What if you don’t have a recommendation or action to share?

What if you don’t have a recommendation or action to share?

Have you wondered how to use a storyline when you don't have a recommendation or an action to share?

One of my clients asked me this terrific question during a workshop last week, and I thought it worth unpacking for you also.

The easiest way to think about this is to view the ‘so what' as a point of view rather than always being a recommendation or an action. You could do that two ways, which I have unpacked below.

Sharing your findings to stimulate a discussion

Context – We have been analysing a supermarket full of breakfast options to decide which one suits us best.

Trigger – We are now ready to share our findings.

Question – What did you find?

So What – All available options have sufficient merit, making it difficult to choose one over another.

Sub question – why is that true?

Nutrigrain cereal offers a higher carb, low protein option that includes plenty of nutrients

  • includes lots of vitamins and minerals
  • offers plenty of fibre
  • is low in fat
  • includes a moderate amount of sugar

Porridge is lower carb but not as tasty or high in protein
  • includes lots of vitamins and minerals
  • offers plenty of fibre
  • is low in fat and can lower cholesterol
  • is low in sugar


Omelettes are high in protein but potentially high in fat

  • includes lots of vitamins and minerals, especially if vegetables are included
  • offers plenty of fibre when vegetables are included
  • is higher in fat and cholesterol than the others
  • has virtually no sugar



Explicitly asking for help to decide which is best

The difference between this option and the previous one lies in the trigger and the so what. The rest of the story remains almost the same. I have adjusted the tense slightly to reflect the difference in the sub question that ‘falls out' of the so what, but kept the supporting points the same.

Context – We have been analysing a supermarket full of breakfast options so we can decide which one suits us best.

Trigger – We need your help to decide which one is best.

Question – How can I help?

So what – Please help us weigh up these equally suitable breakfast options so we can decide which one to choose.

Sub question – what options?

Nutrigrain cereal, which offers a higher carb, low protein option that includes plenty of nutrients

  • includes lots of vitamins and minerals
  • offers plenty of fibre
  • is low in fat
  • includes a moderate amount of sugar


Porridge, which is lower carb but not as tasty or high in protein

  • includes lots of vitamins and minerals
  • offers plenty of fibre
  • is low in fat and can lower cholesterol
  • is low in sugar


Omelettes, which are high in protein but potentially high in fat

  • includes lots of vitamins and minerals, especially if vegetables are included
  • offers plenty of fibre when vegetables are included
  • is higher in fat and cholesterol than the others
  • has virtually no sugar


You would then follow on to outline your reasoning about each of the options to support a healthy discussion around your analysis.

Please note that we have not provided a list of pros and cons. We have listed how each breakfast option stacks up against key criteria.

I hope that helps. More next week.

Kind regards,
Davina

PS – Do check out the podcast series inside the portal. We have now uploaded all that we have recorded so you have early access. I think you will enjoy the discussions.