Sometimes, it is easy to get carried away in our desire to communicate more and make our presentation slides text heavy without realizing it. In an attempt to be comprehensive, we often lose sight of how the audience would receive it. And having large chunks of text or complicated information defeats the purpose.
Anyone will tell you that you use more graphics than text. But which ones? In the blog, we will cover one of the more underutilized but highly effective tools for PowerPoint Presentations: the Mind Maps.
What Is A Mind Map, And Why Should You Use It?
In simple words, a Mind Map is a diagram consisting of charts, lines, and shapes, that allow us to put down our thoughts in a logical yet non-linear manner. Mind Maps are visual organizational tools and are essential for showing relationships and connections between ideas, theories, and concepts.
A Mind Map can consist of one central idea or multiple related central concepts. This is then expanded upon using “branches” of information relating to the central idea(s). Notably, these branches often represent the various facets of the main concept and allow the audience to visualize the various connections and associations smaller ideas may have with the larger, overarching theme.
Mind Maps are often used in collaborative and organizational work. They are usually one of the fastest, most efficient, and organic methods of brainstorming, scheduling and planning within a larger team. They can often lend surprising structure to what can otherwise seem like a hodge-podge of ideas, giving a logical process to random and seemingly unrelated points. This also makes them great for providing a visual aid to explain complicated decision-making processes to a larger audience or team.
Things To Keep In Mind While Making A Mind Map
Making a mind map is actually quite easy. They are the “first draft” of any brainstorming session for plans, strategies, etc. However, despite their deliberately unorganized functionality, some things need to be kept in mind before creating a mindmap.
Most Effective Mind Maps Templates That All Business Professionals Should Know
Concept Mind Maps
A concept map consists of the main objective or focus, and then the various initiatives, projects, and teams are added to see if they connect to the main objective. It is a visualization of the various localized aspects that make up the broader framework of a firm, using simple shapes and keywords.
Concept maps are usually used in larger setups to categorically and logically plan things at a broader level. Oftentimes, these are used to keep multiple cross-functional teams and different departments on track, ensuring that every team is working towards a common objective.
Bubble Mind Maps
When presenting a proposal to a client or a stakeholder, it becomes necessary that our information is as clear as possible. Sometimes, that means breaking an idea down into its parts to demystify and make it more understandable to someone that may not be familiar with all the nuances of a concept or idea. This is where Bubble Maps help. They are exceedingly simple yet highly targeted mind maps used mostly to provide a description of an idea using adjectives or give examples to emphasize a certain concept that may be unfamiliar to some.
They are created by having a larger circle, or “bubble” in the middle containing the main idea that you intend to clarify, with multiple smaller “bubbles” connected to the larger one containing keywords or phrases that effectively explain the larger idea.
Tree Mind Maps
Sometimes ideas have hierarchies and differing levels of importance. A TreeMap helps construct this type of picture. This tends to be useful in situations with several particular and detailed categorizations. It allows you to make broader categories and include narrower and highly focused classifications as well, showcasing the interconnectedness of various hyper-localized categorizations to a larger classification within an organization or project.
These are often used to show research and data analyses, as they can effectively consist of large bouts of data in smaller, more manageable chunks while still showing clear connections to the main idea.
A tree map can often take various shapes. It can be in the form of a grid pattern, with the shape and size of each block indicating the size or importance of data. It can also be in the form of a simple line graph, with each category branching out from the main and information/details underneath each category.
Brace Mind Maps
A Brace Map is similar to a Tree Map because they are both effective classification tools for information. However, a brace map consists of a dedicated space intended for analysis, wherein a Tree Map is simply a classification tool. Think of it like this – a Tree Map is the table of contents for a Brace Map. And often, a Tree Map is used for external communication, where the intention is to showcase information to a larger audience of those unfamiliar with the concept or your organization. A Brace Map works better in internal communications and the organization of research and analyses within an organization.
A Brace Map helps analysts break down large bits of information into smaller chunks to analyze all the data within it better. It also isolates the various classifications of a larger concept, making it easier to analyze and understand specific parts of the data without referencing or analyzing the whole data again.
Flow Mind Maps
Flow Maps are the simplest mind mapping tool that a business professional can use. They are linear flow charts that follow a constrained trajectory, moving from the larger concept to smaller, more related ideas. A flow map is a perfect way to show cohesion and a sequence of events through a mind map. It is also versatile, as it can be made horizontally or vertically, depending on what you’re brainstorming. For example, an algorithm to show how the contributors to product growth and decision-making involved can be shown via a horizontal flow map, whereas a sequence of events from a broader idea to a detailed breakdown of elements may better suit a vertical flow map.
When we look at an image or any visual depiction, for that matter, our brain is hardwired to automatically make connections and work through the visual information faster than other forms of communication. By using mind maps, you can effectively leverage your audience’s ability to understand and perceive information better through visual representations and make your presentation memorable.