Creative Courage is a series of informal talks held by, and at, NB.

6-8 Emerson St
London, SE1 9DU
United Kingdom

+44 (0)20 7633 9046



Turn-Table: The Anatomy of a Pitch

Creative Courage is NB’s mantra, a rallying cry to be bolder and braver. It makes us question how we design, how we think and ultimately makes us produce better results for our clients.

Creative Courage became the theme for the play we produced for the recent Design INDABA festival in Cape Town, South Africa. We were challenged by Indaba’s inspirational founder, Ravi Naidoo to go out of our comfort zone and not just show a portfolio of ‘And then we did this…’ 

So we decided to make a play.

A play about all the emotions, nerves, adrenalin and anxieties that make up that magical half hour of pitch presentation. It’s where you get your first gut feeling, it’s when you make up your minds about each other. We’ve experienced these intense moments for 20 years so it felt like we had enough to go on.

But, we’ve never produced a play before. Never worked with actors, playwrights, props, sound and video engineers and certainly never used a revolving floor. And never even dreamed of getting on stage in front of 2,500 people and being streamed live to a further 10,000.


So, the tables literally turned, we became the client for the first time. We auditioned and found the play-writes Jimmy Osbourne and David Aula (who also acted in the play alongside Georgia Clarke-Day).

We worked closely with them, rehearsing, rewriting, rethinking. We literally kept making things better right up to when the curtain lifted. 

Our actors acted out the story of an agency pitch to a client. They explored all the things that are unsaid in the interactions between the client and the agency. It was based on all the things we have learned over the years - which took the form of a manifesto: 

  • Learn the rules before you break them
  • Assumption is the mother of all fuck ups
  • Indecision kills
  • Become your customer
  • If everything is important – nothing is important
  • Tell the truth. Be on Time.
  • Life’s too short not to be a designer.

The play was also taken to Design Yatra in Jaipur, India in October 2016.

4–8 Emerson Street London SE1 9DU
+44 [0]20 7633 9046