Finding an Ending
A great conclusion is one of the best opportunities we have to make sure that our message really sticks. At the end of a message, people want to tie everything together and have it make sense, which means that all you have to do is recap the Red Thread. To do this, you can use a technique called the Red Thread Storyline.
The Red Thread Storyline is useful when you’re trying to develop a pitch to make sure that the pieces of the Red Thread make sense, but it’s also a great baseline for a conclusion. To try it out for yourself, get your Red Thread statements together and then fill in this paragraph:
We can all agree [GOAL], but the problem is, despite no barriers, [PROBLEM]. In order to solve that problem and achieve our goal, we have to understand [IDEA], which means we’re going to have to [CHANGE]. How? [ACTIONS], which means that when we get there we will have achieved our [GOAL].
To give you a better idea of what that looks like, here’s Tamsen’s Red Thread Storyline for this video:
We can all agree we want to make sure we leave our audience with a powerful, strong conclusion. The problem is that more often than not we end up stopping talking, rather than giving them a really powerful ending. But if we understand that we need to make sure that people hear and see the Red Thread in order for our message to make sense and drive action, we know we need to repeat that Red Thread at the end of our message or talk. How? By using the Red Thread Storyline. And, when we do that, then we have not only a powerful conclusion, but one that makes sure that we land the point that we want.
One other pitfall to avoid: your conclusion should never include new information. You should be recapping what the audience has already heard, otherwise, you run the risk of opening up new questions that you simply don’t have time to answer.
The next time you’re trying to figure out how to end your incredible message you’ve built, give the Red Thread Storyline a try. If you want some help in person, take a look at the Red Thread Weekend, a retreat where we’ll work one-on-one and with a group on your Red Thread.
– Every beginning must have an end, right? Well, when it comes to messages, just because you know how to start doesn’t mean you know how to finish, at least not with power. I’m Tamsen Webster of TamsenWebster.com, and that’s what we’re talking about this week on Find the Red Thread.
I see a lot of things in my work with clients on putting talks or messages together. One of the things that I see most often is people not really knowing how to end their message or talk. More often than not, it ends up where they just stop talking or stop writing, but when you do that, you miss one of the best opportunities to make sure that that universal story that your Red Thread-based message represents really sticks in people’s minds because remember that people need things to make sense. They need to see that Red Thread of your message in order to tie everything together, and there’s good news here because that means in order to really conclude well, all you have to do is recap the Red Thread.
There’s a super simple way to do this, and it’s something I call the Red Thread Storyline. Oftentimes, I use it way in the beginning with clients to make sure that the pieces of the Red Thread, their Red Thread statements, work and make sense, but in a pinch, it’s a really good baseline for your conclusion for any kind of talk. So, what is it?
Well, first, I want you to get your Red Thread statements together. Make sure you have your goal, problem, idea, change, and action ready because those are the things we’re going to fill in to certain blanks. This is going to be like another Mad Lib kind of statement where we’re going to, I’m going to give you a paragraph, and then there’s going to be those blanks represented by Goal, Problem, Idea, Change, and Action, and you’re just going to fill in your statements.
So, here’s the paragraph:
We can all agree [Goal, but the problem is, despite known barriers, [Problem]. In order to solve that problem and achieve our goal, we have to understand [Idea], which means we’re going to have to [Change]. How? [Actions], which means that when we get there, we will have achieved our [Goal], again.
So, what does that sound like when you’re doing it? Well, if I were to conclude this particular Red Thread show right now, it would be something like, “Well, we can all agree we want to make sure we leave our audience with a powerful, strong conclusion. The problem is more often than not, we end stopping talking rather than giving them a really powerful way to end. But if we understand that we need to make sure that people hear and see the Red Thread in order for our message to make sense and drive action, then we need to recap that Red Thread at the end of our message or talk. How? By using The Red Thread Storyline, and when we do that, we’ll make sure that we have not only a powerful conclusion, but one that makes sure that we land the point that we want.”
It’s super simple, yes, and are you always going to use exactly those words? No, but it is a great way to get yourself started when you are stuck figuring out, how do I make it stop? Now, there’s one other thing that I want to bring up here, and that is your conclusion should never include new information, and I mean never include new information. The conclusion of your talk or your message should only be a recapping, a restating, or a reformulating of information your audience has already heard. Otherwise, it feels like this random piece of information right at the end, and it opens up new questions that you don’t have time to answer.
So, the next time you are stuck figuring out how to end this incredible message you’ve just built, remember the Red Thread, and use the Red Thread Storyline. That’s all for this week. I’m Tamsen Webster or TamsenWebster.com. If you want some help in person working on your Red Thread, go to RedThreadWeekend.com, and find out more information about the next retreat where we work one-on-one with a group on your own Red Thread.