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Mindjet Dashboard Series: Power of Three Presentation Planner

Sometimes the simplest MindManager templates can make the biggest contribution to your personal and group productivity. This is especially if the template addresses universal problems that everyone has to face on a regular basis, like planning a PowerPoint presentation.

In this installment of my Mindjet Content Dashboard series, I’m sharing a simple “Power of Three” presentation planner, and I’ll show how you can add it to your Content Dashboard.

The presentation planner mind map is based on the Marketing Message Map that bestselling author and communications coach Carmine Gallo shares in his best-selling Talk Like TED: The 9 Public-Speaking Secrets of the World’s Top Minds. With his permission, I converted his Marketing Message Map into one that you can download and add to your dashboard.

You may remember Carmine’s article, The 7 Innovation Secrets of Steve Jobs, featured in a recent Fun Friday Links, as well as this article from my website, Published & Profitable.

The Surprising Power of Three

In introducing his Marketing Message Map, Carmine Gallo describes how groups of three are found in every aspect of our business and social lives, and provides numerous examples. He concludes that, “In writing and speaking, three is more satisfying than any other number. It’s no accident that threes are all around us.”

He then provides numerous examples of TED speakers who have used the ‘power of three’ to organize their 18-minute talks, which have been viewed by millions around the world.

Carmine’s Marketing Message Map is based on a central theme that is supported by three stories, three examples, and three lessons. There are three steps involved in putting the map to work:

  1. Create a Twitter-friendly Headline.
  2. Support the Headline with Three Key Messages.
  3. Reinforce the Three Messages with Stories, Statistics, and Examples.

See Talk like TED for more details.

Adding the Marketing Message Map to Your Dashboard



Originally, I linked Marketing Message Maps created for different events – like my bestselling author interviews — by connecting them to the Events topic, as shown above. It was a simple solution that gave me a big picture of my interviews as a series.

Having all of the links to the questions associated with each interview consolidated in one place eliminated a lot of confusion, and made it easy for me to access the questions.

At this point, guests are organized by the dates of their interviews. This is preferable to organizing the interviews by the guest’s name. MindManager’s latest versions offer a Sort Topics by Due Dates option. I also use Task Complete icon markers to visually separate completed from upcoming interviews.

However, my goal has always been to keep my Content Dashboard as clutter-free as possible, by limiting it to just current and upcoming projects. As the number of events increases, another approach becomes necessary.

Creating Mind Maps for Categories of Events


My solution was to create separate mind maps for categories of events, like my 2014 Spring Thought Leadership Interviews, end-of-month teleseminar tips, topic-specific webinars, speeches, and training workshops. Events also include scheduled media interviews.

Creating event-specific mind maps, like the Thought Leadership Interviews example above, is a growable option. It can expand to accommodate hundreds of events. It also offers a couple of other advantages:

  • Tracking. I can now sort completed and future interviews by the guests’ last names. This makes it easy to see at a glance whom I’ve already interviewed, as well as whom I’ve contacted for future interviews. I can track my correspondence and other details associated with future guests.
  • Links to interview assets. Most important, all of the resources associated with each interview – such as handouts, recordings, and transcripts, etc. — are now easier to access from a single location. In the past, these types of assets were often stored in separate folders. Additionally, I can track the number of attendees for each event, and post-event comments or feedback.

By the way, you can use the Completed, Scheduled, and Future linked mind maps approach to other content dashboard categories. It’s worked well for my Content Marketing Institute blog posts (see How to Organize Your Blog Content with A 3-Step Post Tracker), as well as my Published & Profitable and other guest posts.

You can also apply these basic concepts to planning and tracking articles, newsletters, tip sheets, or worksheets.

Closing Thoughts

The above is presented as a solution to the “hard disk anarchy” that usually results from a failure to create a simple system that manages your time, deadlines, and content assets, in a way that consistently works for you.

Granted, some of the things that I accomplish by using linked, event-specific mind maps could be dealt with by implementing a more robust “programming” approach to a single, large Mindjet content dashboard.

As they say in automobile advertisements and reviews, “Your mileage may differ.”

Perhaps, at a later date, I’ll consolidate my maps into fewer, but larger maps. But, at this point, the present solution is light years ahead of my previous attempts to organize time, deadlines, and files.

The beauty and fascination of mind mapping with MindManager is that it nothing is permanent! You can always dig deeper into its capabilities at a later date. You can begin with a simple content dashboard, and build on it as your needs and resources grow.

Do you agree with this “organic” approach? Are you using more and more dashboard ideas and MindManager features as time goes by? Share your mind mapping journey as comments or questions, below.

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