Saturday, January 16, 2016

Making your best presentation

Another thought blog by Visual Mapper

Making your best presentation

Presentations are for the most part tedious and stressful things; aren't they? No matter how good a communicator you are, presentations always seem to trip us up; Don't they?

Tedious because they always seem to take forever to layout what you actually want to convey to your audience, and stressful due to the amount of coffee or liquor you take to get you through the tedious part of the process. But all kidding aside, good presentations allude most of us.

For me, I've always had a problem taking the script of what I wish to say and convey it in a reasonable presentation. And even when I became a Mind/Visual mapper, it still seemed to allude me. Ah that place of good presentations; I've read loads of books on presenting a reasonable audience talk, but why the hell did I miss that nirvana like flow where we seem to visually present like a pro?

I guess the answer may be found in how we understand the spoken/written word and the visual associations we extrapolate. I noticed a gap (read chasm) between words and visuals, and that gap has for me been resolved (to a degree) by the range of graphical software products I have access to and use.

The radiant mind map layout, while really good at a personal use level, seems to be for the most part either inadequate or unacceptable to the majority of audiences in my experience. No matter my enthusiasm and deep passion for the mind map format, I just couldn't get ever enough buy-in from any audience outwith the religious like excitement from groups of mind mappers whom actually believe the whole world should be mind mapping.

I had to take a step outside the bubble of the mind mapping space and re-evaluate how I would create, manage and share (exchange) any presentation. Okay so my profile according to the Herman dominance measurement tool was just about 50/50 relating to linear and non linear, so I understood the need and use of both linear flowchart like graphics and radiant non linear like.

So what I did was to create my own little method for helping me, and ultimately helping many others to decide which format would be best presented. It's called the T.A.P method and you'll find it if you search through the Visual Mapper blog site. The great thing about this method is you really don't have to be a mind mapper or strictly linear thinker to use it.

Once you use T.A.P it leads you into taking another look at templates. Yup good old fashioned templates, and IMO Nancy Duarte basically cracked the code for ready made templates that cover almost any scenario for making awesome presentations. Nancy has written extensively on communication through the use of graphics; my favourite book was Slide:ology. I encourage you to go look at her excellent work.

Hey I've even looked at exporting disassembled mind maps into MS PowerPoint; yes PP still works even for the advanced Visual mapper like me. A contradiction for sure from a mind/visual/knowledge mapper, but beyond the use of mind/visual mapping we have this funky arena of knowledge mapping that seems to be, on face value, far removed from what we can accomplish with heavily graphical suits such as ConceptDraw Pro and others.

The question still remains though; how do we make our best presentations? And the answer must be; it's not down to any specific tool, but it might indeed be. I know many colleagues who use only one specific software for creating presentations, yet like me, many use a multitude of products to eventually arrive at a presentation. Of course I'll use T.A.P and I may even use one of Nancy Duarte's available templates. But maybe it's a shift in thought that produces a mindset of communication openness that in turn produces the insight of reasonable, good or even great presentations.

What's your thoughts? Do you use a single product or multiple? What are they; and what's the buy-in you've experienced.

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