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Mind Mapping
by
Raju Mandhyan
 
   
 
   

Mind Mapping is a fun and simple technique that can help you generate large number of ideas, sort them by effectiveness and applicability. It can also analyze options more efficiently, structure presentations, memorize more and store large volumes of data, ideas, opinions and thoughts on single sheets of paper. Originated by creativity expert Tony Buzan, Mind Mapping has done wonders for my learning, thinking, and speaking skills.

I came upon this technique several years ago while I was conducting a presentation skills workshop for the British Council in Manila. A young Englishwoman with bright eyes and an easy smile sat through my workshop and seemed to do very little except keep her eyes on me. She seemed to be listening to every word I spoke with an uncanny ease.

At first, I thought she was getting bored. Then I thought that perhaps she didn’t like what she was hearing or probably knew much more than I did. It was intimidating and scary. Curious, I walked up to her and expressed my concerns. She smiled, held up the Mind Map book and her notes in a Mind Map form. Later in the session, she shared with us the rationale and the benefits of the technique. It allowed her to listen and participate a 100% percent and at the same time capture all ideas on paper in key words, colors and images.

That night, I went home and did some research, called up some friends, and was intrigued enough to spend days and weeks learning more about it. In a matter of weeks I started applying the technique and soon became addicted. It worked fabulously!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today, I apply it for reading, researching, writing, strategizing, managing meetings and most powerfully for public speaking. This is how I define Mind Mapping, “A colorful, two dimensional, quick representations of your own ideas, thoughts, emotions and options captured on paper in color and in pictures by yourself. The key words here are “your own,” because a Mind Map is not a streamlined presentation that can be understood well by any person other than the creator of the Mind Map.

The rationale behind Mind Mapping is that our senses take in a lot of information, and all this input generates responses, ideas, and opinions that cannot be expressed vocally or written down as quickly as they occur. For example, if 10 ideas flash through our minds then we may only be able to express only half of them verbally and less than a quarter in writing. Mind Mapping provides the answer to this malady: It is like a thought-grabber with eight or ten sets of limbs. Capturing your thoughts quickly gives you time to analyze and qualify them later. This makes your thinking process more effective. Putting down thoughts in images and colors also enhances retention and invites the creative, right side of your brain to come and play!

Here are ten steps on how to create a Mind Map.

  1. Take a blank sheet of paper and lay it lateral. A blank sheet will allow freedom and will not let lines influence you into linear thinking. Lateral so that you may spread your ideas wide and still be able to read them later.

  2. Draw an image of your topic or using at least three colors at the center of the paper. Three colors and an image will allow you to delve a bit more on the central theme. Make the central image a representation of the topic. Use images rather than words.

  3. Draw the main, appealing ideas as thick branches coming from the central image. Unworry about order, importance or relationships. That can be rearranged later. Let your brain, initially, storm up ideas.

  4. Whenever possible, use different color themes for different branches. This will make it easier for you to segregate and qualify ideas later. At all rates, be fast about mapping and leave the analysis and ordering of ideas to a later moment.

  5. Maintain one word per branch and keep that word on top of the branch. This one word may allow for a freewheeling of additional ideas and will create many more associations.

  6. Add images wherever you can instead of words. You already know that a picture is worth a thousand words and people remember images better than words.

  7. Add arrows between images and branches and ideas expressing relationships or commonalities among the ideas. There will always be a persisting relationships or repetitions in your outputs. That’s okay. Our mind is a volcano of thought not a computer.

  8. Flow with abandon. Do not judge your thoughts. Grab your ideas first and quantify them later. In other schools of thoughts, it is called brainstorming. With Mind Mapping you are letting your conscious and unconscious mind brainstorm together quietly and efficiently.

  9. Use capital letters, print, and be creative with your Mind Maps. Printed words are always easier to read back and during the “slowness” of printing your intellect does a rapid approval of the word/idea. The word and the idea also stick better into our memories.

  10. Last but not the least suggestions is, have fun doing it.

Reading a Mind Map

A Mind Map is drawn from the center going outwards and read from the outside going inwards. The primary branches form the main points and the secondary and tertiary branches form the sub-headings or points. The branch and its sub-branches are read flexibly. Read clockwise and then convert single words into simple sentences as you go. Structure, sequence, and polishing off the language in the complete text can be done later.

Benefits of Mind Mapping

  1. Noting and reading only relevant words only saves a lot of time.

  2. Reviewing is graphical and can be done at a glance.

  3. Concentration on real issues is enhanced.

  4. Key words are easily discernible since they are placed according to importance for easier recall.

  5. Clear and appropriate associations are made between key words.

  6. The brain finds it easier to accept and remember the visually stimulating, multi-colored, multi-dimensional Mind Maps rather than monotonous, boring linear notes.

  7. While Mind Mapping, one is constantly on the verge of new realizations; this encourages a continuous and potentially endless flow of thought.

  8. The Mind Map works in harmony with the brain’s natural desire for completion or wholeness.

  9. By constantly utilizing both the logical left and the creative right side of the brain, the mind becomes increasingly alert and receptive.

Over the years, as an ardent “Mind-Mapper,” I have come to realize that Mind-Mapping my ideas and emotions helps me look at them through a deeper, more colorful perspective.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mind-Mapping my ideas and letting them percolate for a while allows my subconscious to kick-in and gently delete what is unnecessary, enhance and internalize what is useful and good. The process also increases my faith in the value of the material and confidence in my own self.

And, finally, it has also helped me write and release two very successful books, The Heart of Public Speaking and, The Heart of Humor.


       
   
 
       
   

The Author

Raju Mandhyan

Raju Mandhyan has over ten years of experience in personal development specifically in the areas of interpersonal relations, manifesting increased awareness and communication skills. He specializes in understanding how we communicate our thoughts, our ideas our goals, and our visions of the future. He has trained and coached thousands of executives across the Asian-Pacific region. He has been trained and certified in many modalities including but not limited to the following: Neuro Linguistic Programming, Mind Mapping, LIFO, American Management Association Trainer and Leadership and Self-Deception. He has authored two books, one on Public Speaking and another on Humor as a tool for Leadership. His background is international trade and he has lived in three different cultures ... Indian, Filipino and American and he lives and works out of the Philippines. Look him up at http://www.mandhyan.com

 
       
   
 
       
   
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Copyright 2009 by Raju Mandhyan. All rights reserved.

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