Monday, May 8, 2017

Presenting to Little Monsters

So you think you've aced public speaking. You've done presentations in a packed  ampitheater. You've done an impressive song and dance to big wigs of multinational companies.

Guess what, neither of those cut it.
Not until you've done the dreaded... school presentation.

About a couple of months ago, I was invited to do a Career Talk for kids. And when I say 'kids', I don't mean high school kids. I mean 10 to 12-year old kids who haven't even  thought of what they want to be when they grow up... on a logical level.

Let me tell you that I have never been more gripped with audience anxiety than I was that day. This was a totally different playing field, with a new bunch of people at the bleachers. This was not my usual stress-filled comfort zone.

So how did I manage to finish my presentation unscathed? These tips:

1. BE CASUAL. The last thing these kids want is to listen to another 'teacher'. When you take the stage, you want to have that air of authority without being 'Blech!'. Rework your tonality, your choice of words. Speak their language and aim to be approachable. Be that cool adult kids want to hang out with. Remember, you're there to inspire, not to teach.

2. BE INVOLVING. These kids didn't go to the school auditorium by their free will. Therefore, you have to make it worth their while. It will do you a world of good if you do some research on what kids are into these days and reference to that while throwing a joke, pulling someone onstage for a demo, or setting up a topic-related mini game. If you've made them laugh a few times, you're a pro.

3. BE BRIEF. Don't talk too much. Prepare pictures, infographics, and videos that will help tell the story of what you do. If you're going to keep droning, you will expect a lot of snoozing. When you're talking to an audience who's latched onto YouTube, Snapchat, and Facebook, you'll just have to be as dynamic.

4. BE OPEN. Kids don't beat around the bush. If they know you're talking bullshit, they're gonna call you out on it. They'll ask the most left-field questions that will leave you dumbfounded. They'll throw an opinion that can leave you speechless. But, hey, you have to roll with the punches. Listen to them. Answer them without talking down to them. Be thankful that you've got their attention.

5. BE MEMORABLE. You can do that by botching up your presentation. Or... you can leave each kid a little token after your talk. Say, candy bars with surprise presentation quotes printed on the wrappers. If you're cheap, you can just end your presentation with a thought-provoking line like, "Every time you see an ad on TV or online, ask yourself --can I do better than this?"

I'll let you know that armed with these tips, my presentation was a roaring success. Okay, 'roaring' is a big word. But I did awesome. The kids said so. One of the kids even gave me a handwritten letter saying how 'dope' I was. Ha!

Thank goodness for that, too. Otherwise, I would've resorted to a magic trick. Geez.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Tour de #MeronDinNyanDito!

Just when you thought Facebook has transformed into bad vibes central...
Just when you thought the Philippines has regressed into a no-fun zone...
Something magical comes along.

#MeronDinNyanDito (translated: We Have That Here, Too) is a Facebook work of genius concocted by comedian/singer/artist/friend Jhett Baroma --who, in true reflection of his many titles, sees many reasons why you should love your Motherland.
Now, don't you dare for one minute assume that this is your run-of-the-mill tourism page. It's that and more! #MeronDinNyanDito comes at you with wit and humor. Via dramatic side-by-side flair, it compares travelers' precious snapshots of iconic sights abroad with those local sights we tend to take for granted.

Care for a sampler platter?
How about something phenomenal?

Ang Fushimi Inari-taisha sa Kyoto, Japan --#MeronDinNiyanDito! Ang Nihon Koen Garden sa U.P. Los Baños
Ang Burj Al Arab building in Dubai --#MeronDinNyanDito! Ang Subaru showroom sa BGC!
Ang Flatiron Building sa New York --#MeronDinNiyanDito! Ang Sun Plaza Building sa Shaw Boulevard!
Something colossal?

Ang Windsor Castle sa UK --#MeronDinNiyanDito! Ang Chocolate Lover Castle sa Cubao
Ang buildings ng Santorini, Greece --#MeronDinNiyanDito! Ang Thunderbird Resort sa Poro Point, La Union!
Something biblical?

Ang Christ The Redeemer statue sa Rio De Janeiro, Brazil --#MeronDinNiyanDito! Ang Christ The Redeemer sa Monasterio de Tarlac!
Maybe even something... sensational?

Ang Fortress sa Cairo, Egypt --#MeronDinNiyanDito!Ang New Bilibid Prison sa Muntinlupa!
Oooh! I just killed the moment there, didn't I? *hides away*

But you gotta admit, these had you impressed. Who would've thought that the things you look for overseas can be found right here? Well, sort of. :P

So if the usual political posts on FB has gotten you down (and I'm pretty sure they have), here's a page that's bound to boost your spirits up a notch. Right now, it's that one awesome way to feel patriotic and have a good laugh, too.

#MeronDinNyanDito --check it out. You know you NEED to.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Take your drama here: Upstart's Mini Workshops

"I'm not just a copywriter. I don't just write product ads and corporate articles for clients. I'm an artiste! And I write for my passion!"

Have you had this internal monologue --this self-inflicted drama-- before? Sure you have! Maybe during those times when a client has become intolerable in clipping your creative wings. Or maybe when you were stuck in a creative rut, staring at a bottle of beer wondering... Is this what I really want to do? Is this where I really want to go? Is this really my calling?

Ok, cut the theatrics --and get into theater. Literally!
And why not? You know you have the superb storytelling skills for it. Heck, you've done all your storyboard presentations with the same aplomb as stage thespians. How different is getting into serious play-writing and acting from what you're actually doing now? Ah, yes... this time, you won't have a client breathing down your neck. This time, you'll be growing your craft... for passion!

Well, if you bought completely into my pitch, then let me introduce you to Upstart Productions' MINI WORKSHOPS!

Unleash a different side of your creativity. Learn the tricks of a whole new trade. Know what it takes to have your craft performed and lauded on stage. All these by simply joining Upstart's MINI-WORKSHOPS on Friday, October 28, at the Maybank Synergy Center. You may choose from two classes.
  • SHORT PLAY WRITING from 1:00 to 4:00 pm
  • SCENE STUDY from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm
Or, knock yourself out and immerse in the awesomeness of both!

To register, send Upstart Productions a message on Facebook,  or send an SMS to 09178116156. P1,000 per person per workshop.

Upstart Productions Inc. is a company of artists dedicated to the production of original, creative, and engaging material on stage. One of its founders is my good friend, Joel Trinidad, so you're definitely in good hands.
You can find the Maybank Synergy Center on 7th Avenue corner 28th Street, Bonifacio High Street, BGC.

Your drama begets drama. See you there, folks!

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Live with the King

Sit back, kids.
I'm going to open this magical blogpost with a story.

When you're an Independent Creative, you can only rely on two things for your ultimate survival:
One, Your Awesomenes.
And, Two,  The double-awesomeness of a gadget.
In my case, it has to be a Huawei Nexus 6P.
That's because when you're a Freelancer, you gotta stay on your toes, stay focused, and look cool doing it all. That's where Huawei Nexus 6P saunters right in. The perfectly powerful king for the perfectly workaholic queen. Allow me to elaborate.

1. We're not talking about a regular shell here. Nexus 6P is handheld glory.  It redefines arm candy! At first glance, you'd be floored by its full metal unibody, anodized aluminum, 3D curved glass, and diamond chamfers. Would I want to walk into a meeting toting this? Do I want to walk into the Grammy's wearing Vera Wang? Oh, you bet. Huawei Nexus 6P looks so good, it will make you look good. :)

2. Of course, let's not just skim the surface. Nexus 6P has the goodies that can match my personal brand of insatiable OC-ness. A 5.7" WQHD AMOHLED display with 518 pixels per inch means crisper layouts and videos. A camera that snaps great pictures even at low-light means quicker reflexes on inspiration harvesting. Frontal speakers means louder and fuller presentation sound bytes. Nexus 6P is the best thing that ever happened to impromptu presentations!

3.  Freelancing is nothing if you don't crave for power. For better performance, that is. So, naturally, I wouldn't jump on the mediocre phone bandwagon if I want to get ahead. I would want the latest octa-core Qualcomm® Snapdragon 810 v2.1 processor for speed, a 3450mAh battery for longevity, and... wait for it... the ultimate Android experience that is the ANDROID 6.0 MARSHMALLOW! Marshmallow will get me beefed up on the latest software updates while I'm basking in the glory of fantabulous performance. Nexus 6P has all these, by the way. Hey, yeah! 

4. Everybody knows that the key to successful independence is multitasking. Would you believe Huawei Nexus 6P is about a few feet ahead of you on that? Nexus 6P understands that you need to stay connected to get things done. So it has pre-installed Google glory in your equipment for quicker access. Do not waste a second! Love that!

5. Now, with all these super greatness in one phone, would you really want just about anyone to dip into it? Nope, not me. This is the part where I'll have to say, "Go get your own!". Haha! Nexus 6P also comes with an amazing security system. An ergonomic fingerprint ID that lets you in while streamlining your day-to-day online activities in complete privacy. Oooh... that makes freelancing sound so James Bondsy, doesn't it?

So there you have it. An honest tale told as to why a workaholic freelancer like me needs a powerful gadget like this to have and to hold. I bet you'd want a Huawei Nexus 6P sitting in the palm of your hand, too, huh? I can't really blame you. But I guess this is the part where I have to say, "Get in line!" :P

If you're an Independent Creative, live your dream. Live with the King. Huawei Nexus 6P.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

The Ultiimate Guide to a Freakin' Bright Future!

Business slacking up a bit? Projects hiding out? Cash flow slowing down?
This spells like a sad, sad day in freelancing existence.
Oil that baby up with some of these self-and-biz building tricks laid out for you in the most informal way possible!

Alright, this month's theme is called BREAKING BARRIERS. When things aren't working out towards a bright business future, then it's time for a plan change. You can't make any outcome any different by doing the same things over and over., right? So it's time to BITE THE BULLET and GIVE YOURSELF A BOOST!
(Do you see the B plays going on here? You did? Heee... thanks!)

Like they always say, change begins within yourself. Going a little zen here, let's do just that. Check out your anatomy and craft the changes from there. Ready?

You can't sit on your skill set and say, "Yeah, I'm amazing." Sure, that worked for a while. But times are changing, the world is turning. In the middle of all this excitement, believe me, stagnating isn't cool. What you have to do is feed that brain. Soak it up in new knowledge. If you're good at writing and active in social media --then, how about learning the ropes of content creation and social media management? Beefing up your skill set expands your services and pulls in new demand. Oooh... I see LinkedIn additions!

So you're used to operating within a certain client circle and it has worked for you for a good while. But if you've done great, then who's to say you can't do greater? Who's to say you can't flap those wings and fly South where the grass is quite possibly greener? In other words, if the local market isn't giving you the usual goods, hike up those balls, and go bold. Try your hand in the international playing field. Why not?! I mean, seriously, with how technology is going at a neck-breaking pace, you can even get business from Mars! Uhm, just make sure those Martians pay well.

This doesn't need to be said. But because my heart beats for Captain Obvious, I'll say it anyway. Always work with passion. P-A-S-S-I-O-N! Was that hammered down enough? Have that 'Nothing leaves this bake shop half-baked' mentality. Breathe fire! Especially if you're embarking into that great big unknown world of business, you have to let it all out and perform to the utmost fullest. Make every output feel like your last. Sounds exhausting, doesn't it? But, honey, these are hard times and you're turning tragedy into opportunity. This road ain't easy street. And you're gonna like it!

Keep to these self-changing steps and even with this freelancing drought, you're gonna do fine. Heck, you're gonna do better!
How's that song go again?
'The future's so bright... I gotta wear Oakley... yeeeah...'

Click here for more Oakley items.

Friday, March 11, 2016


You are an amazing fireball of creativity and independence.
You are strong...
You're invincible...
You are freelaaaance...
(If you didn't sing the last 3 lines, I am so going to cry)

Well, I am glad you have that confidence going for you. But be reminded that while confidence in solopreneurship is a thing, it isn't everything. Freelancing by your lonesome can be harrowing at times. I mean, I've never known a freelancer who hasn't cracked under pressure or snapped due to stress. We have our moments. So who do we run to when work gets out of hand? There's family, friends, and that understanding tub of Ben and Jerry's. But we also need someone who gets us. Someone who knows what we're going through and might be able to pitch in some kind of valuable support other than that run-of-the-mill 'Don't work too hard.' advice.

No, I'm not talking about pooling all your pennies for a life coach. I'm talking about these two women. And their projects.

Leah Kalamakis of The Freelance to Freedom Project

She makes everything about freelancing sound so easy! The cool thing about her is that she has the tools to guide you through the choppy waters of independent creativity and she's all out sharing them. How cool is that! She has kits, for love's sake! And she sends you emails on a rabid basis, too… because she really wants you to succeed.
When I need a shoulder to lean on during one of those trying freelancing days, the Freelance to Freedom Project is my official go-to. Leah is like a big sister. She doesn't nag, but she'll be there to give you good solid advice over a hot cup of cocoa.

Ash Ambirge of The Middle Finger Project

Ok, if you're done talking to your big sister, now it's time to hit the streets with your zany girlfriend. Ash Ambirge of The Middle Finger Project is attitude on legs. And we all know that freelancing isn't just all about a skill set but a fine sense of 'Killin' it!' as well. You can't just dive into solopreneurship without the necessary balls. You have to have those babies. And aside from a middle finger, Ash has just that. The Middle Finger Project gives you a whole new perspective on the freelancing process, and equips you with the right sass to survive it all. These come to you via blogs and webinars.
When I need to rant and be told I'm right for doing so, the Middle Finger Project is my official go-to. Ash got my back. :P

There you go!
Let these amazing women and their empowering projects help you through your solo ride to awesome work and fulfilment. You'll feel a lot better about being an independent professional, and being yourself.
That is, until you can score another Ben and Jerry's.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Biz-o-meter 2016

Well, they went to work. And then, work. And positively, more work.
In other words... the months flew to the moon and straight on to happy days!

I'll be perfectly blunt here and tell you that 2015 had been a complete and utter turd to me. Postponed projects, delayed paychecks, ninja clients. It was a year that just kept on taking.
But you, 2016, are shaping up to be a lovely sort. Repeat clients, retainer arrangements, international fanfare. It's one electric surge after another!

Now, I'm not saying that you have to rely on the good fortune of a certain period to land yourself, well, good freelancer fortune. You still have to work. When opportunity knocks, you grab that opportunity and ride it off into the sunset. And when opportunity doesn't knock, well, go ahead and hunt it down. And this year so far has been way too giving.

So, I know it's still early in the relationship, but 2016 --I love you and the electric surges you bring!
Do I get my restraining order now?