Thursday, 4 February 2010

Hints and Tips - Keeping on track in lively meetings

During meetings and discussions, it can be difficult to capture all of the relevant discussion, giving the facilitator a headache as they try to listen and understand the points being made, effectively and accurately capture the information, keep up with the pace of discussion, and keep the discussions on track, particularly during lively and fast moving sessions.

Use these hints and tips to make sure MindGenius helps you do this.

During a meeting or discussion, use MindGenius hooked up to a OHP, to display an agenda and allow attendees to see what information is being captured. This visual way of capturing the information allows all attendees to see what is being captured, and to challenge it if they believe it to be incorrect. It also allows helps them to stimulate new ideas. The MindGenius “Type and Return,” which I am sure everyone is familiar with, allows you to rapidly gather all of your ideas in the first instance.

Quick Keys

Constantly switching between keyboard and mouse can be distracting but MindGenius allows you to avoid doing this and to quickly navigate around your map.

The 'Home' key will take you back to the root branch, The 'End' key, takes you to the last branch, Up/Down/Left/Right arrows move focus around the map.

Quickly correct mistyped case entries

This is a common mistake – you start typing and realise that you have forgotten to switch off (or on) the caps lock, or you have switched it on by accident halfway through a word. Using Shift + F3 will allow you to change the case on branch titles. Simply press “F3” again to continue to amend the capitalisation.

If you need to amend the text that you have added to a branch title, click on the branch and select F2, instead of double clicking using the mouse. The “edit branch” dialogue will appear.

Navigate through large amounts of information

And remember the map explorer is the unique tool provided by MindGenius to navigate and make sense of the large amount of valuable data captured during these sessions.

Use the explorer to navigate through your agenda, and adapt which branch levels you display to show your attendees an overview of what you are going to discuss without overwhelming them with information. The Map Explorer allows you to focus in on relevant areas of a discussion, ensure attendees can read the map, and maintain focus. In addition, if you come up with ideas that are off on a tangent, you can capture them and “park” them to revisit later as the Map Explorer will allow you to easily locate them.

Do you have any tips you would like to share on improving meetings for both the facilitator and the attendees?

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