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Brainstorming Technique #3 - The Traffic-Light Technique

Lesson 6 from: Create and Design Memorable Presentations 

Andrea Pacini

Brainstorming Technique #3 - The Traffic-Light Technique

Lesson 6 from: Create and Design Memorable Presentations 

Andrea Pacini

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Lesson Info

6. Brainstorming Technique #3 - The Traffic-Light Technique

Next Lesson: Quiz: Ideation

Lesson Info

Brainstorming Technique #3 - The Traffic-Light Technique

Alright so far we looked at two brainstorming techniques, the audience transformation, roadmap and the mind map in this lesson. I want to give you another possibility. We call it the traffic light technique. Now before explaining it. Why is this important? Why should you really use it? Well you should use it because it will help you plan and think about what messages you should be communicating and what messages you should not be communicating. Now we developed these techniques to help our speakers and clients handle Q and A. Sessions but it's just as valid for sales meetings, tv interviews, conference panels also for preparing presentations, particularly when you're preparing for tough questions. So the way it works is that before your meeting or interview or pan or presentation you can take a blank sheet of paper. I've provided a template for that. Or maybe you may want to use a flip chart or a white board and then you draw a small red circle in the top section, an amber or yellow or...

ange circle like traffic lights in the middle section and then a green circle in the bottom section and then you fill in each of these sections. How in the red section you want to include all of the messages that you absolutely must not communicate under any circumstances. Now maybe you've got nothing to hide and that's great. But usually there is something that you may want to avoid communicating. For example in a sales presentation if your potential client asked you to tell them about the last complaint you had to deal with. Then instead of talking about the systemic product weakness for which you have no solution yet, you may want to talk about the rare issue that was weakly fixed. So you remember red red points, avoid them at all costs. Then in the amber section, you want to include all of those messages which are not absolutely necessary to get across. But if you have a chance it can help. So think of these messages as your bonus points. And then in the green section, you want to include all of the messages that you absolutely have to communicate. You want to make sure that you communicate all of them. If you miss any of them, you fail. So that's the objective here. And my recommendation is that you shouldn't have too many messages here, maybe no more than five because remember if everything is important, nothing is important. If everything is important, nothing is important. Now, the aim of this technique is for you to say none of the red points, all of the green points. And as many of the other points as you can. Now, let's take a real life example. You may remember maybe not, but you can find it online In 2010, there was a huge environmental disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. It's called. That you can find your line under the deepwater horizon oil spill. The BP oil spill because BP was the company involved there. Now that was one of the largest environmental disasters in the american history. The damage that that caused to the environment and the people living there was huge. Now as you can imagine the former. Now Ceo of BP at the time had to answer a lot of tough questions. So I guess you can see how he could have used a tool like this to be better prepared for these questions and also to make sure that he would avoid saying things that you really don't want to say in a situation like this. And so for example his traffic light could have looked like this in the red section. You may have messages like it wasn't a fault or the gulf of Mexico is a big ocean. So it could be worse. Or I'd like my life back. I'd like my life back. He actually said that you can find a video Youtube and that created a lot of criticism because what about the lives of the people living there? That's not what people want to hear. And then in the green section you may want to include messages like we are truly sorry for the devastation coast. We are doing everything we can to stop the flow of oil and we will take full responsibility with regard to the damages. That's what people want to hear and you want to make sure that you communicate all of these messages and then in the amber section you can have a bonus point like we are assessing the cause of the damage to wildlife, property and livelihoods as you can see. This technique is very simple but very effective. Why? Because it will help you especially when you are preparing for tough questions. It will help you avoid your red zone and instead find a way to get your green messages across. Now exercise for you. The exercises for you to do your brainstorming to do your brainstorming session for you to be able to develop a compelling message. And there are a couple of options for you Now I've provided three different templates so you have a template for the audience, transform Metro roadmap, a template for the mind map and the template for this technique here. The traffic line technique. Now you either choose one of these three techniques and you do your brainstorming with that particular tool or even better. And that's my recommendation as we did with a client who wants you to start selling by phone. You start with the and then in the transformation the middle column you can if you start to see patterns and you can group ideas together, then you can group them into three key points. So you go from an A tr to a mind map and then finally you do an additional brainstorming with the traffic light technique for you to really understand what to say and what not to say. The outcome here. The output should be all of the ideas that you may want to communicate during your presentation, as many ideas as possible. There is no need for you to practice restraint at this stage, because then what we're going to do in the next chapter, which is creation, the second step of the presentation process, we are going to take all of these ideas and that's why it's important that you have many and then we need to translate them into a clear storyline that will help your audience understand and remember so completely exercise, be creative, have fun, and then I'll see you in the next chapter.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Exercise #1: ABC - Understanding Your Audience
Exercise #2 - Define Your Objective
Exercise #3: ATR - Brainstorm To Find Your Key Messages
Exercise #3: Mind Map - Brainstorm To Find Your Key Messages
Exercise #3: Traffic Light - Brainstorm To Find Your Key Messages
Exercise #4: 70 Words
Exercise #5: Storylines - Develop Your Storyline
Exercise #6: Storyboard - Sketch and Design Your Visuals
Recommended Reading

Ratings and Reviews

julie haskett
 

I was just beginning to create a series of presentations when I noticed this course. Serendipity! I thought I knew what I was doing, but learned some great techniques. More importantly I learned what NOT to do. Now I have much more confidence in the process.

michal babula
 

A lot of useful information.

Sara
 

Exceptional course. Very well organized and taught. The course was engaging and practical, with clear actionable approaches, examples, and activities from beginning to end.

Student Work

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