What do I want to say? Whoever is preparing a presentation, a talk, a speech, will – hopefully – come across this question. You create an outline? Great, but still that does not answer the core question: What do I want to say? What’s the point?
For me, to find the answer to those questions two tools have proven success, taken from the book “Write to the Top – Writing for Corporate Success” from Deborah Dumaine.
First, it is the so called Focus Sheet, next the Presenter’s Blueprint.
A German version of this post is available.
1. The Focus Sheet
To start, you need exactly that: the full focus on the message that you want to convey to your counterpart, your presentation’s audience.
The Focus Shet helps with some questions that you should ask yourself. Since I am a friend of Mind Maps, I put those questions in a Mind Map in the Mindjet MindManager format (Affiliate-Link).
The Map for the focus sheet you can download here in the following formats:
- Focus Sheet MindManager Map Part,
- Focus Sheet PDF export,
- Focus Sheet MindMap in FreeMind (an older version of the map).
The Icons in the MindManager file are from MindManager, the Icons in FreeMind are from FreeMind, the questions and texts are from the book of Deborah Dumaine.
2. The Presenter’s Blueprint
After you finished the Focus Sheet and collected a lot of ideas for your presentation that crossed your mind when working on the Focus Sheet, you can layout the outline of your speech or talk. Again no rocket science but a pragmatic template is given with the presenter’s blueprint. This is exactly the next part I drag into my mind map for the talk project. Like the Focus Sheet, I took Deborah Dumaines’ concept.
When filling the template, do copy and rename the branch “Body” according to the number of parts that your speech shall contain.
The Map for the presenter’s blueprint you can download here in the following formats:
- Presenter’s Blueprint MindManager Map Part,
- Presenter’s Blueprint PDF export,
- Presenter’s Blueprint MindMap in FreeMind (an older version of the map).
Again the Icons in the MindManager file are from MindManager, the Icons in FreeMind are from FreeMind, the questions and texts are from the book of Deborah Dumaine.
So now, how do you approach your presentations and speeches?