I’ve never seen that before!
That’s great—can you show me how to use it?
These were some of the comments and questions I received while facilitating my most recent Beyond the Expected public speaking group after casually mentioning that I use a mind map as a speech writing tool. It was then I realized not everyone is aware of or uses mind maps. Since they have reinvented the way I gather my thoughts and totally eliminated the paralysis I used to experience when needing to write a speech, you may also find this method helpful.
My creative juices begin flowing as soon as I draw the circle in the middle and list my overall theme. Not being a left-brained thinker, the linear method of a “normal” outline just doesn’t work for me. In fact, it would be hours at times before I could get past the first numeral one!
The mind map gives me permission to scribble my thoughts as they come up and yet still see some order to them. With the traditional outline it is common to get stuck until you have perfectly and completely listed everything you feel needs to go under the first point. Then, you can finally move to #2. This can be stifling and counterproductive. With the mind map, you can list the points you want to make, add another point later, and sporadically add the details as you are inspired.
The end result is the same with both methods: you have all the information you want to include in your speech or article. However, the process used with mind mapping is more conducive to creativity.
Try it and see if you, too, find more success with this clear and simple brainstorming technique.