Transcript – 3.0 – Develop – CTQ
Welcome back. Today I'm looking forward to talking to you about the first part of developing your storyline. Today, it's all about our introductions, which are a really short part of our communication. But which can take a paradoxically long time to get right. And once we do get it right, the rest of the story flows. So let's have a look at what's involved in building a really engaging introduction for our communication, and take it from there. So as with all of our communication, we want to make sure it passes out 10 point test for storylines, we want to make sure that the ideas are really clearly connected together, that they're really powerfully constructed, that the logical links are really tight. So we use our 10 point test to do that.
And today, we're going to be focusing on the first three questions in this 10 point test, which are all about introductions. We're looking at whether the context is right, whether the storyline starts at the right place in time, whether the trigger describes Why are we communicating with this audience now? And whether the question is the single question we want to answer. So I'm going to organize this presentation today around the criteria that we have for evaluating a really powerful introduction. We want to make sure that each piece of communication we prepare draws our audience into our story. And to do that, it needs to contain a context, a trigger and a question. Now, for those of you who might be familiar with the pyramid principle that we base our work on, you might be familiar with slightly different language, situation complication question, we adjusted that language, because we found it really helpful in teaching people to be able to use that pattern correctly, and not get confused by the complication, we found that complicated things. So for those of you who are new to this method, don't worry about that. For those of you who have learned pyramid principle somewhere else before, please know that those we've used different language to help you understand more accurately what to do in each of those steps.
So firstly, must contain a context, a trigger and a question. Secondly, needs to contain information that is or should be known to your audience. And then finally, leads to the central question we want our audience to ask us. So let's go through these one by one. So firstly, every piece of communication needs to contain a context, a trigger and a question. Now, the context introduces the topic, it's the commonly agreed starting point for a specific piece of communication. And being very specific, there is really helpful, it's very easy to be too general, and not close enough, not the right person point in time, to our actual story. Secondly, we want to make sure I've triggered describes the reason why we're communicating with our audience in this particular piece of communication. And then finally, we're going to be looking at the audience's question the single question, we want our audience to ask us, so we can answer it. So the goal of this introduction is to lead towards one single message in really short order to engage our audience in it. So they're ready to hear our main message.
Our so what, which is the answer to our audience's question, which ties the whole story together? I'll be talking about that more in the next video. For now, today, we'll focus on the context trigger question, or what we call the CT q. So Secondly, we need to make sure that this CT cue contains information that is or should be known to our audience. I think the easiest way to describe this is by way of example. So here we have an example. We have imagine yourself sitting in front of that laptop at the top left there. Having done some work, having done some thinking, thinking, well, we need five new team members now urgently. You've done the analysis, you're there. At that same point in time across the top of your story there. your audience's head is somewhere completely different. They are thinking about crises, strategy, marketing, budgets, anything else. They're not thinking about your situation. They're thinking about their own. So the job here the introduction, is to set your story up to draw them into it, which is why we draw it like an upside down triangle.
So if you look at this example, here, as of last week, Project X is now top priority and needs to get back on schedule. That's interesting. You can imagine your audience saying, Why are you telling me that? Well, we can't get back on schedule without more resources. Oh, okay. What resources do you need is a natural question for your audience to ask, and you can feel them drawing in to your story. So you can then answer that question with your sowhat, which would be perhaps we urgently need five new team members. So we can get Project X back on schedule within two months. Now, when you see it working really well, it looks really easy. So I'd like to show you an example. That doesn't work so well, that might catch them by surprise. So we have here at the very beginning, the same situation, you and your audience at different places. Now, the first point here is we need five new team members now. And you can imagine your audience saying, really gosh, that Why? And then perhaps you might say, well, we can get back on schedule without more resources. And then you lead your audience then to asking you a different question to, which might be, why not, and then again, leads you to a different place, which is not where you're wanting to go. The project has been a disaster from the beginning, perhaps. Now, what we have there is a flow of points, which don't meet the criteria that we want them to meet, they don't actually contain information that should be known to the audience in particular.
And also the trigger really doesn't describe where we communicating, it does talk about a problem we've got. It's related to the topic, but it doesn't describe why we're communicating right now. So those things come together to make sure that our introduction contains information that should be known to the audience. And if it's controversial, it's known. So point three, this introduction needs to lead to the central question we want our audience to ask. Again, I have an example here. Now, my first thought here is we want to make this central question really obvious for our audience, so that they can't ask anything else that we're leading them in, we're priming them to hear the main message that we want to deliver after our introduction. So the context here last week, you asked me to propose a way to make it easier for clients to find information about our products. That's interesting. Why are you telling me that? Well, I have a proposal for you to consider. Great. What's your proposal? It's so obvious. See the connections there between the context the triggering question, I've highlighted them in green. Now I've got some examples here to draw this out further. Okay. I've got two strategic examples.
And then I've got four more operational examples to give you a feel of how you might use this in practice. So this first example here on the left, market is changing rapidly cutting sales for product x by 50%. Over the coming two years, why are you telling me that we've explored potential solutions and have a recommendation? Great, what do you recommend? Well, and the so what might be something like invest 10 million in the next generations technology, so we can regain a competitive position and revenues within two years? Now we've got a different kind of strategic story on the right hand side here now, company X has refused our offer to buy 20% of their stock for dollar 54 per share. Why are you telling me that? We need to decide how to proceed before they lose interest in the negotiations? Or Okay, well, how should we proceed? offer them $1.60 alongside a performance bonus for the executive team before close of business tomorrow might be your answer.
Now, do take note that the context here is only functional. If your audience knows that information. If they don't know it, it needs to belong further down in the story. So the context, the trigger should be known by your audience, especially the context that then leads us into our trigger question. And so what so you can use controversy in your introduction, but only if it's known to your audience? Now, I have four operational examples for you. Now, I won't read each one of these out there in the handout, you can download them below that you can see some patterns there. And I hope you can use them as a stimulus in your own work to to have a look and think what would my story fit one of these patterns, they're by no means the only introduction patterns you might use for an operational stories, day to day sorts of stories, but I think you'll find them powerful and helpful as you start to build your own storylines. Thanks so much for being on this journey with me to learn about introductions today. I
hope you found it useful and will give you some ideas of how you can start preparing your own communication. I also just want to point out at this point that I've given you our classic order for using a context trigger question a CT cue. That's where we We use most of the time, you can adjust the order to adjust the tone. And you can get really quite creative about the sorts of things you put inside your context, your trigger, you can bring in story, you can bring in emotion, you can use all sorts of devices in order to engage your audience. So I've given you the basics today. And I look forward to working with you in our next phase of our program, where we can talk about some more sophisticated ways of using introductions to engage your audience. Thanks so much. I look forward to talking to you again soon. Bye for now.