SCQA technique

SCQA technique

What is it?

The SCQA technique is a framework used in storytelling that makes questions a central and explicit part of the structure. SCQA is an acronym for Situation, Complication, Question and Answer:

  1. Situation: In the "Situation" phase, you establish the context for your narrative by providing background information, introducing key players, and sharing relevant details.
  2. Complication: The "Complication" stage centers around the emergence of a central problem or challenge within the given situation, creating tension and capturing the audience's interest.
  3. Question: Next, the "Question" phase involves raising thought-provoking questions or issues related to the complication, keeping the audience engaged and curious.
  4. Answer: Finally, the "Answer" phase brings resolution by providing solutions to the questions raised earlier, addressing central issues, and offering a satisfying conclusion.

The SCQA technique helps maintain focus and clarity throughout a presentation, ensuring that the narrative flows logically and is easy to follow. By introducing a complication and raising questions, it sustains audience engagement, fostering a sense of suspense and curiosity.

While it shares some similarities with other storytelling frameworks, the SCQA storytelling framework is distinct because it is question-focused, emphasizing structured problem-solving and logical progression in storytelling or communication.

      When to use it

      1. Your content revolves around addressing a specific problem or challenge and providing practical solutions or recommendations.

      2. Clarity, logical progression, and a well-organized narrative are essential for your presentation.

      3. You want to create a narrative-like structure for your content, even if it doesn't inherently contain characters or typical storytelling elements.



      Remember to:

      1. Maintain a clear and logical progression from the Situation to the Answer, ensuring that each phase contributes to a cohesive narrative or presentation.

      2. Craft questions that go beyond surface-level inquiries. Aim for questions that stimulate critical thinking, provoke curiosity, and prompt reflection. These questions should challenge your audience's assumptions, inviting them to explore the topic more deeply.

      How it works


      Define the presentation objective

      Start by making sure the main objective(s) of the presentation are clear. What do you want audience to learn or take away from it? Your objective will guide the rest of the process.


      Understand your audience

      Think about who the audience is. What do they already know? What are their interests and questions about the topic? Understanding the audience helps you create content that resonates with them.


      Describe the situation (S)

      Describe the current state or context related to the key concept. Use clear and concise language to set the stage. This should be at a beginner's level of understanding.


      Introduce a complication (C)

      Introduce a complication or challenge that arises in the context described in the situation. This complication should naturally lead to questions in the audience's mind. Keep it simple and relatable.


      Formulate a question (Q)

      Formulate a question that directly addresses the complication. This question should be thought-provoking and stimulate the beginner's curiosity. Ensure that it is clear and easy to understand.


      Provide an answer (A)

      Provide a straightforward and easy-to-understand answer to the question. Use examples, visuals, analogies, or storytelling to illustrate the answer. Ensure that the answer aligns with the presentation objective.


      Create transitions

      Between each SCQA cycle, use clear transitions to guide your audience from one aspect of the key concept to the next. Summarize briefly what has been covered and how it connects to the upcoming part of the concept.

      Based on the feedback received, make necessary revisions to the story and the SCR framework. Ensure that the narrative effectively conveys the situation, complication, and resolution, aligning with the presentation's objectives.


      Summarize and conclude

      Conclude your presentation by summarizing the main points related to the key concept and emphasizing its significance. Offer additional resources for further exploration if applicable.


      Reflect on clarity

      Before finalizing your presentation, review it to ensure that each part of the SCQA cycle for the key concept is clear, concise, and beginner-friendly. Remove jargon or technical terms that might confuse your audience.