As part of our Interview series 1, we spoke with Rueben Milne who provides speaker support to people who speak at conferences, talk at public events or create videos. Performance is a big part of what he teaches people and he tells us more about it.
Who are you and what do you do?
So my name’s Ruben and what I do is speaker support and that entails supporting people who are speaking at conferences but also people who are putting content together for things like videos and other ways of communicating.
It involves a little bit of kind of storytelling capabilities, there’s a performance element to it. There’s a big part of what I do is also helping people distil things down into more easily understandable chunks of information or content, all the way through to even helping them to create presentations which I suppose is the more visual side of the whole creative process.
How did you get into the creative industry?
By accident, I’m not sure if that’s how most creatives say they got into the creative industry, but my way was by accident.
I happened to be living at the time with a university friend who was doing a bit of public relations. I didn’t have anything to do at that particular time, so I was invited into the office to stuff a few envelopes back in the day before the internet, where everything was sent out or faxed to people.
It kind of went from there. I happened to have long hair at the time, as you can see, that hasn’t changed dramatically, which made them think I must be in some way a creative person.
I ended up getting involved in things like brainstorms, putting copy together, creating content, I suppose, which went on. I then became a de facto creative director at a few PR agencies, and that’s what took me to what I’m doing now, which is helping, as I said, helping people communicate at scale, shall we say.
What tips would you give to people who are thinking of getting into the creative industries?
First tip is more general piece. I don’t necessarily think it’s a creative industry, but just be nice. Particularly my experience of the creative industry and the creative world is quite a lot of it tends to be you working with other groups of people. You come in to help with a specific task and they will remember you fondly.
Number one if you’re good at what you do but more importantly if you’re actually a nice person to work with. There is a phrase don’t be a dick, I don’t know if I’m allowed to say that on camera, but that would be my simple rule of thumb.
It’s just be a nice person, be helpful because I think that goes further than being extraordinarily good at what you do.
But from a creative standpoint more specifically I would suggest say yes to almost everything. For me anyway creativity is what happens when lots of different things and perspectives and ideas come together to create something new and you only get access to those perspectives, those different voices if you say yes to stuff that is slightly out of your comfort zone, to going to places to meeting people to doing things that you wouldn’t necessarily, ordinarily do.
So it is a bit of a bind. It means you’ll quite often end up doing something you hate or that’s insanely boring but at the same time I think it all helps put together a more number one a more creative individual but actually you’ll be surprised at how many opportunities come out of you being in the right place at the right time and that only happens if you’ve said yes to enable you to be in that place at that particular time.