Communicate to Win – #008: Creating an SCQ

In the last couple of posts, I addressed defining the problem through four steps moving from your current reality to the desired destination. In this post, I will drill down into step four focusing on translating your information into Situation, Complication and Question (SCQ).

SCQ is a simple format to organize the thoughts from the brainstorming sessions for the first three steps:

1. Undefined problems

2. Layout problem elements and

3. Determine question.

Let’s take a look at the elements of the fourth step to defining problems…

The Situation

A part of your current reality

Describes the opening scene

Sketches the area to be discussed

Assumes a level of knowledge for the intended audience

The Complication

Is a part of your current reality

Details the impetus for change

Threatens the stable event described in the opening scene

Leads to the problem

The Question

This is a slightly different take on the desired destination. You turn your desired destination into a question. Why? So you have a question to solve.

Some questions are very simple and others are more complex. It is acceptable to have two or three questions, but rarely more beyond that.

What better way to start a presentation than by outlining the history of the problem and proposing a desired destination? In fact, it is a great time to make certain everyone from your audience is on the same page regarding the desired destination. (Note, my Slide Library contains the SCQ slide template. Click here to download the Slide Library.) However, you can always draw SCQ on a piece of paper. If you will be giving a PowerPoint presentation, the SCQ slide is a fantastic way to open your presentation.

Take a look at the SCQ example. On the left-hand side, you see the situation for my Communicate to Win programs including the tools and processes to help people solve problems, communicate the solutions and incite action. You also see the complication of a growing business (having difficulty keeping up with market demand). On the right-hand side, you see the question or desired destination: How can Communicate to Win reach more people?

You are actually a part of the solution at this very moment! By posting content from my Communicate to Win programs within my blog, I am able to reach a vast number of people. Every vendor and partner who made this dream become a reality worked together to strive toward this common goal.

I’ve covered some tips to help you define the problem. In the next handful of posts in the Communicate to Win series, I’ll give a set of tools to assist you in solving the problem you thoroughly defined.

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