In this article, I’ll give you some important tips about preparing your presentation using NovaMind.
To the right, there are two Mind Maps which you can use as starting points for creating your presentations, and we’ll have a quick look at them both, but we’ll also talk about how to put together your presentation Mind Maps from scratch, so you have all the information to do it the way you want.
The first Mind Map is based on the book Beyond Bullet Points by Cliff Atkinson. You can download the NovaMind document and use it as a starting point for your presentation – just delete the other Mind Map from the document if you’re not using it. Now you will have a document which contains the framework for your presentation: Setting (where am I), Role (who am I here), Point A – What challenge do I face, Point B – Where do I want to be, and the Call to Action – how do I get from point A to point B? If you want to follow the complete methodology, you can get the book online at Amazon.
The other template is based on “the 7-slide solution” by Paul Kelly. The outline of this one is to Engage, tell the back story, build tension, bring it to the boil, offer choices of solutions, provide resolution, and set up the sequel. Again, if you want to follow that methodology, you can get the book from Amazon.
These starting points may well suit your needs, and if so, I encourage you to use them, but I will also teach you another way you can put together your presentation, based on studies on learning styles and how people react to the information they are presented with. These principles can also be incorporated into the Mind Maps created using either of these starting points to give greater impact to your presentations.
You have probably heard about the concept that different people learn in different ways, and David Kolb did some interesting research which concluded that there are four main ways that people learn new things:
- by experiencing something for themselves,
- by observing something and reflecting on what they have learned,
- by thinking about what they have heard,
- by doing things for themselves.
Now it is difficult to appeal to all these different learning types in a single speech, but Bernice McCarthy put together what is called the 4-mat system, which is designed to hook the interest and attention of all the different learning types.
The 4-Mat System
The 4-mat system of presentation is divided into four sections, which are:
- What If?
It’s really important to give the presentation in this specific order. This is because of the cognitive receptiveness of people with different learning preferences at different times during a presentation. We don’t have the space to go into this in depth here, but it is covered in detail, along with some other tips, in both the Business guide to Mind Mapping and the Teacher’s guide to Mind Mapping.
Firstly, Why?Why should I be listening to you? What’s in it for me?
If you don’t hook these people right up front with a good reason for them to listen to you, you will not be able to get them to listen to the rest of the talk, and I’m talking about an attention span sometimes of just a few seconds.
That’s why at the start of this article, my opening statement was “In this article, I’ll give you some important tips about preparing your presentation using NovaMind“. Now you know why you should listen.
You really want to hook these people because they are the ones who will take your message on board as part of themselves and spread it to other people.
What are you going to teach me? What specifically am I going to get out of this? What are the underlying concepts?
So if you recall, my second sentence was “To the right, there are two Mind Maps which you can use as starting points for creating your presentations, and we’ll have a quick look at them both, but we’ll also talk about how to put together your presentation Mind Maps from scratch, so you have all the information to do it the way you want“.
If these people don’t get that information near the start of the presentation, they will thing that there is no substance to what you are talking about. They are happy to sit through a brief introduction while you talk to the “Why” people, but you need their attention immediately after that so that they can begin their process of absorbing the concepts, absorbing it all and modeling it in their mind.
These are the people who will be able to explain in logical detail exactly what the idea is, and can then take it forward and implement it, sticking to the true concepts no matter what human or other obstacles are in the way.
How does it all work? How can I make this work? What are the real world practical applications of this? How can I try this out for myself?
This is why the next section of the start of this article showed you how you can download the NovaMind document and create your own documents from it.
These people will take away the information you gave them and try it for themselves. Some of them will be able to visualize themselves doing the things you were talking about, but in many cases, they need to actually do it themselves. These people have a bit longer attention spans, so are OK to sit through the first two sections, and are partially triggered by the ideas of what you can get out of it, so that helps them to start hooking in to the benefits.
When these people know that it works by experiencing it for themselves, they will build strategies and designs to implement the ideas widely, and will inspire others to follow them.
And lastly, What If?
What if the conditions are different? What if that doesn’t go as expected? What new possibilities will this open up for me? This is why I made brief mention of what if you want to know more about either of the starting point Mind Maps, and mentioned that this whole topic is covered in detail in the Teacher’s Guide to Mind Mapping and the Business Guide to Mind Mapping. Now you know where to go if you want more information.
These people will be thinking up questions right from the moment you start your talk, and if you have an open forum, they will try to interrupt your presentation to ask their questions. It is important that you don’t get diverted by this, or you will completely lose the other 3/4 of the group. Ask them to write down their questions and you can answer them later.
If you are giving a one way presentation, think of some questions they may ask if they had the opportunity, and ask them and answer them yourself. Don’t be scared to ask questions where you have given the clues in your presentation, and then not give them a direct answer – these people love to be given questions where they have to work out the answers. These people love doing things with what they have learned, and will get in there and learn by trial and error, and when they have “got it”, they will share their vision of the possibilities this opens up, and will encourage and cajole other people to become involved.
This is really only touching the tip of the iceberg as far as presentations goes, but will give you a good foundation for your presentations.
So when you are implementing this, if you are giving a really short talk, you would start with the title of the talk in the center, and then have the four main topics covering the four aspects of the 4-mat system like the first Mind Map to the right.
But if you are going to be doing a longer presentation, you should have the main concepts as your first level topics. I recommend having no more than 7 topics, or there will be too many concepts for people to take in.
Then for each main topic, you can have the four sections as sub-topics. This is an important aspect of giving talks that are longer than just a few minutes – once you have got past the “why” section, you are doing very little to trigger the interest of those people. Then your What people have got their fix of data, and they have processed that, and are ready for the next chunk, and so on. So you need to repeat the cycle for each of the main topics:
This is the topic, here are the concepts I’ll teach you, here’s how it works in practice, and here are some common questions or other situations this applies to.
There is another article on how to give a presentation from a Mind Map, and although I’m sure you have some clues about delivery from the information I’ve given here, I’ll extend that and give you more details in that article.
Have you noticed that in this article, I have gone through cycles in the four areas?
So what if you are writing an article or book, do you think that these same principles might apply?
If you’d like more information about the underlying concepts, you can look up the Learning Style Inventory by David Kolb, and the work of Bernice McCarthy.
As you can see, Mind Maps provide an excellent way of gathering together information for presentations in a way that is logical, understandable, and gives great impact to your audience.
There is more information in the presentations for business article, and of course, when you are ready to give the presentation you have prepared, you can use the presentation delivery article to help.
Also NovaMind Platinum for Windows has the built in NovaMind Presenter, to give stunning presentation directly from within NovaMind.