Have you ever been building a presentation where you new your subject matter so well that an outline was all you needed, if in fact you needed any props at all?
For a long period of time I was absolutely of that belief and then a single change and its knock-on effect made an impact on me.
I was invited to speak at a global conference. Big hall, lots of people, many of whom could impact my career and at the time I had a career that I wanted impacted..and possible needed a little impacting.
So the conference looms and I start to piece the presentation together. Pulling together key facts and color of the experience I was to discuss. Making sure I was reflecting the right order of happenings so as to build the story in the right sequence.
I now have a rough draft in a “Word” document and begin to work through edits and markups all the while being conscious that this is a “PowerPoint free” zone - me, the microphone and the audience. No fancy special effects, crazy builds, just me and the story.
Transition from Word to a Mindmap
I was at the point of a fairly advanced draft and could have stopped at that time but I was playing with the structure and decided to move from “Word” into a mindmap structure.
The single reason for doing this was not to do with the content creation but purely the sequencing as you can move blocks of text that might have been across multiple pages, now from within a single screen view.
To Illustrate my Workflow
For my example, I will use the text from a recent post here on Medium as my content - if I was doing this now, I would start with a mindmap, but for this example I am starting with two pages of text. Either way, my real learning is and would be the same.
I find this “text only” mass useful as a means of capturing content, but not for ease of restructuring the flow - whether it is for a final written form or to support a verbal delivery.
The next step in this example, as it was when I was producing the presentation I referenced at the start of this post, is to move the text content into a mindmap. It is no more complex than:
- Copy text from “Word”.
- Select the centre of the mindmap and paste.
- Then drag the paragraphs to be connected with their headings.
It is at this stage I keep important detail and trim to a point where I still have sufficient to guide me through the presentation, but more importantly, to simplify what I need to remember by way of:
- Content; and
What I remember with the greatest clarity from the first time I used this method to create a presentation was that I recalled the clockwise flow. As I was finishing a thread I was visually taken to the next as I worked around the map in a clockwise direction.
This also means you don’t need a sophisticated mindmapping tool such as Mindmanager to achieve this outcome and gain this benefit. You can produce your final output with pen and paper if you choose, or rely on a wonderful yet simpler mindmapping tool such as Simplemind.