the power of mind maps

I speak in public and teach a lot… often as many as six times a week between my work with The Ridge faith community and my training business CBI.  The biggest part of the process of teaching is speaking is the preparation.  I have been doing this for 16 years now, and have been refining my process.  One of the key components is mind mapping.

Mind mapping is a graphical organization of ideas.  Consider it a circular outline.  I grab ideas, thoughts, my lesson plan and throw it into mindmap software. ( I use MindJet on my Macbook and iThoughtsHD on my iPad).  Don’t edit, don’t order… just collect.  Then with the software I can drag individual ideas, or whole thought branches, where I think they make sense.  As I work the talk/teaching over, I can add, delete, move, and edit effortlessly.

Then when it is time to present, i take the mindmap with me.  I use my iPad to read it off of (reading clockwise from 12oclock).  I keep my mindmaps vertical, so they are easy to manipulate in front of a crowd on the iPad.  There is more information than I need when actually speaking, but by practicing off of the same map as I present, I learn the material faster and am able to recal it more completely.  That means that as I present, I simply skim over the big points of the map, but have my notes there if I ever blank and need to dive deeper to make a point.

Here are examples of my maps from a recent series I did at The Ridge on suffering. Note that I sometimes use color as coding for visuals or emphasis.  Sometimes the notes are more intensive, sometimes less, as I need them.

110109 Choice 110116 – All and Nothing 110123 Harp Hangers and a Herd of Pigs 110130  The whole entire everything gets put back together

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