Users identified work related benefits that show consistent patterns.
Article writers like Jim Rait like to list the main points and expand on them. When the article exceeds its limit, it is also easier to contract the copy to respond to the original main points. Other writers of books and doctoral theses like to “ map the big ideas and then hang random thoughts on appropriate branches”. At that point it is possible to switch to outline mode and flesh out the ideas with ease. One writer drafted an entire novel this way.
VisiMap also offers advantages for less literary writing, such as proposals.
“I can check that the proposal contains the essential information and that it focuses on and directly responds to client needs”, a respondent observes. There is an excellent chance he got the job. Roy Strodl, a skills development consultant, has written a number of articles and contributed to various planning textbooks, all of which were outlined and then the first draft was written using VisiMap. He says, “I love the ability of being able to move the structure of the document around, which is very hard to do once the document is in Word”. Neil Botten, managing consultant at NAB Associates, and principal lecturer in strategic management at Westminster Business School says “VisiMap has been invaluable in mapping out a number of books and other publications prior to writing fairly large commissions for my publishers.”
Speech writing is a related use. “It’s easy to build a structure and change it easily,” one user said. A parish priest has to preach on assigned readings; he looks carefully for common themes, identifies three key ones and expands upon them. One senses that his listeners will hear something coherent that they can take away. “As an occasional speaker at public conferences, I have found VisiMap invaluable in ordering and organizing the content of a piece,” said Ray Currie, of Towerhouse Training Limited. “Not only does it summarize and link the content that I have identified to date, but it also prompts memory and imagination.” His contention is borne out by recent brain research.
When the map is completed it also provides an interface for a speech or address, – a better tool than a text for a speaker who knows his content and can make eye contact with his audience rather than bury his face in a printed sheet. One user summarizes it well by noting VisiMap’s ability to “shape communication”.