Here’s something to try… Fill in the following “script” for your idea or message:
When I/we speak with: [type of audience]
They often want to know: [common question your idea, product, or service answers]
So they can: [high-level goal to achieve]
When looking for that answer, they often focus on: [current perspective or approach]
Rather than on: [your/new perspective or approach]
Yet I/we can agree it’s true that: [core value, belief, or discovery]
That’s why my/our answer is to: [your recommended solution or approach]
Which not only answers my audience’s question, it also: [additional key benefit it provides or need it fulfills]
This is a new tool I’ve been working on, called the Conversational Case™. Here’s why I crafted it: when I speak with message-makers of all sorts, they often want to know how they can make sure their ideas come across as powerfully as possible so that they can drive action from those ideas.
When looking for that answer, they often focus on the significance of their ideas rather than on the structure of them. They focus on the what makes the idea attractive and important rather than on the what makes it strong. Yet I believe ideas are built, not found: research shows our brains build stories to make sense of the world and the new information we encounter. In other words, every idea has a story because every idea IS a story… and only the strongest survive.
That’s why my answer is to develop structured ways to reveal the story that built an idea in the first place, which not only answers my audience’s question (because it gives them a significant story to tell), it also gives them a way to make that idea strong enough to build on.
So, yes, I obviously just used this new tool to explain this new tool, but don’t miss what it does. It gives you a more conversational way to start revealing the Red Thread® of your idea, the story that built your idea in the first place. All the most important pieces of the Red Thread® are in there, so see if you can spot the audience Goal (the question they want answered), the Problem of Perspective that’s getting in the way, the Truth that makes the problem impossible to ignore, and the Change you’re advocating for. HINT: I, uh, bolded them for you. 😉
Importantly, I framed the Case in a fairly natural conversational way, which means you’re more likely to use audience-focused language in it, and thus keep it simple (you’ll notice the editable PDF I link to above doesn’t give you huge amounts of room).
How or when could you use it? I used it with a client this week as a way to get her started thinking about how her message morphed for different audiences. You could it use it that way, too, and get a sense of which audience you want to start with, or of how your messages link together.
You could also use it as a first pass to help you reveal what your Red Thread® Statements are (the concepts that capture the pieces of the Red Thread®), or which ones you need to find to make your story strong. I’ll admit that even filling out my own Conversational Case™ for this post forced me to new clarity, particularly about the significance/structure Problem pair, which I’ve been struggling with for a couple of months now.
And, of course, once it’s all filled out and strong, you can also use it as a great overview of your message — a quick conversational way to make the case for your idea.Every idea has a story because every idea IS a story... and only the strongest survive. Click To Tweet
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