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Why and how to use Mindmapping to write your next presentation.

leonsergent communications - Prise de parole en public/Public Speaking

In the last few days, I have had to deal with a phenomenal amount of information and details to insert (by force!) into two speeches or presentations in front of an audience. It was a tall order. The aim was to ensure that the messages to be communicated were clear and memorable without getting lost in the minutiae and losing the narrative of the presentation. Writing a script or composing slides without a solid framework would have been perilous because I could be at risk of forgetting key details and I would need a lot of time to rewrite. This is where we need another tool to control the large amount of information: heuristic diagrams or Mindmapping. Rather than lists and text presented in a linear fashion, all information is presented in the form of a diagram that mimics how the human brain works.

One of the presentations was to be delivered as part of a national sales meeting, and I have greatly simplified the scope of my example to present it as follows. 

  1. I began by writing the theme of the speech in the centre of a blank page in a rectangle clumsily drawn by hand. National Meeting.
  2. From these words, I drew arrows North-South-East and West to boxes in which I wrote the parts of the speech: Opening Remarks, Body, Summary and Conclusion.
  3. In the Conclusion section, I wrote the main message of the speech: Reach out to our inactive customers to grow sales. That was the main message of the speech.
  4. In the Summary section, I have identified three main themes: 1) Direct Marketing Campaign, 2) New Products and Services, and 3) Creating a new pool of potential customers. These are the means to arrive at the recommendation in the conclusion.
  5. Then in the Body section, I thought about all the tools that team members would need to carry out the three actions listed in the Summary section, such as all the promotional materials used to talk about new products and services, the timing of the direct marketing campaign and its content. Each of these topics would be the subject of a PowerPoint slide and a printed copy of this information to be given to all participants.
  6. The Opening Remarks section was quickly developed. It contains the words: Welcome, Agenda, Roundtable, 2023 Results and 2024 Projections, so four new slides.
  7. I drew a final arrow from the center to a section entitled: Questions to Expect which has been redivided into Retirements, New division of sales territories and Incentives Review. This is where I have prepared the answers to the most difficult questions.

While on the same page, I drew the Attendees, Logistics, Transportation, Food & Beverage, and Audio-Visual sections. Then I left this page on my desk overnight. From this mapping, the composition of the slides, key messages and some scripts were completed in record time.

There are several free, low-cost, paid software and applications to make a heuristic diagram quickly, but the pencil-and-paper method still has its charm and simplicity. Good Luck!

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