Marrying your storyline and your end product is critical and can be a challenge when you also need to work with templates.
We will outline the solutions here to the end products challenge and then provide you with some pointers to help when working with templates.
Davina and Gerard
How do you use a storyline in a table?
A table is one of many ways to visualise information that you need to convey to somebody else. And, as you know, a storyline is a great tool to help you untangle ideas that you need to convey to someone else. So, to answer the question: All of the above is correct. Or in this case, all of the points below:
- Use each column to relate to one level within your storyline
- Ensure that the ideas in each level are parallel (e.g. all reasons or all actions)
- Use abbreviations and visual cues to ‘get your message across', (e.g. green might mean ‘status is positive')
How can the one storyline relate to multiple forms of communication?
A storyline is an analytical tool for you to use to clarify the relationships between one idea and another. It is driven by some logical rules that define those relationships. These relationships are the key, not the storyline itself, which means that you can use a storyline to sort your ideas out before using them in all sorts of places, so All of the above is correct. To confirm here are the options we gave you:
- The storyline outlines the structure of your story
- PowerPoint packs and Prose documents use different techniques but can tell the same story
- When persuading someone of your point in person (even if it is just an update) a storyline informs and guides your discussion
When should you prepare your end product?
If you read the question and the solutions carefully, I hope this one was pretty straight forward: You should always use a storyline to clarify your thinking, not your document which means that you prepare your end product at the end of your process, after you have clarified your ideas in a storyline and gained the appropriate signoffs from either a peer or a more senior person.
Tips for using templates
There are many good reasons for using templates, however it can be challenging to work out how to deliver a set of insights held together by one key idea when working within templates. There are, however, some straightforward techniques you can adopt to marry your storyline and your template.
The first thing to do is to understand what kind of template you are dealing with and then decide how to relate your storyline to the template. This framework will help you think this through.