Exercise Use the Hub Spokes Model

Draw a circle in the center of a sheet of paper and write a summary of your objective and audience analysis inside. Focus on the key words that will affect your targeted personality types, the desired level of formality, your goal to persuade or educate, and the organizational structure you've selected. Once you're ready to concentrate, draw spokes out from the center circle and jot notes to yourself.

Take as long as you need, stopping only when you're out of ideas. When you're done, look for your most important point. That's likely to be your starting point. Your conclusion will be a summary point.

Your Hub & Spokes model will differ, of course, from Brad's. And while you may lack his technical expertise and the details behind his recommendation, you can still use the Hub & Spokes model to get your thoughts down on paper.

Were you able to jot down relevant thoughts? What came to your mind? Take a look at Brad's Hub & Spokes model (Figure 8.1) and read his comments. "I was struck by two things," Brad explained. "First, I wrote the word 'diversify' twice. Second, I found myself in a defensive position, as if I was going to be attacked for not recommending Jacksonville. If I came across as defensive during my presentation, I would weaken my performance, so I decided that I needed to win the committee's respect for my analytical process before I explained the results.

Hub Model Figure
Figure 8.1 Brad's Hub & Spokes Model

"That suggested that I should start with a review of my methodology. The summary point is that Georgia is, overall, a lower-risk choice than the two alternatives. I decided that that should be my ending point.

"This exercise alerted me to a potential problem so that I could anticipate it, helped me identify my starting and ending points, and clarified the importance of constructing my report to persuade, not merely inform. Very useful."

Some people write details, others write summaries. There's no right or wrong approach. Notice that Brad didn't list specific risk factors; rather, he used the model to clarify his thinking.

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