How we change what others think, feel, believe and do
This is a simple framework to help you develop an argument.
First describe the basic situation in a way that is easy to understand.
Next layer on the complication that makes the situation problematic. There may be significant complication, but it is important to keep this clear and you may need to simplify the complication statement.
Next ask the question that will lead to the answer you want to give. This should flow naturally from the situation and particularly the complication.
Finally give the answer, which is you key point. This should answer the question and resolve the complication you have identified.
The company is growing its business at a health rate. But we are having trouble keeping up in recruiting good candidates and are we in danger of 'dumbing down' by hiring who's available rather than who's best. What can we do? I think we need to make greater use of consultants and agency staff whilst we sustain hiring standards and develop our ability to hire great staff.
When you want to propose a solution, your audience may get the situation but judge the solution you are suggesting as being unnecessarily complex. What they are missing is the tricky complication. By separating this out from the situation statement it becomes clear that this is something that is additional and critical that must be addressed. The question statement is then just a bridging device that leads to your (now very reasonable) solution.
In some ways this is like storytelling, where a good story is non-linear, with twists and turns in the plot. The deliberate separation of the complication from the context helps create a storyline which others can more easily relate to.
And the big