Tuesday 8 November 2005

Mind your presentation

During the last week or so I've been playing with some different outliner and mind mapping software to use as group facilitation and presentation support tools.

One particular tool, Mind Manager, really caught my attention because it offers an alternative presentation approach to Death by PowerPoint. Basically you can use Mind Manager to structure and gather together the points and information related to your presentation - including pictures, text, documents and even spreadsheets. Then using Mind Manager's "Presentation Mode" you can use your mind map as the presentation.

The nice thing about Presentation Mode is that your audience can see the whole of what you are presenting at the beginning and it is easy to jump backwards and forwards to different points. The effect is quite different to the linear approach in a typical slide-by-slide presentation that we've become so familiar with!

Other tools I've looked at are Treepad (an outliner - the interface works well, but it would be nice if it stored data in XML rather than its own weird format!) and FreeMind (a nice open source mind mapping tool, however it lacks Mind Manager's Presentation Mode).

BTW If you're looking for an outliner tool, Wikipedia has a good list of commercial, freeware and open source options under it's outliner definition.

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