Melissa Dinwiddie

Creativity & Communications Consultant at Creative Sandbox Solutions

Professional Training and Coaching

Education: UC Berkeley - University of Birmingham, UK
Mountain View, CA, USA


Melissa Dinwiddie, M.Soc.Sci., is a Creativity & Communications Consultant who helps founders, senior leaders and teams improve connection and communication so they get heard, get un derstood, and get to “YES!” faster…all through her proprietary F.U.N. Method™. She draws on her 27 years of creative expertise, including her background as a professional artist and trained improviser and jazz singer, to design interactive, playful programs that clients rave about because they acquire new skills and behaviors and build connections while having a blast. She’s had the pleasure of transforming teams at organizations such as Google, Facebook, Uber, Stanford Children’s Hospital, Stanford University, Intuit, Salesforce, and more.

Melissa is author of The Creative Sandbox Way™, an acclaimed book on creativity that has been called "essential for the bookshelf," "the owner's guide for the caring and feeding of the creative spirit," and "an adventure packaged as a book." Founder of Creative Sandbox Solutions™, Melissa holds a B.A. from UC Berkeley, a Masters in Social Science from the University of Birmingham, England, and multiple certifications in LEGO® Serious Play®. She lives in Silicon Valley with her husband and their two rambunctious cats.


I'm passionate about creativity! All humans are creative—it's our birthright!

Featured Video

I am willing to travel

More than 100 miles

When it comes to payments

Everything is negotiable


play virtual training virtual events creativity zoom training and development learning and development storytelling playful and improvisational leadership improv improvisation communication communication skills influence communicating for influence virtual workshops virtual experience design virtual event design author engagement

Best Story

Years ago I was taking a workshop, looking at my table partner's work, thinking to myself, "Wow, her work is so cool and interesting -- I wish my work was like hers." I was completely caught in the Comparison Trap, convinced my work was crap. I almost didn't come back for the 2nd day of the workshop. Thankfully, I did come back, and part way into that 2nd day my table partner turned to me and said, "Melissa, your work is so cool and interesting, I wish my work was like yours."

Knock me over with a feather! That was an epiphany moment for me -- that someone whose work I admired so much could find my "crappy" work worthy of admiration!

I realized that other people's work will always seem more cool and interesting than your own, not because it's better (that's purely subjective), but simply because it's a product of their unconscious, which is totally unknown and mysterious to you.

Example talks

From Stuck to Unstoppable: The Power of Play in the Creative Process

Spending time on creative things is frivolous and self-indulgent, right? WRONG! In fact, it’s world-changing.

You don’t need to find the cure for cancer or end war as we know it in order to change the world for the better. Discover why your creative play and self-expression is a world-changing act, whether you’re an amateur or a professional. You’ll never look at playtime the same way again!

You’ll learn:

• 5 reasons why putting time into creative play is world-changing.
• The surprising way that creative play affects the brain.
• Simple and effective tools for breaking free of creative blocks and resistance.

Unlocking Influence: The Playful Path to Powerful Leadership Communication

Have you ever tried to get people onboard with an idea, but gotten crickets in response? The ability to influence others, so you can make an impact, may feel like a mysterious X-factor, but really, it’s a combination of learnable skills. In this session, Melissa shares the 6 key skills anyone can develop to have greater influence in life and work, and how her F.U.N. Method™ of active-learning not only keeps learners engaged, but helps them remember better, too. You’ll walk away with tools you can use right away in life and work!

You’ll walk away:

• Understanding the skills you need to have greater influence
• More aware of your unconscious, reflexive “no” response
• With an activity you can do with your team, to help them apply empathy to communicate more effectively

It Pays to Play at Work

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy, but just as important as play after work is play at work. If this sounds crazy, you won’t want to miss this talk to find out why play is your 21st Century secret weapon, and how you can use it to improve productivity and benefit your organization.

You’ll learn:

• Why play is not what you might think
• Research-backed reasons play is good for us
• The 3 ways to incorporate play at work

Format: Keynote, Workshop

Target audience: Corporate Directors, HR Directors

Yes, Virginia, There IS an Engaging Virtual Meeting!

Virtual meetings are here to stay, but they don't have to be something we suffer through. We've all experienced the bad version, where attendees fall asleep or click away (killing your bottom line!) Come learn some easy tips to help level-up your virtual experience from "awful" to "awesome!" 

You'll learn:

• The #1 key to creating a stand-out experience, even before your meeting starts
• How to ensure people engage from the moment they log onto the call
• A foolproof way to "read the room," regardless of whether cameras are on or off!

Format: Keynote, Workshop

Target audience: Managers, Team Leads, anyone who leads virtual meetings