, lack energy and concentration, can't find a conducive place to work, or feel inadequate when having to share information in a group. We at wePresent understand how important it is to for brainstorming sessions to be productive and empowering. Here are some helpful tips to help you hurdle those obstacles.
- Read up on articles – Exercise your brain by learning something new every day. Whether it is about the latest technological advancements, political debate, or celebrity gossip, having something to think about keeps creative juices running. Try not to miss out on the latest issues and events so you will be ready to talk about anything under the sun. Even the busiest people can spare 5 minutes of reading time to freshen up the mind. If brainstorming sessions have been scheduled in advance, read up the night before to have pegs or inspirations for your expected outcome.
- Find a big and clear space to work – Working with clutter around you will make it more difficult to think. Choose an environment that will keep ideas flowing. Having space to stand or walk around will also help clear up your mind. Stretch your muscles when necessary. Literally think out of the box and observe the outdoors if possible. People-watching or a few minutes of quiet time will do wonders for idea generation.
- Stock up on vitamins and H2O – Keep your tummy happy and your brain working by preparing a bowl of nuts, berries or veggies (e.g. broccoli) to munch on while meeting. Research  indicates that the vitamins obtained from these kinds of food will boost your brain power. Do not forget to keep yourself hydrated as well. A small study  shows that participants who drank water before taking a series of cognitive tests performed better than participants who did not drink water. Apparently, a hormone that activates our thirst response has been linked to attention and arousal.
- Use a talking stick– To borrow an old technique from our grade school teachers, talking sticks actually help in managing noise and outbursts in a group. The person holding the stick (interchangeable with office supplies like pencils or pens) will be given the opportunity to share his thoughts. Pass the stick around to allow each member of the group to contribute to the discussion. This eliminates awkward silences and gives each person enough time to prepare for their turn.
- Let it all out – No idea is too big or too small. Build on the ideas of others no matter how mundane or ridiculous it sounds. Don’t overwork your brain by thinking too hard about one topic. Try listing down ideas that come top of mind. Everything that comes to life undergoes continuous improvement so do not be afraid to speak your mind. Encourage team members to keep contributing and restructuring ideas until you arrive at a solution.