Persuasive Communications

Using a Top-down Messaging Framework

The Persuasive Communication method is a top-down approach that helps you deliver a key message and deliver it in a logical way.  The framework helps you capture the essence of the situation, the complication or challenge that stands in the way, pose the key question (or implied question) that your audience has on their mind, and deliver the single-minded message along with supporting evidence that you want to deliver.

The SCQA Model

Persuasive communication is a structured way to position and communicate that ties your answer or proposed idea –  to the situation that your client is in and the complication that must be overcome.

Lets walk through an example by introducing the model in a way designed to convince you that you should embrace this approach. To do this, let’s use “SCQA” or Situation, Complication, Question and Answer which is the structure that will help guide the delivery of your messages.  SCQA can be used in more subtle ways, but to illustrate how the logic it works, I will use the structure explicitly in the following argument about the impact of Persuasive Communications:


Communicating a clear and persuasive message to your audience is critical – whether in a sales or service delivery situation or presenting a solution or new proposition to the marketplace, people and organizations need to deliver their ideas in a clear and directed way that speaks to the key issues and challenges your audience is facing. If you can more effectively communicate your message and your logical persuasive arguments, you will be much more likely to convince people that they should take the action you propose.


Unfortunately, much of our communications lack clarity and structure. Bloggers of all quality and experience make arguments without tying together key issues, sales teams meander through client conversations without delivering a clear and persuasive argument backed by logic. Corporate presentations miss the mark in delivering a single-minded message and instead offer only a reflection of the company itself – without a focus on the audience and the opportunities they seek to address.

With the proliferation of online media and brand messages, it is important to differentiate your message and deliver it in a clear and compelling way. In order to use a more persuasive communication technique, your writers and presenters need a structured communication process they can use day-to-day.


How can we improve the way our teams communicate and realize better results?


Build structured communications into the fabric of your organization by helping communicators deliver compelling arguments that drive the results.

You can do this by following three strategies:

  1. Formally introduce Structured Thinking and Delivery using  workshops that use hands-on practice, case studies and real-world examples.
  2. Reinforce the approach by applying structured communication techniques across all your interactions day-to-day – including presentations, emails, blog posts and marketing communications
  3. Ensure adoption across the organization by leading by example and recognizing the impacts that come from applying the approach.

The S-C-Q-A Framework

Persuasive Communications is a core competency to help you get better results from your audience engagement.


Who is your audience?
What is the subject, scope, time frame?
What is your aspiration / what you want to achieve?
What is the context and relevant  facts

Clear understanding of the background
Positive interpretation – meaningful interpretation of the grouped data
A clear statement of the current situation (scope, subject matter, plan period)
The mission or objectives (Budgets / Targets)
Articulation of success.


The problems and causes
Impact of doing nothing
Options that won’t work and why not
The opportunities


What is the pivotal question or implied question?


State the single minded message or governing thought: a clear single sentence. Summarize the benefit and main strategies.

First answer the how: Once convinced that the answer makes sense, you can answer the ‘how’.

  • How the plan will be executed (i.e. Actions, Costs, Due Dates and Responsibilities)

Then answer the why: If you need to convince, then you will need to answer the why.

  • The benefit and main strategies
  • Benefit. ROI, benefits, a justification as to why this is the best way
  • A comprehensive solution