Using Mind Map Presentations can liven up any presentation...

The number one fear (even more than death) for most adults is public speaking

Yet the ability to communicate to groups can make a huge difference to our careers and our ability to accomplish our goals and dreams.

Speaking to a group makes us vulnerable. Failure and humiliation is a definite possibility.

Traditionally, public speaking follows a course that has been determined beforehand. And once the presenter is on this course, there is no veering off course or turning back. This applies whether the presentation is good or bad.

When speaking to an individual, you can read body language and get responses that can change your course, but when presenting to a group, it is not that easy.

We will show you how you can use Mind Map Presentations to present better, whether it is a formal presentation or a short talk you have to give without presentation aids like projectors, etc.

Death by Powerpoint is a term that has arisen in recent times with the increased use of Microsoft Powerpoint as a presentation tool. Even though we have technology on our side, we are still delivering the same linear, boring presentations that we did decades ago.

Mind Map Presentations can help you change all of this.

A Mind Map allows you to speak freely on your topic. You don't have to 'read' your presentation. By focusing on Key Words, you are able to string together sentences that come naturally to you. You can use your own language - a language that you are comfortable with.

Your presentation does not have to be linear either. In other words, it does not have to start at one point and end at another fixed point. You are able to adjust to responses by the audience, as you have the whole picture in your Mind Map Presentation. With a Mind Map, you are able to jump to any branch at any point in the presentation.

Whether you use your Mind Map as slides, or simply to guide you through the planning and deliver of your presentation, the use of a Mind Map can be indispensable.

Almost every speaker, regardless of experience, still gets butterflies before they have to present. The difference is that they can get the butterflies to fly in the direction they want!

There are three main principles which allow us to control the formation of the butterflies:

  • Purpose
  • Attention and Memory
  • Organisation
Statement of purpose

This is the most important part of planning a presentation. You have to understand why you are giving it and why anyone would listen to it. This ensures that you won't be wasting your time, or that of your audience.

A good tip is to write down your statement of purpose in one sentence.

Most presentations are done for the following purposes:

  • To Share Information
  • To Educate
  • To Motivate
  • To Encourage Action
  • To Entertain
You could formulate your statement of purpose by using these as starting points. or "The E.g. "The purpose of this presentation is to share information on..."purpose of this presentation is to educate the audience on..."
Based on your purpose, you could have very different presentations. A presentation to educate people on a new piece of legislation will be very different one that is trying to convince them to vote for it. The first presentation will cover a lot of detail about the legislation to get them to understand and remember all the important bits. The second one will be packed with emotion and emphasize the impact it would have on people's lives.

People normally attend presentations because they are required to or because they want something.

Don't bore them, con them or treat them like school children.

Improving Memory and Retention

If you want people to remember your presentation, you have to know a bit about how memory works. If you want people to stay awake, you need to understand how attention AND memory works.

The items in the following list are referred to as memory supports. They support the memory process.

  • Repetition
  • Association
  • Connection
  • Intensity
  • Involvement
These memory supports are also influenced by position. i.e. where you place the information is placed in your slide. The material at the beginning and end of your presentation is remembered better than the piece in the middle. If you want people to remember more, place important information at the beginning and end of your presentation.

If you have a long presentation, break your presentation into chunks, thereby creating multiple beginnings and ends. Use something between these chunks like humour, case studies, cartoons, etc. This will create many 'beginnings' and 'ends', which will be remembered better.

Repetition

The old cliché, 'tell them what you are going to tell them, tell them and then tell them what you told them,' holds true. You should however not repeat the same words. The beginning should be an appetizer, the middle should be the main course and the end should be the dessert.

The beginning should whet their appetite for the main message and the end should reinforce that message.

Association & Connection

Associating and connecting information to what the audience already knows will ensure that they better understand it and make it easier for them to retrieve. Stories or analogies are a good way to do this.

Intensity

Adding emotional content is a great way to get people to remember what you are saying. This is true even if you are giving a technical presentation. By brining in an emotional quality, you turn on the right brain and take the message to an entirely different level. If you are passionate about your message, it will be reflected in your voice.

By using a Mind Map Presentations, you will be able to bring this passion about naturally, as you won't be 'reading your speech'.

Involvement

Involving people's senses re a good way to get involvement. Try to appeal to a wide range of senses. Some people process information visually, others are auditory, processing information through the actual words or sounds used and some are kinesthetic (processing information through feelings and emotions). By appealing to a wide range of senses you ensure that as many people as possible 'get the message'.

Organising your presentation

Mind Mapping can help you organise and present your material so that you can take advantage of the above points.

You can use Mind Maps as you structure your presentation. By using Mind Mapping at this point, you can ensure that you include emotional involvement. In fact, you can even make a branch called 'emotions' or 'feelings', which allows you to explore the emotional content of your subject.

You can then build a Mind Map that represents the presentation you want to make. You can draw it a couple of times, adding colours and symbols until you have it firmly in your memory. Once you are able to draw this map, you will have the presentation memorised. This will increase your confidence levels enormously.

You could also draw or display this map for your audience as you do your presentation. This gives them a visual structure and guides them, if they need to take notes.

You should use colours and pictures as much as possible to make it visually pleasing.

If they need to remember what you are presenting, you could ensure that you use different colours and keep the branches in different segments on the page. Many people will remember a topic because it was the 'blue stuff in the top right hand corner', for example.

Conclusion

I hope these tips can help you create presentations that are exciting, stimulating and fun. Look at the other articles in our 'Mind Maps at work' series to put the fun back into your work.

Have a look at the Mind Maps for Presentation Power article (coming soon...).

In the meantime, I suggest you look at the Mind Map Examples on this site. It will enforce the Principles of Mind Mapping and teach you the Seven Steps in creating a Mind Map.

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