Interesting and useful information is not enough for a presentation to be successful. Even a tiny mistake or defect can become fatal:
- It’s easy to lose the audience attention.
- The information becomes hard to perceive and memorize.
- As the result, it’s impossible to persuade and motivate the audience.
On the other hand, a well-structured presentation along with strong narrative logic is a powerful tool to succeed.
Before structuring a presentation, a reporter should come up with two things:
- Presentation Topic
- Presentation Purpose
These two elements of presentation influence all other preparatory measures.
The topic of presentation determines its sense and content, and that’s why a reporter should be careful while choosing words for it.
As a rule, a presentation topic derives from a situation. But if a reporter has an opportunity to choose a topic, he’d better pick the one familiar to himself. In that case, more chances are a speaker will be able to make his presentation interesting and informative by using technologies for its preparation and delivery.
A reporter must understand the purpose of his presentation clearly. It can be different:
- to inform;
- to persuade;
- to entertain;
- to inspire;
- to achieve a ritual purpose, etc.
Every word in the presentation should comply with a chosen purpose.
For structuring, it’s enough to understand whether a purpose is informing or motivating.
Using Mind Maps to Structure a Presentation
Mind maps are a perfect tool for organizing information hierarchically and visually. That is why so many experts recommend them for structuring a presentation.
- Presentation structure becomes vivid.
Both plain text and bullet points affect our verbal channel. Preparing a mind map, one involves his visual channel to research. This leads to another benefit:
- The structure becomes easier to memorize.
Memorizing a presentation with mind maps is a happy medium of its preparation. As far as presentations are neither text reciting nor 100% improvisation, a mind map will help to stick to plan and leave room for improvisation for making your presentation figurative.
- The structure becomes easier to scale.
Mind maps help to adapt presentations to necessary time frames. And when needed, a speaker can expand or structurize additional ideas, facts, and examples.
MindMup is a free web-based tool allowing to structure your presentations and share them via Google Documents.