Here’s yet another great case study of “The ABT In Action.” It’s a scientist using the ABT structure to craft his entire one minute presentation as a sequence of 3 ABT “episodes.”
ANYBODY REMEMBER THE OLD FAST TALKING FEDEX GUY? He probably didn’t need any narrative structure because he talked so fast he was finished before you could decide if you were bored. But for everyone else, it’s kind of essential.
THREE ABT’S IN A MINUTE
Two weeks ago we had a great conference call with our friends at National Park Service. One of them, Margaret Beer, introduced her colleague Simon Kingston who is a “data ranger” for NPS. He told about taking part in a meeting of the USGS Community for Data Integration where they offered the opportunity for what they call a “flash presentation” of just one minute with one slide.
Margaret had written three letters on a business card for him — ABT — and briefly explained them (the “And, But, Therefore” template). He ended up using the ABT structure for three sentences that were his entire one minute presentation.
Here is his entire presentation, color coding each part for the there elements of AGREEMENT (AND, blue), CONTRADICTION (BUT, red), and CONSEQUENCE (THEREFORE, green):
Our program was kind of a wild west in what we did AND was going well, BUT for the long term we weren’t managing our data properly, THEREFORE we formed a task force. It brought together lots of people from different disciplines AND looked at what we needed to do, BUT we realized we needed to select an alternative, THEREFORE we did a structured decision-making process. We selected an alternative, looked at what’s it going to take to achieve our goals, BUT realized in order to implement an alternative we needed to bring a diversity of voices to the table, THEREFORE we formed a governance board and organized small groups to actually implement the work.
What’s great about this is that it’s neither boring nor confusing. The one bit I think I’d add would be a final bit at the end to summarize the solution they arrived at. Something like, “… and this provided the data management plan we needed.” That would bring things “full circle.”
This is another great example of people using the ABT on short notice to structure a brief presentation. It’s a powerful template, BUT … as the nearly 500 graduates of our Story Circles Narrative Training program will tell you, the real goal is to develop “narrative intuition,” and that requires biting the bullet and taking the training.