Winner's Edge

Focused on strategic communications

Telling Your Story: Translating Tech Talk into Plain Talk

You know you’ve got the facts on your side. You’ve spent millions on a world class environmental study, investing in top notch science and data collection. Or, perhaps your team has spent thousands of hours compiling exacting documentation of the law and economics that support your regulatory case. Whatever your situation, you’ve put major resources on the project because the upside potential — and perhaps the downside risks — could be enormous, maybe even a game changer for your organization.

Having made the up-front investment to get this far in the game, and with so much at stake, it’s time to ask yourself whether you’ve done everything possible to enhance your chances of success and reduce the risk of failure.

Here’s the question: Can you tell your story in a way that’s so compelling that you will win the day? Policy makers, legislators, regulators, juries, the general public — these decision makers control the destiny of your project, but they generally do not have the technical background to understand massive volumes of data and reams of argumentation. You must help them understand and believe in your case — in your story.

Every set of facts can be summed up by a compelling story, a logic train that makes clear why your efforts – your facts – should matter to those making a decision. A compelling story opens up a gateway of understanding, making it possible for your audience to easily grasp the gist of your case, and to achieve emotional buy-in.

Finding the story behind volumes of technical information and crafting that story into compelling words, diagrams, charts, pictures and video — while remaining true to the underlying facts – these story telling skills are the essential element in the process of persuasion.

How do we go about developing and telling your story? It’s a multi-step process, customized to each client’s needs, but based on some fundamental principles developed over decades of work on hundreds of complex and challenging public affairs situations.

To begin, we study and absorb all the details of your fact case. Only when we understand the nuances can we craft the most compelling story that will win over sometimes very skeptical audiences.

Next, we use our understanding of your information and your story, on the one hand, and the interests of your audiences, on the other hand, to bridge the gap between you and them. Every communications situation, no matter how dry or technical, offers themes that help us forge this bond.

We do this by weaving your facts and themes into a story that is designed to appeal to your audiences on multiple levels and lead to understanding of your efforts and agreement with what you are trying to achieve.

Finally, in presentations, fact sheets, white papers, brochures, website materials, speeches, documentary films and other communications tools we tell your story in a manner that optimizes for success and protects against failure.

December 29, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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