Wow. You have now almost mastered the art of the introduction.
Read on to check your solutions against ours and for some suggestions to take your own introductions even further.
Davina and Gerard
- What is wrong with this introduction: Our leadership team has assigned us to think through the best ways to improve productivity in our team. We need to meet tomorrow to discuss next steps. Do you agree with our proposal?
- Which of these might be useful to you as you strive to improve your skills around introductions?
Although you may well have a preference for one or other of these options, we would encourage you to ‘have a go' at all of them. The more the better! But to recap, reflecting on tips and techniques from storylining experts, remembering to practice and learning more from others are all key to getting better at this critical aspect of storylining. Even though the introduction is only a small part of the storyline, if it is not right, the whole story will not be right.
- Which of these lessons from storylining masters resonated most with you?
Of course there is no right or wrong answer to this one, but we do want you to think about the best ways for you to master this important element of storylining. We think all of these points are important, so I'll reiterate them here for emphasis:
- Push your introductions to be challenging and not pedestrian,
- Remember that sometimes simple – which doesn't necessarily mean pedestrian by the way – is OK
- Always drive for one and only one question
- Make sure the information in the introduction is known and not new to your audience
- Reiterate your introduction at the end of your communication
When thinking about using introductions, we would encourage you to do a couple of things:
- If preparing a piece of communication on behalf of someone else: Use the CTQ as an opportunity to check that the scope of your communication is right. You may want to check in with the person who asked you to prepare it or even with your potential audience. Doing this before you go any further may save you a lot of time.
- If asking someone else to prepare a piece of communication for you: Make sure you give them the CTQ! That way they will understand the context of the work and be much more likely to give you what you need. Ideally, sit down and talk it through with them and then ask them to map out the storyline one one page to test with you before they prepare the whole document. This will reduce the chance that you spend your evenings rewriting the document.