Friday, 1 July 2011

Presentation Design with MindGenius

Continuing with the theme of presentations (see: Bad Presentations Are Not the Fault of PowerPoint) I want to give one or two simple illustrations of some of the points made.  I'll do this in combination with a quick demonstration of how a tool like MindGenius might be used to plan and script the presentation and to create the supporting slides and handouts.

In the earlier post, several solutions were suggested to help improve presentations, these were:

  • Make a clear point
  • Analyse the audience
  • Separate the "script" from the supporting images
  • Less is more
  • Brief the audience beforehand
  • Anticipate the audience's lack of preparedness
  • Meet the need for detail or technical material.

To illustrate how these might be addressed, I'll use a scenario of the outcome of a study into the best location for an imaginary office relocation.  Click on any of the images to see an expanded view.

The "clear point" to be made is a recommendation on the best location.  "Audience analysis" of the Steering Group, to whom the recommendation is being made, identifies that the expectation is for the recommendation to be made on cost grounds alone.  Supporting facts and figures will be needed to support the recommendation.  The "hidden" objective is ensure the audience are confident the study was thorough and detailed.

The simple plan is:

  • lead with the recommendation (Manchester)
  • confirm that this is the cheapest option
  • remind the Steering Group of the selection criteria set by the Board
  • detail the costs of the options in line with each of these criteria
  • show the recommended option is the clear winner
  • ask the Steering Group to approve the recommendation and move to the next step.




The main ideas are easily set out in MindGenius.






Each of the ideas is then expanded to provide the "script".



 Word Script with slides added


Once we have the "spoken" part of the presentation, we decide which points need to be reinforced with a visual.  These are created and added to the MindGenius map.


MG Presentation


Using the MindGenius presentation builder, the next step is to create the slides needed to support the presentation. 






The result is a handful of slides including a summary of the structure of the presentation and leading with the recommendation and how it was reached.  The charts meet the audience's need for detail.


PP presentationThe presentation is now ready, we just need to learn the script and rehearse.  We could present the slides using MindGenius or we can export them to PowerPoint.



Word Script

For the script, we can use a print out of the MindGenius map or we can export it to Word to give us a more linear document to work from.  Exporting to Word also gives us a handout we can give to the audience at the start of the meeting.


We know it will be useful to "brief the audience beforehand" by issuing a short report containing the detailed facts and figures.  This is quickly prepared from our script via a Word export and with a few changes in wording appropriate to a report style.




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