Become a Presentation Superhero

Filed Under Mindjet

Michael Deutch

March 23, 2009

This Saturday, I hung out at SlideShare’s office to attend the first Presentation Camp! My original intent was to learn from the great list of attendees, but then I realized, why not present? Here’s how to become a presentation superhero!

The Setup:

First, I introduced the scenario where you’ve just been given the opportunity to develop an important presentation. But, you only have a day to do it and you’re starting from scratch. How do you get it done? Where do you start? Where do you take it? How do you get your thoughts out of your head and into a final product? Enter mind mapping…

What’s Mind Mapping

Now that the stage was set, I had to explain what the heck is a mind map. Borrowing from idea mapping author Jamie Nast, I presented the concept of blooms, flows and the final result, a mind map of blooms and flows. Our topic for this co-created mind map was how to develop a killer presentation.

So, quickly…a bloom captures ideas and surrounds them around the topic that you’re thinking about…

A flow continues to break down an idea into greater detail…

Mind maps are visual representations of your ideas and information, which you can create quickly by combining the concept of ‘blooms’ and ‘flows’. It’ll wind up looking something like this map which is borrowed mostly from Roger Parker’s speech planning map.

The Traditional Approach (or, in other words, what’s the PAIN?)

Next, I used the Beyond Bullet Points example of creating content for a presentation. A traditional approach would use a tool like Microsoft Word for creating your outline before diving into PowerPoint. There are major drawbacks to using Word for this as you quickly lose perspective and relationships of presentation points and details when it is spread across 10+ pages of a word document.

The Solution

The same content was presented in a map where you could see the relationships between your points and easily reorganize them to ensure that you are maintaining a clean, logical flow and providing clear, persuasive support for your desired presentation outcome.

Next, I presented some of the advantages of using mind mapping software to develop your content instead of using your whiteboard or pen and paper. The list could go on; I just covered a few of the key points.

I wrapped it up with some Q&A on how to be a Presentation Super-hero. I think I forgot to show my contact info, but here’s my second chance! 

Here are my presentation maps:

  1. Leave a comment below if you’d like a copy of my Presentation Camp SF Map, How to Map Your Way to Better Presentations.
  2. The Beyond Bullet Points Map Template (requires MindManager)
  3. The Beyond Bullet Points Map Example (requires MindManager)


More Great Presentations

Beyond mapping, there was a great group of presenters, presentations and insights shared throughout the day. Here’s a glimpse of who attended:

  • Camen Taran gave a great presentation on Better Beginnings which covered how to engage your audience in 30 seconds! DOs: Create an emotional connection right away  DONTs: Start with an agenda (yawn), lack passion, apologize or be self-indulgent!
  • Cliff Atkinson, author of Beyond Bullet Points, got everyone involved in an improv presentation where audience members created a story from a set of PowerPoint images in real-time. Each participant shared for 30 seconds and then the next participant continued the storyline. It was great to show how much humor and information can be conveyed with images, not bullets!
  • Stowe Boyd led an interesting discussion about how services like Twitter may change real-time and web conferencing in the near future…
  • Terry Gault engaged the group with a presentation on The Creation Myth. Ways to brand yourself or your company. If you want to know a bit more about Mindjet’s creation, check out the Cancer Code story of our founder, Mike Jetter.
  • Scott Schwertly, presentation whiz-kid and founder of ethos3 and slide magnet, delivered a Larry Lessig styled presentation on delivering presentations to Gen X & Y.  
  • Dave McClure, the master of 500 hats, delivered an edgy presentation on…how shall I say this…Start Up Viagra: how to ‘turn on’ a Venture Capitalist.
  • Jeff Widman, who I met at the GTD Summit and is currently blogging for, discussed the ‘what, when, where, why and hows’ of story boarding for presentations. Jeff faciliatated the conversation and I built a live map about Storyboards to record the group’s conversations. (Use the Storyboards link to download the map).  

There were some other great sessions which I did not get a chance to see. For more info about this event and other Presentation camps, check out the blog.

Don’t forget, add a comment below if you’d like a copy of the presentation map that I delivered. Thanks!

About the Author: Michael Deutch is Mindjet’s Chief Evangelist, content contributor for the Mindjet Blog and the Mindjet Connections newsletter. Get more from Michael on Twitter.

40 Responses to “Become a Presentation Superhero”

  1. Joao

    Hi Michel,
    I loved your map.
    Could I please a copy of your presentation?

  2. Mark

    Would love a copy of your presentation as well…


  3. Eve

    Hi Michel,

    I startet to follow you blog recently and I am thrilled about the functionalities and the capapbilities MindManager offers that I haven’t used yet.

    I would greatly appreciate it of your presentation map.


  4. Jon Giganti

    Great stuff Michael. Good to see you at the GTD Summit. We can always get better at presenting. Mind Manager has been a huge win for me in my sales career…for note taking and delivering content. I just blew away my sales team with a presentation delivered via Mind Manager. Keep up the great posts.

  5. Tom

    Please send me a copy of your presentation map – it’a always great to learn new ways to use MindManager.

  6. John

    Hi Michael,
    Could I please a copy of your presentatio. I like your blog. Started to follow it recently.

  7. Triman

    Would love a copy of your presentation as well…

  8. WillT

    I just bought your book and was looking for a way to integrate that information with Sliderocket. Please send me a copy of your presentation from Presentation Camp.

  9. BBlair

    Would very much appreciate a copy of your presentation.
    Very nice post.

  10. Gerard Montocchio

    I am very interested in your ideas and approach. I do a lot of presentations and would like to freshen up my approach! A copy of your presentation would be greatly appreciated.

  11. Sumanth

    Would love a copy of your presentation as well…

  12. Gary Rust

    This is an amazing flow type chart. I was introduced to something like this about 3 months ago and I love what is does from an organizational standpoint. I think it will get you to your destination/goal in the fastest amount of time.

  13. Catherine Seo

    good overview – attended your webinar today- lots of good info on your BLOG. Please send a copy of your Presentation Camp SF Map, How to Map Your Way to Better Presentations.
    thanks for lots of good resources.
    I’m on the edge of converted.

  14. Michael Deutch

    File has been sent :)

    @Cindy, yes, you re-introduced me to BPP and then Cliff and I hooked up on Twitter recently. He flew up from LA for the event and we’re going to collaborate on some stuff (e.g. Presentation Camp LA) for the summer!

  15. Michael Deutch

    Sending responses now.

    @Angelo: You can apply the concept of beyond bullet points to any version of PowerPoint of Keynote. You could even structure map presentations with this in mind.

    @TheGirlPie: You should try MindManager with the tablet PC, it gives you some neat ways to draw / write, directly in your maps.

    @Diana Zee: Many thanks to Jamie Nast, author of Idea Mapping, who gave me some names to describe what it is the software does!

    @K: MindManager is extremely easy to learn the basics. Like many software packages, the basics only scratch the surface of what is possible.

    @Barbara: Very cool, thanks!

  16. Fokke

    Hi Michael, very interesting blogpost. Inspiring to use Mindmanager even more. I sure would like a copy too. Keep up the good work. Fokke

  17. Cindy King

    Hi Michael,

    Now you know that I laughed out loud when I saw the Beyond Bullets PowerPoint template in word!

    The Mind Map is sooooo much better!

    Would love a copy of your presentation.

    All the best,


  18. Stephan Sieck

    Very interesting post and good Mindmap, Michael!
    Could you please send me a copy of your Mindmap with the presentations? Thanks.

  19. Matthew Lang

    Excellent article Michael!

    I was wondering if you could hit me with a copy of the presentation map?



  20. K

    Thank you, please send the presentation? I’d be interested to know the level of difficulty in learning to use this software.

  21. Marc Mascaro

    I have used MindJet to gather my thoughts in preparing for a presentation. Really like the way you have detailed it here and would appreciate a copy of the presentation.


  22. Paul

    Great article. I’ve used mindjet for many presentations. Would love a copy of your maps fo rmore inspiration. ty!

  23. Rafael Varón

    Very interesting and useful. Could I have copies of the presentations? Many thanks

  24. Bill Weber

    Its interesting to see structure on how others dump their head into Mind Maps. I’m finding taxonomy examples at work that this has been great for.

    Please send your idaes along. Much appreciated.

  25. Diana Zee

    Neat, snappy presentation & I would greatly appreciate a copy.
    The ‘bloom’ & ‘flow’ mapping concept makes total sense and your maps exemplified that perfectly
    Many thanks

  26. Altan Khendup

    I sadly missed the presentation due to other commitments. I would love to see the presentation. mindmapping is a good way to get thoughts down and organized.

  27. TheGirlPie

    There’s a lot of (helpful) overlap in this article for what I do with/teach to my clients, and it’s fun to see the digital ways of doing what started around a campfire (I’m told) and progressed past chalk on a blackboard, to index cards on a bulletin board, then color on whiteboards — with the storyboards, back of napkins, and ancillary sketches of our trade throughout — and all keyed on storytelling… every pitch in every segment of life is a mini-movie, as was ever so.

    Would love a copy, thank you.

  28. Iain Hutchinson

    I have been a mindmap user for a number of years and have found it very useful for organising notes and setting out presentations. You article made an interesting read on the subject of presentations I ahve read beyond bullet points which I can highly recommend and would also recomend people read some of the information by Edward Tufte – the guru of visual aids.`

  29. Rob

    Some great fresh thinking around presentations – I try to steer clear of powerpoint these days, but hadn’t considered mindjet as an alternative til now. I’d love a copy of the presentation if it’s still available?



  30. Angelo Melendez

    Ditto, great post… is PPT 2007 required for Beyond Bullet Points? Please your presentation and two templates… thanks!

  31. Phil Godden

    Great post – thanks! Please send me a copy of your presentation.

  32. Maury Giles

    Love to get a copy of your presentation and more information about the mindmapping software–small biz solutions. Thanks.

  33. Marcos D. Alves

    Very interesting and useful post ! Would you please send me a copy of your presentation ? Thanks.


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