Musings: Embracing a new year
January 1, 2014

Dear Readers:

Here’s to a happy, healthy, prosperous 2014! May you Dream Big and realize your dreams!

In my career I’ve learned that a key to success is being a comfortable, effective public speaker. Whether I’m giving a formal presentation to a new client or creating an immediate comfortable rapport with a group of participants in a focus group setting, I don’t go in cold. I draw upon a number of easy-to-engage tools and tricks to help me be a relaxed, focused, and spontaneous presenter. These are simple physical, emotional and mental warm ups: breathing, stretching, vocalizing, and imagining.  I’ve written about some in an article entitled:  Breathe It! Sing It! Imagine It! Do It! Inspiration for Expressing Authentic Voice published in QRCA VIEWS magazine, Spring 2011, pages 24-30. You can access the article via this link

If you are in the vicinity of Lambertville, NJ come join us on Thursday, January 9 from 6:00pm to 9:00pm for a great event hosted by Network Lambertville. Good food, good conversation and a mini-workshop on personal preparation for presentation will be held at Green Birdie Productions Studio, 21 Bridge St. Second Floor, Lambertville NJ 08530. Pay at the door: $20.00

RSVP: Rob Bell rob@greenbirdievideo.comImage

And if you want to hear a long, unedited, fun conversation take a listen to my interview with Dwayne D on Hunterdon County’s Chamber of Commerce Internet radio


Laurie Tema-Lyn

Musings: Another Market for Stir It Up! Recipes for Robust Insights & Red Hot Ideas
October 11, 2012

I returned from the QRCA national conference in Montreal this week fired up, feeling the joy from the learning and camaraderie. There were many great presentations from which to choose, and the informal meetings and conversations provided me with nuggets and new ideas I want to explore.

I was personally thrilled to hear such wonderful feedback from colleagues who have been using my book, Stir It Up! Recipes for Robust Insights & Red Hot Ideas (Paramount Market Publishing, Inc.) and getting great results to the exercises.

But an unexpected new market was suggested. John, a retired 8th grade teacher from NY, told me he had been devouring the book during the conference and thought many of its suggestions would be outstanding to bring to the classroom. His perspective was that many of the exercises as well as the principles would resonate with important programs about creating conversations, encouraging diversity and anti-bullying.

What an exciting suggestion! The education market is not something I have particularly focused on in the past—and while my sister and niece are teachers, the feedback I’ve heard from them is that the management requirements of the current NJ core curriculum make it hard to find time for creative exploration.

So I’m putting this out to the universe. Here’s a sample exercise from the book—Who’s Your Muse? I’m giving a shout out to you teachers—to check out the book and do let me know if you think these ideas and suggestions could be useful integrating with classroom activities!

My best,

Laurie Tema-Lyn
Practical Imagination Enterprises
908 237 2246
Stir It Up! cover

Whos your Muse


Musings on The Right Ambiance… For Love and Meetings, Part 2
March 2, 2012

A few weeks ago I posted 5 Top Tips for designing creative meeting spaces, here are 5 more. And, if you want to learn how I’ve put this into practice in qualitative research, please follow the link at the end to my new article, in QRCA VIEWS.

6 Touchy “toys” bring color, delight, help relieve stress and can inspire

Some people just think better when they are doodling or fiddling with things. When I’m conducting an Innovation Session, I bring along a toy chest of items: pipe cleaners, Play Doh, Nerf like materials, squishy balls, funny glasses, and kaleidoscopes. These are items that I may use in specific creative exercises or just invite people to play with as they choose. I’ll sometimes use them in a research setting and have had great results with populations that are generally not thought of as being particularly creative or communicative. The toys help people relax, and when they are relaxed they let down their guard and are more forthright and candid respondents.

7. Aroma can enhance productivity! Just the way a real estate agent will suggest that a home seller bake bread or cookies to make a home more attractive, you can consciously use aroma for certain effect in a meeting. An orange pricked with cloves might add just a little boost to flagging energy, a diffuser with soothing essential oils like lavender can relax. A vase full of flavors can also bring color and pleasant aroma.

8. Of course you need good food for thought! It’s rather amazing how much food and liquid refreshment can be consumed by an ideating team. Variety is ideal. I make every effort to have “good brain food” that isn’t heavily laden with sugar and fat.

9. Get off campus! Physically moving away from company premises can do so much to improve results and help participants view challenges and opportunities differently. If you have to work at your offices, set clear ground-rules to ensure that typical distractions do not invade your meeting. Collect phones and pagers (or at least have them set to vibrate). In exchange for this distraction-free zone, give participants breaks throughout the day to deal with those emergency office issues.

10. Great space doesn’t have to be expensive. One reason why team meetings are run at home base is to save money. If you can get away, consider alternative venues to high priced conference centers. One type I particularly like working in is a Bed & Breakfast. The article linked below highlights focus groups conducted in such an environment. Other “non traditional” venues include a children’s or science museum, gallery, botanical gardens, ski lodge, golf club house. If a participant is a member you can usually save a lot of money. Recently a few companies have started offering loft spaces and private homes for meetings. They can include catering and audiovisual equipment. I worked recently in a NY loft space and while it wasn’t inexpensive, it more than paid for the quality of the team’s output.

Want more? 

 Laurie Tema-Lyn, Practical Imagination Enterprises, 908-237-2246,


Musings on a “Soft Launch” for Stir It Up!
July 17, 2011

Last Sunday was a glorious day here and I held an open house, book signing to celebrate the recent publication of my new book, Stir It Up! Recipes for Robust Insights & Red Hot Ideas (Paramount Market Publishing.) It’s a “cookbook” of sorts, filled with exercises for market researchers, meeting facilitators, consultants and anyone looking for ways to stir up energy, insights and creative ideas.

The book “poured out of me” at astonishing speed; it was an absolute delight to write.  I’m thrilled to be able to share what I’ve learned, developed and used in a long and varied career.  And it was so gratifying to bring different parts of my life together to help me celebrate the book.

The gathering included family, friends and neighbors as well as people from my professional world– the QRCA, my singing chums from VOICES Chorale, my exercise mates from Healthquest.

As I wondered in and out of the ribbons of conversation, I realized how this disparate group of folks were connecting in such wonderful ways; sharing their stories, knowledge and perspectives.  And it seems a few new friends were made in the gathering.

Stir It Up!  Recipes for Robust Insights & Red Hot Ideas is available at

And on

Laurie Tema-Lyn