Mind mapping versus linear preparation

There are several disadvantages to linear methods of preparing speeches:

1 Because the speaker has to keep referring to written notes, he or she loses eye contact with the audience.

U Having to 'hold on' to the notes makes it impossible to reinforce major points with physical gestures.

O Written English is very different from spoken English. 'Grammatically correct' written language is inappropriate for a spoken presentation, and will almost certainly induce extreme boredom in the audience. A Mind Map gives the presenter a perfect balance between the spontaneity of natural talk and the structure of worked-out ideas. This powerful combination is the key to effective (and confident) presentation.

T A pre-prepared speech is always 'out of date'. It does not allow the speaker to adjust to the audience's immediate needs or to adapt the speech in response to points made by other speakers.

Thinking Maps Gesture


•J After about 20 minutes, the attention of the people in the first 30 rows tends to be less on the content of the speech than on how many pages are left!

Being totally dependent on any inflexible form has inherent dangers.

/ Because the speaker is chained to his notes it is difficult to adjust the presentation so that it finishes within the allocated time.

Here are a couple of true stories to illustrate these points.

Our first presenter had to make a speech at a three-day design conference in Washington DC, USA. The conference was attended by 2300 delegates and our man was number 72 out of 75 speakers. He had to give his prepared speech from behind a podium and he was allotted the 'graveyard shift' - the slot that starts immediately after lunch.

He was not a trained speaker, and as he approached the end of his 45-minute presentation most of the audience were dozing off. They all awoke at the screamed conclusion of his speech, which was, 'Oh my God! The last page has gone!' The last page had indeed disappeared. And in that moment of sheer terror he had not the faintest idea what was on it!

Our second presenter was an admiral who was known for his ability to make even the most boring prepared speeches sound interesting. He could read a speech in much the same way as an audio-typist transcribes it - perfectly but without any knowledge of its content.

This admiral was asked to give a speech to some senior naval officials and, as he was short of time, he asked his aide to prepare a 1-hour speech for him.

He gave his presentation but began to suspect that something was amiss when, after an hour, he found that he still had about the same number of pages to go.

Finally the truth dawned - he had been given two copies of the same speech. But the real horror was that the copies were ordered page 1, page 1, page 2, page 2, page 3, page 3, and so on. Because of his senior rank, no one had dared point out that perhaps this was carrying the mnemonic value of repetition a bit too far! A Mind Map would have saved him the embarrassment.

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Making Time Work With You

Making Time Work With You

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