Contributed By Kenny Nguyen, CEO/Co-Founder of ThreeSixtyEight
People frequently email us to ask, “Hey Big Fish Presentations, how exactly do you brainstorm your content for your presentations?” After receiving multiple email requests in the last couple of months, we decided to share our self-developed mind mapping technique with the world.
When you are brainstorming the presentation you want to create, follow the below process to mind map out your points. It’s important to remember though, that these steps come before actually practicing and/or designing your presentation. We recommend creating your big idea first, developing the call to action second, writing three, simple main points that support the call to action, complete the big idea third (look in the structure section), then finally writing your opener/closer last. By following the process this way, you will have the basis to create supporting content in your outline on top of your foundational big idea.
Figure 1: Follow the steps based on the directions of the arrows
Step 1 – Develop Your Big Idea: This is your central argument and the main reason you are presenting. Every presentation should have only one main idea to keep focused. A great big idea is one that can be stated in simple terms as the purpose of your presentation. Do not create any presentation without a singular big idea as you can risk overloading your audience with information.
For more info on how to create Big Ideas, see here for a sample chapter in our book The Big Fish Experience.
Step 2: Develop Your Call to Action: Every presentation should have a call to action to influence the audience even after the presentation is over. Without a call to action, you risk the purpose of your big idea being lost to your audience and they will not know what you would like them to do next. There are three different types of calls to action: a question (ex. why should we wait to save money?), a demand (ex. you need to do this now to help save the company money), or offer (ex. if you choose to do X, you will save X in return).
For tips on developing your call to action, see our Slideshare here on tips.
Step 3 – Develop Your Main Points: As people tend to have short attention spans, breaking up your key points into three main points is the best way to support your call to action and big idea. These main points should be memorable and delivered in a twitter-like format (think 140 characters or less). By simplifying main points, it is easier to 1) recap your presentation on what key takeaways your audience should remember and 2) help create supporting content around each main point.
For more on creating a structure/flow for your presentation to support your presentation’s call to action and main idea, see here for tips on structure.
Step 4 – Develop Your Opener/Closer: We recommend developing your opener/closer last, as you need the context of the presentation first before you can know how to begin.
Let’s start with the opener first.
The opener of a presentation should intrigue the audience members to listen. There are many different ways to open your presentation such as through a story, joke, quote, video, or statistic. We recommend starting off with a small pause then telling either a story or shocking statistic (make sure to compare your statistic to a relatable digestible stat for dramatic effect) based on audience member and context of meeting.
For tips on how to open your presentation, please see here for a blog post that can help you choose the most effective opener.
Regarding the closer.
While this process grew out of necessity in simplifying the presentation process for our clients, the format above is now the presentation format that we use for all our presentations. From the simple internal team project pitch, to the sales deck, to the TED-style keynote, we use this format to make sure all the ideas synergize with one another. Utilize this method on your next presentation to help you speed your creative process up and make your presentation one to remember.
Have any questions, comments, or suggestions on what you believe are the perfect ways to mind map your presentation? Let us know at email@example.com. And don’t forget to check out our book The Big Fish Experience for more presentation tips – or subscribe to our blog to stay updated on the latest presentation, design, video, and creative trends.
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KENNY NGUYEN | CEO/Co-Founder of ThreeSixtyEight
Kenny Nguyen is the CEO/co-founder of ThreeSixtyEight, a modern agency that makes and markets brands through clever content and disruptive design. The agency also operates Big Fish Presentations, a service line that focuses on ridding the world of boring presentations through high-quality presentation design, presentation coaching, and speechwriting. Through combining disciplines of UX design, strategy, and personal communications, the agency is able to create unique customer experiences for companies like Unilever, CenturyLink, McGraw-Hill Education, Pepsi, Mizuho, Quantcast, Nationwide Insurance, GE, and NASA. Kenny has been featured on speaking platforms such as TEDx, Google Talks, Inbound, and General Assembly and has contributed to outlets such as Forbes, Inc., Entrepreneur Magazine, Techcrunch, Yahoo, Business Insider, Mashable, Huffington Post, and Washington Post. He is is the co-author of the McGraw-Hill published book The Big Fish Experience: Create Memorable Presentations that Reel in Your Audience. Alongside his agency, he curates Assembly Required, a quarterly conference series in Louisiana that focuses on highlighting/retaining/recruiting the best talent in Louisiana while connecting attendees to national level speakers.