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Overcome the hurdle of creating presentations

September 23, 2013

Written by

Christian Hirsch, Founder / CEO, PhD in CS

Creating a presentation can be a daunting task. Between collecting research, organizing the research into logical categories, writing notes, and practising the presentation itself, the process can leave one stressed – not an ideal situation in which to find oneself the day before the day of presenting! Luckily, there’s a better way.

Creating a presentation can be a daunting task. Between collecting research, organizing the research into logical categories, writing notes, and practising the presentation itself, the process can leave one stressed – not an ideal situation in which to find oneself the day before the day of presenting! Luckily, there’s a better way.

In this guide, we will demonstrate how to use Mohiomap and Evernote to create a presentation. The three-step process will utilize visual thinking to transform a collection of free-floating ideas into a structured mindmap of actual presentation slides.

1. Collect and visualize your ideas and resources

Firstly, create a new notebook in Evernote. Within this notebook you will collect and save all your ideas for the presentation, as well as the supporting resources you think you will require. Below is what such a notebook could look like for a presentation which outlines the performance of a fictional company, for the first quarter of 2013. Keep in mind that with the flexibility of Evernote, you are free to tags each note in any manner you wish:

There are two reasons for collecting your presentation ideas and resources in Evernote (and then subsequently visualizing them in Mohiomap).

Firstly, you gain easy, consolidated access to the resources you need – as opposed to having the resources scattered across different media (the Internet, files saved on your computer, etc). Evernote is the perfect solution for collecting all of this needed information in one place.

More importantly, viewing your presentation as a mindmap can spark the creation of new thoughts and ideas. For example, you may find that you have focused too much on one topic, and not enough on another; or that you may have not enough resources to supplement one important aspect of your presentation. Whatever the case, mindmaps will often stimulate the mind in this manner, and Mohiomap will certainly help in that regard.

2. Define a topic sequence

Now that the presentation is visually accessible, we can now mold it into a more formal structure; specifically, a structure that defines the sequence of the topics that will be covered. There are multiple ways to accomplish this. For example, we could assign each note the following tags:

  • introductionbody, or conclusion – depending on which part of the presentation those aspects will be used; or
  • high prioritymoderate priority, or low priority – high priority concepts would be covered first in the presentation. This may be useful if, for example, the presentation is under limited time constraints and may need to end before completion

The screenshot below displays what our existing example notebook would look like if we applied the second of the methods above:

Assigning the tags can be done directly in Mohiomap with our ‘Tagging’ Actionable Feature. Of course, a single note may be used in multiple areas of the presentation (for example, you may want to use a resource in both the introduction and the conclusion, as with the ‘Company Mission Statement’ note above) – so you would tag that resource appropriately.

The presentation is taking shape! We have now defined a sequence for the topics that will be discussed.

3. Create your presentation slides

The final step is to create your actual presentation slides. Your first instinct may be to use third-party presentation software – but in this final step, we’re going to use Evernote to create the presentation. Evernote features more than sufficient editing capabilities to create a set of basic presentation slides; and with all of your presentation planning and resources stored in Evernote, it makes sense to create and store the presentation in Evernote as well.

Create a new notebook with the name of your presentation. Each note within this notebook will represent a presentation slide.. We recommend creating a new notebook because this way, you can easily refer back to the previous notebook you used in steps 1 and 2 for inspiration for your slides. Here’s an example of one of the slides in our company performance presentation, created in Evernote:

And the complete set of presentation slides, visualized in Mohiomap:

Notice that each presentation topic (represented by tags) and each presentation slide (represented by notes) is preceded with a number. This signifies the order that they will be discussed in during the presentation – hence, the very first slide will cover the welcome, and the final slide is about prompting the audience for any questions.

We have finished creating the presentation! By utilizing Evernote and Mohiomap, we have managed to transform a collection of ideas into a structured set of presentation slides. Let us know how this process has turned out for you by sending us an email at hello@moh.io, and look out for our next Mohiomap Tip, where we’ll demonstrate how to use Mohiomap to deliver the presentation!

About the author

Christian Hirsch, Founder / CEO, PhD in CS

While completing his PHD in Computer Science, Christian’s research work on the intersection of data visualization, software engineering, and knowledge management, led to the technological foundations of Mohiomap.

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