Trying to name a new event or product? Or perhaps you’re working on the perfect tagline? Searching for inspiration is not always easy. While banging your head against the wall might jostle loose some new ideas, here are some brainstorming tips that are (hopefully) less painful:
1. Eat lunch. Today is no day to skip a meal. If you’re hungry, you’ll be anxious and distracted.
2. Get comfortable. Being relaxed helps ideas flow easily. If you’re tense, your brain will be, too. Take your jacket off. Sit in your favorite chair—even slip off your shoes!
3. No idea is a bad one. In the beginning brainstorming phase, do not criticize ANY ideas. It’s time to shut off that inner critic and let your mind play. Deactivating self-judgement will help your mind open new pathways to thoughts you would not have considered.
4. Write it all down. Use whatever media you’re most comfortable with: pen and paper, marker and wipe board, or computer. At the top of the page, write the topic or product you are focusing on, then relax and start writing whatever ideas come to mind. Include everything you think of. Fill the page!
5. Use word association. To jumpstart a new line of thinking, use one of these playful tools: opposites, rhyming, cause-effect, alliteration, or random association. Another helpful tool to keep close—a thesaurus.
6. Organize your notes. Look back through everything and group ideas together based on any similar themes you find. Consolidate duplicate ideas.
7. Find the keepers. Now it’s time to take a second look with the eyes of a strategist. Weed out ideas that are impractical, overdone, or too corny. Notice “keepers” is plural. Don’t narrow it down to one idea. Keep your top 3-5 and share that list with other decision makers involved in your project. If you’re doing this on your own, set your list aside for at least one day before choosing the top idea.