This week I was the closing keynote speaker at the Nlab Social Networks conference in Leicester. My talk was entirely based on preconceived and spontaneous concept maps created with IHMC's Cmap Tools.
While my talking was marginally popular, people were genuinely impressed with concept maps as a basis for storytelling.
I was very happy with how speaking directly from a concept map kept the audience engaged, the presentation flowing and broke away from powerpoints.
And, no, it's not that I hate powerpoint. I make pretty good PPTs, if you ask me.
What I noticed was the concept map created a flow for the conversation that was even and had no breaks. With powerpoint, every new slide is an abrupt transition. It also creates an unhealthy distraction of "What's coming next?" as opposed to an easy anticipation that you are already in the flow of the logic and the next thing, while unknown, will be natural. (Which does not preclude being surprising).
When I showed my wife my presentation she became quite animated. "YOU SHOULD USE THIS EVERY DAY!!" She shouted. She, as a clinician, really liked the logical flow of the concept map and how it helped a "big picture" guy like myself organize thought.
The issue here is, I have so many things running around in my head that powerpoints don't provide the structure I apparently need to remind me to say details. Or, if powerpoint does do this - it's because of tedious bullet points.
CMaps create transit networks of thought. So each bit of an overall concept is like a station. You move along through the network and stop and each station to see the sites. The photo above shows that my concept map has a main-line and a few branches. And in the end, they are a coherent system.
And, for god's sakes, don't write your whole presentation as a massive concept map.