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The Art of Explanation: Making your Ideas, Products, and Services Easier to Understand by Lee LeFever

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Chapter 17

Emma and Carlos

UnFigure

When we last checked in with Emma and Carlos in Chapter 13, they were working their way through an explanation problem focused on helping employees at their company learn about a new health care plan. After their last meeting, Carlos had asked Emma for a few days to prepare for their next meeting. Now he's ready.

Once the team filed into the conference room, Carlos started the meeting with a group discussion about movies. He asked the team about their favorites and what they liked about them. After a bit of small talk, he zeroed in on a specific movie two team members loved, The Shawshank Redemption. Everyone agreed it was an excellent movie. Carlos used this example to make his first big point.

“Did you know that Stephen King wrote that story as a novella in 1982?” The team looked puzzled and Carlos smiled; he couldn't believe that this example had fallen right into his lap. “Yeah, King wrote it. It was called ‘Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption,’ and it was adapted as a movie in 1994” (Wikipedia 2012).

Emma couldn't help saying, “That's great, Carlos, but let's get on with the meeting.” He smiled and said, “Oh, this is very pertinent for the meeting today. You see, all of our work on explanation up to this point has been our ‘Stephen King phase’ of the project. We've created a story in the form of the written word. And like Stephen King's novels, ...

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