Need to make a speech?…Use a mindmap!

Dear Mindmapping Graduate

Do you ever have to make speeches?  Mindmaps beat palm cards hands down because all you need is one!

I thought I would share with you a speech I gave recently at the opening of my first solo exhibition “La Serenissima” at Mamma Mia India, North Bondi.  This is my mindmap of it and yes I do actually “walk the talk”. I confess: as you will see, I do break the mindmapping rules at times and don’t always keep it to key words but hey, we all get a bit nervous with speeches!

Speech given at first solo exhibition  "La Serenissima" at Mamma Mia India by Marion Langford


A tip, in preparing speeches, I tend to have a loose map in my head that I just play around with some ideas, some brain blooms on various possible branches and I may just do a quick mindmap draft.  Rather than sitting at my desk trying to force the final speech though, I will then allow some time and space for these ideas to work together.

In the case of this speech, I went for a jog in the morning of the exhibition opening and it was one of those gorgeous Autumn days we have been having in Sydney. During the run I realised that the morning reminded me exactly of the weather I experienced when I was in Italy and in particular Venice (commonly known as “La Serenissima” in Italy).  As I was running, I was thinking about the cool mornings opening out into beautiful sunny days and I could then see the link between my two favourite cities and how each had inspired me.  What I endeavoured to capture in the paintings for this exhibition was that glow in the day and the feeling of warmth.

Not only was this exhibition special being my first solo as an artist, however it was held at the newly opened Mamma Mia India, a café/wine bar/emporium, at 38 Wairoa Avenue, North Bondi, owned and created by Judith Maher, who had been one of my coaching clients and is now a dear friend.  Sharing a love of Italy, the exhibition was a first for us both and there were many connections in the evening.  Do call in to Mamma Mia India for a great coffee and say Hi!

So in writing a speech… play with ideas, allow yourself some time and space for it to formulate, do a loose mindmap draft, create the links, share the stories and if you need a few additional words in there (not just key ones) that’s okay…and just enjoy delivering your creation!

Speaking of creations, it’s not too late to visit my current exhibition “For the love of Italy” at Yuga Café & Gallery, 172 St Johns Road, Glebe.  Exhibition runs until 18 May and there is also a special Italian theme dinner on Friday 17 May.  For details call Setsuko or Ben at Yuga on 9692 8604.  Come along and enjoy the Italian food, wine and yes the art!  Hope to see you there…

And remember, when it comes to speeches…you don’t need a stack of palm cards, just one: one with a mindmap!

Happy mindmapping and speechmaking!



Easter Mindmap gift…A book in a page

Dear Mindmapping Graduate

In the spirit of Easter I would like to share with you a Mindmap I drew some time ago, which is a summary of Deepak Chopra’s book, “Seven Spiritual Laws of Success”.  This is one book condensed to a page.  So if you have a lot of information you need to summarise and remember, it’s possible to Mindmap it!

Hand drawn Mindmap by Marion Langford, "Seven Spiritual Laws of Success" book by Deepak Chopra

Hand drawn Mindmap by Marion Langford, “Seven Spiritual Laws of Success” book by Deepak Chopra


I also thought I would share with you an Artist’s mindmap!   Hand drawn by myself, this sketch of “The Streets of Orvieto” gave me a bit of a map of where I was headed with my paintbrushes.  Sometimes we just need a plan to get started, so use a mindmap.

Artist's mindmap by Marion Langford of "The Streets of Orvieto"

Artist’s mindmap by Marion Langford of “The Streets of Orvieto”

To see the finished artwork, visit either my artist website at or for those of you who are on Facebook, then support this artist by “Liking” my page at

My first solo exhibition is coming up soon and I would love for you to come along!  “La Serenissima” will feature original oil paintings of Venice from my visit to Italy late last year. Again see my Facebook page or visit my website for full details and invite!  Exhibition runs 9-21 April with opening Reception on 11 April, 6pm-8pm at newly opened cafe/wine bar/emporium, Mamma Mia India, 38 Wairoa Avenue, North Bondi.

A second exhibition, also featuring paintings of Italy with fellow artist Masako Gordon, is scheduled from 25 April at Yuga Café Restaurant at Glebe.  Details will be found on my Facebook page and my artist website shortly.

So support this creative spirit and come along!  Have a wonderful Easter!

Best wishes and happy mindmapping!


Launch of new website and Mind Mapping update…

Dear Mind Mapping Graduate

I would like to update you on two very exciting things:

1.  Exciting for me!  The launch of my new website! See and please note you now have my new email address. 

2.  Exciting for you!  Over the many years I have been teaching Mind Mapping, I have held off promoting Mind Mapping software mainly because for me it hasn’t had the flexibility, portability, creative capacity and ease of use that could be achieved with pen and paper.  Basically, I found it frustrating.  However technology has changed and this is where things get really exciting.

I recently bought an iPad and as a beginner I started to play with the apps provided.  For those of you who have an iPad, I began using the Notepad to capture my notes, or what quickly became long to-do lists.  Black type on yellow paper, lists of information.  As a Mind Mapper I quickly became frustrated with this archaic way of capturing information, where each page looked the same, no categories, no obvious linking of material, boring etc.   So I thought I would see what apps were available and, much to my delight and relief, I discovered a free Mind Mapping app to download, which I did. 

Wow!  Although not all features were provided in the free download, I could immediately see how I could easily use this tool to meet my Mind Mapping needs.  To gain access to all the features required paying an annual subscription fee of $20.99 so I did.  An absolute bargain!

Not since I first discovered Mind Mapping ten years ago reading Tony Buzan’s “The Mind Map Book” have I been this excited.  Quick, easy, powerful, colourful, finger touch, portable, creative and much more all wrapped up in this one app and captured in my iPad.

So what is it?

I recommend you download this app:  iMindMap HD and pay the $20.99 annual subscription fee (to the ThinkBuzan Cloud).  You will not regret this small investment, in fact I would buy an iPad just to be able to use this!  (And I’m not on commission for either!)

The app has some limitations, however you can run presentations from it, air print to your printer, easily change branches and information without having to start all over again and so on. 

Mind Map created using iMindMap HD on iPad by Marion Langford

This is a sample Mind Map created while playing with iMindMap HD on my iPad and my thoughts on travel.  (Some of you may be aware, my other passion is portrait painting and this was on the eve of departing for two weeks in Italy to attend a Master class in portraiture).

So if you do have an iPad, I strongly recommend you download this app including paying the subscription, and if you don’t have an iPad, then Christmas is just around the corner and I’d be putting it on my wish list!

As part of the launch of my new website and enthused by this new tool, I would like to send out from time to time, sample Mind Maps I have created and any news updates.  At this stage I have taken the liberty of subscribing you to this.  You may recall, at the end of my workshop there is a feedback form on which you initially applied for the monthly newsletter.  That newsletter is from the Buzan group, however any updates from me would be in addition to that.  If you would prefer not to receive my updates, let me know and I will unsubscribe you.

So with the run up to Christmas, I would like to take this opportunity to wish you a happy Christmas and all the best for 2013.  For those who continue to subscribe, I look forward to sharing with you some of my Mind Map creations which you may find helpful or spark your own ideas for Mind Maps.  And for my friends who choose otherwise, again I wish you well.  If you need to contact me in the future, you have my new contact details and my mobile remains the same at 0409 993 090.

Happy Mind Mapping!

Best wishes, Marion