You know what you want to say but you don’t know how to say it. My friend, meet the superhero called Outline.

Each of your Big Ideas (i.e., your teaching points, the meat-and-potatoes of your content) is best served up by fitting into a P.A.R.T.S. structure. This style of outline is an excellent guideline that confirms your content pieces are strong, easy to understand and recruits advocates and allies.

Let’s remove the mischief and add the magic to your Work in five easy steps…

P = Phrase A foundational phrase is sexy, short, repeatable and three to five words. E.g., emotion is the potion, trust is a must, attitude of gratitude, what’s loose is lost, what’s tight stays in sight, prevention over profit.

A = Anchor An anchor quickly introduces your new Big Idea. There are four types of anchors: Anecdote (short and sweet story); Activity (e.g., discuss and debrief, breakout rooms); Analogy (“Life is like a box of chocolates”); and Acronym (D.I.E.: Details, Imagery, Emotion).

R = Reflect Reflective questions are interactive, personal and reinforce learning. People are inspired to come to their own conclusions. You don’t sound pushy and they like that. Try simple inquiry like, “Have you ever…?” “Ever feel like…?” “Do you…?” “You know when…?” “Who in your life…?”

T = Technique A technique is a content-rich “how to” tip or tool people can remember and practice. For example, want to lose weight? Technique: “Chew your food 30 times.” Want to manage anxiety? Technique: “Dance, breathe, move.” Want to open with power? “Ditch the slides and pitch a story.”

S = Sales Help people see the consequences if they do as you suggest and the consequence if they don’t. For example, “Follow this diet and have the beach body of your dreams! Or you can keep dieting and not getting the results you want, and stay a socially-distanced beached whale forever.” Joke!

P.A.R.T.S. long story short. Look at your speech, presentation or “how to” writing piece.
Does each Big Idea have a sexy foundational phrase? Is each content piece tied to an anchor? Can your audience reflect on each Big Idea? Can your audience take action on the content? Does your content sell, sell, sell?

Here’s to us keeping our parts and pieces together as we march towards spring sunshine and better days. See it, believe it, outline it, write it, speak it. Win!

Sending illegal hugs and kisses,
♥ Shannon ♥

*A special shout-out to my imaginary boyfriend Craig Valentine who first introduced me to P.A.R.T.S. Craig, will you be my Valentine next year? No? Okay. Stupid restraining order….*