The Situation-Complication-Resolution (SCR) framework
What is it?
The Situation-Complication-Resolution (SCR) framework is strategy that helps you tell story or explain something by first describing the current situation, then introducing a twist or an obstacle, and closing with how it can be overcome or resolved.
The framework is effective because it creates a natural narrative flow that emotionally resonates with audiences on a fundamental level. Here’s how:
- Situation: In this initial phase, you set the stage by describing the current state of affairs or context. You provide essential background information, data, or trends relevant to clarifying where things are now. This draws an audience into the story and helps them understand the starting point or baseline of the discussion.
- Complication: After presenting the situation, you introduce obstacles, risks, or issues that are impeding progress or causing concern. This part of the framework is designed to introduce tension which triggers empathy or suspense in the audience, further investing them in the narrative.
- Resolution: The final phase involves presenting a solution, recommendation, or plan of action to address the complication. This part of the framework outlines a clear and actionable path forward, demonstrating your expertise and providing a basis for decision-making.It also provides closure and satisfaction for an audience, fulfilling their need for a conclusion.
What sets the SCR framework apart for other methods is its universality and adaptability. Consulting firms, management consultants, and professionals across diverse industries have embraced and customized this tool because it excels at getting complex ideas across with clarity and persuasion. But it's not just for experts; the SCR framework is inherently beginner-friendly. It mirrors the way we naturally discuss and solve problems, making it an accessible and high-impact tool for newcomers to the world of presentation storytelling.
When to use it
Step-by-step: How to use the SCR framework
Get your content ready
Start by gathering all the information and data you need for your presentation or story.
Establish the situation
The goal is to explain "what's going on"—to provide a clear understanding of the current state or context. Focus on outlining the existing conditions, environment, or circumstances related to the topic. Provide relevant background information, historical context, or facts to create a foundation for understanding. Note that while the situation statement may hint at a problem or challenge, its primary role is to create a foundation for understanding what follows.
Here, you'll pinpoint specific challenges, obstacles, or complexities that are making it impossible or difficult to move forward. Create a list of complications by answering these questions:
Narrow down the most resonate complication
Assess the potential impact of each complication on the target audience and choose the one that resonates most with their interests and concerns.
Craft the resolution
Craft a resolution statement that presents the solution or resolution to the complication introduced earlier. Brainstorm key information, strategies, or actions that will address the problem and lead to a positive outcome.
Draft the presentation outline
Use the completed statements for Situation, Complication, and Resolution to start the formal presentation outline. Make each statement it's own section, and expand through clear explanations that are supported by relevant evidence and examples.
Pay close attention to transitions between sections to guide your audience smoothly from one topic to the next. This helps maintain a logical and coherent flow, preventing the audience from getting lost in the presentation.