How to Craft 3-Minute Story and Big Idea

Episode 23: How to Craft 3-Minute Story and Big Idea

Having a 3-minute story and Big Idea can help you tremendously with preparing for the rest of your data presentation as well as during the delivery itself. Listen to this episode to learn what these are and how to craft them for your next presentation.

You can also listen on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and Spotify.

What You’ll Learn in this Episode

3-Minute Story

  • What is a 3-minute story
  • In what situations a 3-minute story can help
  • What are the 3 parts of a 3-minute story

Examples of 3-Minute Stories

Big Idea

  • What it is
  • Some examples/templates of Big Ideas

Get in Touch with Hana

Let me know what you think of the episode, you can message at or on Instagram @hanalytx.

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If you enjoyed this episode, check out this episode where you learn about how stories can help with data decision-making.

Episode Transcript

In the previous episode, we talked about how storytelling can help with improving data. Decision-making. When used in your presentations? In particular, we talked about decision fatigue, which is when your audience member. Is too fatigued by the time it comes to make a decision or to act upon. What you're recommending. 

This can happen when you bombard your audience with a lot of information, they don't need orange stand, which can happen pretty often when we present to non-technical audience members. I've also been reading Cole Nussbaumer Knaflic's latest book storytelling with you. 

It was released at the end of september but i had received an early copy of it a few weeks ago so i got a headstart on it

If you've read her first book storytelling with data, you will be acquainted with three minute stories. And she touches upon this again and her latest book and how to craft So what is a three-minute story?  It is your elevator pitch version of the story. You can use this in several situations, like in an actual elevator to update or get feedback from someone quickly. 

Or if you want to give someone a preview or high level overview of what you plan on speaking about like your boss. I also like to look at three minutes stories as an accordion. You can use your three minute stories to condense it further. If you have less than three minutes to talk. 

Or expand upon it for a longer presentation. Three minutes stories are especially helpful to use with a target audience that generally doesn't have enough time to hear a longer presentation. Like busy executives. For me, I found that three minute stories are also really helpful when I prepare my presentation because it gives me a solid grasp on my story. 

It can also help me during our presentation.  In fact, oftentimes people found that. It makes them less dependent on their slides and also feel prepared for the unexpected. Like maybe finding out that the meeting is running late and suddenly you only have five minutes instead of 20. 

To present your work. 

Cole breaks up the three minutes story into three parts

 First is the plot. This is where you set up the context for your audience. And build up to the twist or climax. The second part is the twist. This is where you introduce new information. Your audience needs to 

And in the previous episode with Dan, we talked about how this could also be where you see a change that's relevant for your topic. This is where it would go. Finally is the ending. And this is where you talk about the action you want your audience to take. This is really important. I recommend you be very specific. 

And direct about what action you want your audience to take. Don't assume that they will read between the lines and understand what it is that you want them to do. And don't shy away from repeating if necessary, just to make sure that they really understand what it is that you want them to do. 

Now if you want some examples of three minute data stories. I will include and link a few in the show notes. You can find the show notes on my website. It's trending. Hyphen forward slash podcast. 

But we're not done with the episode yet, because I also want to talk about what you should do after you've made your three minutes story. It's helpful to condense. Your three minute stories. Down further into what is called the big idea. This is also something we briefly touched upon in the previous episode with 

This is a term coined by Nancy Duarte and it represents the main or key message you want to communicate. To your target audience.  It's also known as the thesis statement or the main takeaway. 

There are some key components of a big idea and they are. It's one complete sentence. It conveys what is at stake? And it conveys your unique perspective.  I'm going to share a couple of templates. To really help you understand the components that make up a big idea. 

here's one example or one template. By adopting this model. We will see. And then you list your main business benefits. 

 Let's check. If this has all the components we talked about. 

So it's one complete sentence. It's conveying. What is that stake by listing the business benefits? If they accept your big idea. And it's also conveying  your unique perspective as a data scientist. Who has evaluated and recommended the model you helped create? 

Another example of a big idea is. If we don't do. Insert your recommendation. We will see. And then list the costs to the business. 

So these examples are phrased in this way because emotions play a big role in moving your audience to take action.  And Nancy points out how you can use emotions in a couple One, you can raise the likelihood of pleasure. And lower the likelihood of pain. If they accept the big idea. Similar to what we did in the first example, when we said by adopting this model, we will see. And then you listed the major business benefits for adopting this model. 

 Another way you can do this is by raising the likelihood of pain. And lowering the likelihood of pleasure. If they reject the big idea. Like we did in the second example. 

If we don't do insert recommendation, we will see. And then you list the major costs to the business. 

Don't exaggerate or dramaticize this. You want to make sure that you are accurately communicating?  What is that stake? And you're matching the seriousness and severity of the situation. You don't want to take it too far. You want to actually have. Your audience members. 

Still trust And take your seriously. 

So now, you know how to craft a three-minute data story. And you can look at a couple of examples that I have in the show. You also now know how to craft a big idea. And you can use both of these as starting points before you craft the rest of your presentation and the rest of your story. 

This is not only going to help your audience members, but it's also gonna help you as well with your preparation with guiding you  and keeping you focused. I highly recommend that you do this exercise of creating your three minutes story and your big idea every time before your present. 

Even if you're presenting the same project or topic to a different audience member. I recommend that you go through this exercise again.  

And the reason for that is because with each target audience, you may notice that what you convey as being at stake. 

What are your target audience member? Perceives as a benefit or a cost to the So what you convey as being at stake, if they accept or reject your big idea. This can vary depending on your audience And so can the recommendations or the actions that you want your audience to take that can vary depending on who you're actually talking to. So if you're presenting the same work to different people, which often happens in our line of work, 

Your three minute story or your big idea is going to change a little. Your presentation should change. At least a little. So I really recommend that you do this exercise each time you're presenting to a new target audience, even if it's the same topic. That's all for today thank you so much for listening.