Great storytelling with the AQR

Analysis is the quest for answers and as researchers our job is to relay those as insight, not reportage. Practise makes perfect they say and so I recently got the chance to join the AQR for a 2-day training course on insight and debrief writing. Having only written a handful of debriefs myself I was excited by the opportunity to tighten my storytelling style.

Day 1 looked at the journey of research and the strategic thinking throughout analysis to draw out the core insight. Pushing yourself to think of the wider themes that relate to the business in question is certainly trickier than quoting respondents as gospel – but that’s what we are commissioned for! Some great models that visually explain relationships within the research work well as takeaways that can be passed on as part of the debrief, rather than internally (client side) circulating the entire deck.

Day 2 arrived and we were joined by two professional writers who took us through the world of punctuation, grammar and concise writing. Having looked at an array of introductions from our favourite novels/poems we used that inspiration to draft our own on ‘mini-deck’ using what we had learnt. For me, one of the key things is being able to keep your copy succinct. Remove any irrelevant information to keep the reader engaged – “if in doubt, cut it out”. I am certainly looking forward to writing my next debrief.