At LatimerNext, we utilize our Story Board Framework in many ways. The framework lays out the value of thinking of communication in three segments: The Open, The Content and The Close. Whether creating a pitch deck for a client, or a best man speech, ensuring that all three phases are touched, however briefly, gives a structure to communication and allows you to frame the perspective of your audience.
Let’s look at the use case of an interview answer, which we cover in much more depth in our Sell Yourself Course. Many of you likely have heard of the STAR Method for answering interview questions. Situation, Task, Action, Result. We see the STAR Method leads to two common weaknesses:
- Interviewees tend to speak very robotically. I did this, then this happened, and then this and then this.
- Interviewees miss an opportunity to highlight and reiterate the key skills to drive home their message and better control what the interviewer takes away from the story.
The Story Board Method solves these challenges.
- By beginning with an open, and summarizing with a close, you can get to the point right away as you are not beholden to telling your story chronologically.
- The close gives you another chance to reiterate the best part of your story, the skill that most correlates to the job, or the data point that is most likely to impress. Take control of what your audience hears!
Let’s take an example for each, in response to “When was a time you faced adversity?”.
STAR Method Answer:
A client needed an unexpected addition to a project, I had 2 days to get my section done which should have taken a week. I worked overtime and also convinced my boss for additional resources from other teams to help me. With others following my lead, and many long nights of high level work, we ultimately hit the deadline and impressed the client. That client become one of our more consistent revenue sources thanks in part to our great work in a difficult situation.
Story Board Method Answer
The Open – When a client made last minute request with a two day deadline on work that should take a week, I was put in a position to demonstrate my determination, teamwork and out of the box thinking to ultimately hit our deadline and impress the client.
The Content – I knew that even if I worked overtime myself, I wouldn’t get the job done, so before getting to work, my first action was to present to my supervisor an unorthodox request to borrow resources from another team and have them work with me. I was able to calculate how many hours of their time I needed in order to achieve our results.
My next step was quickly catching up this team on the project, as they had never worked with this client before. This was an opportunity for me to use my leadership skills to motivate a team that did not directly repot to me
Finally, once I had the team working diligently, it was time for me to put in the work myself, and worked 12 hours two days in arrow, to ensure the project was completed on time
The Close – My skills building the project were essential, but it was my ability to ask for support, and manage that support appropriately that I am most proud of in this example.
What do you think? Reach out to us through the Dear Latimer feature to share your thoughts, experiences and questions. If you or someone you know is in the midst of a job search, check out the Sell Yourself Course.