Celebrating 2 Successful Seasons!!

To celebrate the completion of Seasons 1 and 2 of my Internet radio interview series, on June 9th, 2009 I was pleased to host a dinner for 14 show guests who lived in the general vicinity.
Igniting Imagination Guest Celebration Dinner June 9, '09

Igniting Imagination Guest Celebration Dinner June 9, '09

In this group photo, from left to right are:  Marci Segal, Kevin Loberg, Wendy Woods, Marty Lager, Sandy Naiman, Moira Sutton, Claire Sookman, me, Cliff Sutton , Sandy Offenheim, Thelma Barer-Stein, Marlene Walker, Joel Walker, Michele Mele and, in front, Marla Lukofsky. (Click on any photo to see an enlargement.)

On arrival, each guest was handed a place card with their name to reserve their spot at the dining table, a name tag, a pencil, and a sheet of paper with an icebreaker exercise.

Ice-breakers, name tags, etc. ready and waiting....

Ice-breakers, name tags, etc. ready and waiting....

Lesson Learned #1: We can have conversations with anyone if only we know what to ask.

The purpose of the icebreaker was to (1) give people an opportunity to meet and talk with everyone, (2) demonstrate how each of us has so many points of reference,  (3) open the door for interaction and exchange of information, and (4) indicate the various ways we are connected.

Lesson Learned #2: If you show a genuine interest, people like to talk about themselves and share their histories.

Whether guests were introverted or outgoing all bravely took part, fully buying into the concept. The hour before dinner was filled with laughter and conversation as all were busy talking, sharing, introducing each other and helping fill in the forms. It turned out that many people had much in common, several knew each other previously and some made connections for the future. By the time we sat for dinner, there was such a spirit, laughter and camaraderie that permeated the rest of the evening.

Mary Minaudo sent her regrets and this beautiful bouquet of roses-my favourite flower!

Mary Minaudo sent her regrets and this beautiful bouquet of roses-my favourite flower!

Try the challenge. Download the icebreaker: Radio Guest Celebration Dinner-Matching Game. Match the columns. I made the mistake of asking about allergies and food dislikes and received back a considerable list – which became part of the game.

Lesson Learned # 3: We’re aware of only a fraction of what there is to know about the people in our lives.

How well do you know your family members, colleagues or friends?  Interview them and create your own game. If you do it in the style shown here, you can have as many columns and categories as your wish. For example, in one column, list their names. In another, list degrees, qualifications, volunteer or work positions each person has held. In a third, list a current job title or theme and, in the fourth, such items as passions, positive characteristics, favorite pastimes, colours, foods, movies, TV programs or books.

Getting to know each other more deeply not only adds to the enjoyment of relationships, but is also a process that can  teach us a lot about ourselves.

Creatively Yours,



Through her Igniting Imagination programs and services, creativity consultant Nellie Jacobs stimulates creative-thinking, providing tools to individuals, organizations and companies to help ‘mine’ hidden or latent human resources for the personal and professional betterment of all.

All Igniting Imagination with Nellie Jacobs talk radio episodes are numbered and archived for your listening pleasure, inspiration and convenience at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/Igniting-Imagination.

Seasons 1 and 2 guest photos, profiles, topics and links to their episodes are posted on at www.ignitingimagination.com. Just follow the links.

Twitter:@nelliejacobs                                                                                                                    Linkedin: http://www.linkedin.com/in/nelliejacobs

*Announcing the Launch of “Igniting Imagination with Nellie Jacobs” Internet BlogTalkRadio show


Live Broadcast: Thursdays, 10-11 am EST/7-8 am PST


Nellie Jacobs

Nellie Jacobs

On October 13, 2008 I  joined the burgeoning front ranks of Internet radio hosts with the launch of my weekly Internet talk radio show “Igniting Imagination with Nellie Jacobs,” broadcast live on Thursdays at 10-11 am EST, 7-8 am PST.

 Why take on such a vast new project at a stage in life when most people are either retiring or winding down?

I believe I offer an essential service to people. In these tough times, most everyone needs to look at new opportunities, possibilities and solutions in very creative ways. 


My intention was to provide a forum for interaction and communication of creative ideas, resources and personal experiences. This was all researched, planned and in place well before the current devastating economic downturn.


My expectation was to feature creativity academics and specialists as well as creative business people and ‘extra’ordinary individuals. Each program would focus on a creative topic of the week. The show would entertain, educate, inspire and creatively stimulate listeners worldwide.


Power of the Internet

I quickly realized that the best way reach a wide, international audience was through the Internet. The promotion material of Voice America states that Internet radio listeners are estimated to total 90 million Americans, a number that is growing quickly (having quadrupled in 3 years) and account for 42% of online spending.


Research and Choices

When I decided to take my message online, I spent months researching the Internet radio marketplace and found dozens of networks such as Alltalkradio and syndicate Talkzone offering various packages to potential hosts.


The ‘catch’ of course is that hosts must  buy airtime in exchange for some training, a show producer, support systems and framework for promotion – depending on the package. The concept is somewhat similar to vanity publishing except that networks and each host partner share their show’s revenue – according to a sliding scale, depending on who is the initiator of advertisers.


Networks package prices are wide-ranging, starting from LA Talk Radio‘s $69 (US) per episode. Voice America’s basic program begins at $6700 (US) for a 13 week pilot series with additional options which include streaming video and E-commerce. Networks such as WS Radio also require hosts to buy their audio equipment.


Committed to the idea, I waivered about the quality of sound, the true support I’d get and, most definitely I worried about making a very costly commitment to something I didn’t know would work. And then, just  about to take a chance with one network at high cost, I surfed the web one last time and discovered BlogTalkRadio.


Similar to written blogs which are available to anyone who signs up, BlogTalkRadio offers virtually free access to broadcasting online. The site’s features compare very favourably with networks that charge fees. Co-founded in 2006 by CEO Alan Levy and COO Bob Charish, it has grown by leaps and bounds. Thousands of BlogTalkRadio hosts broadcast their shows daily, weekly or monthly. Hosts can also opt into a program offering shared revenue of advertising.



What I like about this system is that we hosts are in control. During our shows both switchboard and chat line pop up on our computer screens. We can click on icons to open lines for callers and mute them when necessary.


Although there are inevitable technical glitches, especially with a new system, for me it’s worth the effort.



In fact, I tend to spend hours preparing guests for their show, pre-interviewing them, making notes, writing up a press release and developing a three to four page script used as a guideline.


I see this enterprise as a partnership. Each step of the way is discussed and everything I write about the upcoming interview and in the script is shared with the guest beforehand. I want listeners to get the most possible for tuning in. What’s amazing is that each guest more than buys into the concept. That’s what makes this whole, labour-intensive process so exciting. 



Each hour-long episode is divided into four parts:


Part 1: Guests reveal relevant tidbits about their background; the road they took to get to this point in their lives; their reasoning, influences, support systems, mentors, heroes; and how this all relates to creative topic of the day.


Part 2: Guests discuss in more detail their specialty, their objectives/purpose, what they offer or have available for listeners.


Part 3: Guests expand on a ten point list of ‘hints, suggestions and lessons learned’ they develop exclusively for their episode.


 Part 4: Phone and chat lines are open for questions and discussion.


I chose the time of day specifically so it can be accessed live by virtually anyone, anywhere. Statistics indicate that listening is highest during work hours when terrestrial listening is reduced. 41% listen for 3 hours or more. Listeners can phone in, chat and email to live shows.



Immediately after airing, each show is archived. Listeners can tune into archived shows at their leisure anytime. Archived episodes can be converted to podcasts, sent to ITunes, and uploaded to desktops, websites and blogs. Most of my followers listen to archived shows.



In addition to BlogTalkRadio technical staff, a support network of its hosts help each other find solutions to problems they encounter. I’ve learned to edit episodes using Audacity, a free program downloaded after finding out about it through the host listserv.


Every step of the way has been an enormous learning curve; however, I creative-x-spot-toolboxlove the challenge. You have to really like figuring things out and being in charge. This system is perfect for me. 


This show is another device in the Creative X-Spot® Toolbox I’ve developed to stimulate people’s creative thinking and doing.



To market the show, I write a weekly e-newsletter detailing that week’s episode, its guest and upcoming events. I send it to my list, media and organizations. My guests also forward it to their networks. I also created this weblog in which I write about issues related to the interviews and  include links, In addition, I post show announcements on a myriad of online social networks.


Guest Profiles

Guests are vibrant, imaginative personalities who share their knowledge, passions, experience and expertise in exciting ways. This show provides a wonderful opportunity to spotlight incredibly talented, multi-faceted individuals who have so much to offer. Many of them might otherwise not have had the platform to share so many aspects of what they know with so vast an audience.  These are ordinary ‘real’ people – very much like you and me – who work diligently, often overcoming  considerable challenges, roadblocks and economic downturns to follow their passions and achieve their dreams. 


I’m proud to say that every single one of my guests is more than willing to share his/her life stories and reveal their creative secrets. Each one generously offers loads of stimulating practical advice, ideas, suggestions and lessons learned. Anyone can identify with the issues discussed during these shows. Everyone who listens is sure to be inspired in one way or another.


For the roster of past and upcoming dynamic guests and topics, visit either my BlogTalk Radio site or my own website.


Each episode is truly a fantastic free seminar to ignite the imagination of audiences worldwide.


Still Life with Candles

Still Life with Candles


Creativity Consultant Nellie Jacobs is an award-winning artist and best-selling author whose programs and books stimulate creative thinking and doing.





For more information about Nellie’s radio show, criteria for guests, programs and to sign up for Igniting Imagination with Nellie Jacobs weekly e-newsletter, visit www.ignitingimagination.com.