Explain an Idea: A Creative Workout For Your Mind Premium class

Mark Pollard, VP Brand Strategy, Big Spaceship

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About This Class

I’m a strategy director and reformed magazine publisher from Sydney who relocated to New York in 2011. I work at a great agency in Brooklyn called Big Spaceship as VP, Brand Strategy. I’ve written for over 60 magazines, hosted a radio show, sub-edited a music book, and crowd-sourced a man book with Gavin Heaton (The Perfect Gift for a Man). I’ve worked in places like Saatchi & Saatchi New York, TribalDDB, MassMedia, Ogilvy, Leo Burnett and McCann. I also founded the first full color hip hop magazine with global distribution in the Southern Hemisphere – Stealth Magazine. I’ve also been an Ignite presenter, Adnews Top 40 under 40 and one of Sydney's top 100 Creative Catalysts. 

Needless to say, I’ve been around many ideas and have had a few myself. This class is about learning the skill behind defining and clearly explaining an idea to any audience of people. We’ll cover what an idea is and what it isn’t and explore several frameworks that you can use to structure an explanation.

You’ll leave this class with a completed idea presentation and the skills to effectively explain any idea in the future.

Answering a very simple question - What is the Internet? - you’ll identify, package and present your idea to other students in a way that elicits immediate attention, excitement and buy-in. Probably even tears. You can explain your idea through whatever medium you find most exciting -  writing, drawing, graphing, video or even Keynote.





Mark Pollard

VP Brand Strategy, Big Spaceship

I’ve been making ideas since the late 1990’s – in digital agencies and a dot-com that went bust in 2000 as well as in advertising agencies like Saatchi & Saatchi NY, McCann Erickson and Leo Burnett. I also founded the first full color hip hop magazine in the Southern Hemisphere. Now, I work at a digital agency in Brooklyn called Big Spaceship with clients like Chobani, Unilever, Kraft, and ONE.org. We focus on solving business problems by solving human problems.

In the past year I’ve spoken at TEDx Hackensack, DMA 2012 (Las Vegas), eat:Strategy (Toronto), and Miami Ad School. I was listed as one of Sydney’s Top 100 Creative Catalysts (government initiative) and in the Adnews Top 40 under 40, and won Gold at the Account Planning Group Creative Planning Awards for a  McDonald’s strategy.

There’s a bit more background here and I’m on the Twitter at @markpollard 

Why I Teach

I teach because I believe things like strategy and ideas are simpler than much of the industry I’ve grown up in leads on. The problem with the mysticism? It allows people to establish power over others, to encourage unspoken Ponzi schemes, and to misbehave. If you’ve worked in a toxic advertising agency then you know what I’m talking about.

Strategy and ideas need not be fluffy, academic, or long-winded. So, I like to share the tools and frameworks I’ve picked up (often in frenetic and high-pressure environments), meet good people, and hopefully also learn from you. And, while much of what I teach is useful for advertising, none of the classes are only for people who work in advertising.

The three Skillshare classes I teach

  • NEW: Stop Wishing You Had Ideas and Have Them
  • How to explain an idea – a workout for your mind (over 800 students)
  • Straterday – everything you need to know about strategy on a Saturday (114 students)