Finding the Red Thread® of your message is usually linear — you know, like a thread! Just as I’ve outlined over the past few weeks, typically you’ll find your Goal, then your Problem, then your Truth, then your Change, then your set of Actions. (If you’re looking for what comes next, you’ll find it here.)
Once you’ve found all of those pieces, though, you can do something with that Red Thread that makes it even more powerful: tie it up with the “Goal, Revisited.”
Coming back to the Goal allows your Audience to see they’ve succeeded in getting an answer to their original question — and, if there’s one to be had, what the “free prize inside” is (hat tip to Seth Godin and my favorite book of his for the term!).
That additional “bonus” of new benefits to enjoy, or new questions to ask, or new paths to explore serves as the epilogue to the story of your idea. The Goal, Revisited shows your Audience what happens after the story and what could now be in store for them.
Here’s how to build yours.
WHAT IS THE GOAL, REVISITED?
The Goal, Revisited shows your Audience what else they’ve gained, or will gain, by making the Change. It reveals what else is possible.
It usually follows your Change and/ or Actions, which fit comfortably into these sentences:
That’s why, to achieve the goal, we need to… [CHANGE]. Here’s how:… [ACTIONS]
Similarly, your Goal, Revisited should fit comfortably in this sentence:
Not only does that achieve the Goal, it also… [GOAL, REVISITED]
All together, this is what your Red Thread® looks like so far:
We can all agree we want to know… [GOAL]. While there are barriers we all know exist, the real problem is… [PROBLEM]. Yet we can agree it’s true that… [TRUTH]. That’s why, to achieve the goal, we need to… [CHANGE]. Here’s how:… [ACTIONS] Not only does that achieve the Goal, it also… [GOAL, REVISITED]
It should also meet the following criteria:
- Be something of clear value to your Audience
- Exceed the scale and scope of the original Goal
- Often, indicate or reveal a new potential Goal for your Audience
Not only does that achieve the goal, it also… [GOAL, REVISITED]
- “…empowers patients and providers to create personalized treatment plans and better outcomes.” (Life science startup client UrSure, project: investor pitch)
- “…gives companies ownable insights that could potentially improve their business and transform their industries.” (Client Tricia Wang’s TED talk)
- “…creates a new potential revenue stream that would support both the editorial and financial missions of our organization.” (Nonprofit media company client; project – persuasive messaging coaching to get funding to create a new newsletter)
- “…opens up a way for you to ‘delight in the limelight’ and be unapologetically you. ” (Client Linda Ugelow; project: drafting keynote)
- “…drives the best and brightest performers — from any generation — to you as the new industry standard for a great place to work.” (Client Tracy Timm; project: diversifying message to a new audience)
- “…leaves a legacy of your love that will last for generations” (DeBeers — not a client, just one of my favorite examples!)
- “…means you can live a life of no regrets.” (Client Judi Holler; project: revising keynote)
- “…helps you create a culture of leadership.” (Client Ted Ma; project: differentiating core message)
HOW TO BUILD YOUR GOAL REVISITED
- DO THIS: Ask yourself, ”If the Audience achieves this Goal with this Change, what else could they receive, achieve, or accomplish?”
- DO THIS: Revisit what you brainstormed for your Goal (lo, these many weeks ago), looking for a goal or question that meets the criteria for the Goal Revisited
- DO THIS: Turn your best answer into a statement that satisfies the criteria for the Goal Revisited
Congratulations! You now have all the pieces of your idea’s Red Thread®. You’ve:
- Established a GOAL, something your Audience wants
- Introduced a PROBLEM they didn’t know they had
- Revealed a TRUTH that makes the Problem impossible to ignore
- Defined the CHANGE needed to achieve the Goal
- Described the ACTION that creates the Change
With the Goal Revisited, you’ve taken that linear Thread and tied it up — with an emotional bow. You’ve not only shown your Audience that they have what they need to succeed now, you’ve also painted the picture of what’s possible next.
Now it’s time to put all the pieces together. It’s time to build the Storyline of your idea. We’ll do that in the next installment!With the Goal Revisted, you've taken that linear Thread and tied it up — with an emotional bow. Click To Tweet
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