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.