Tony Nudd BA MSc


Getting To The Details

If you are delivering information it needs to be interesting and useful.

Information which has no depth or usefulness will turn your audience against you. They will "switch off" and start thinking what a wate of time listening (or reading) you is.

You need to make your discussion or argument interesting, and one way to do that is to add deep details. Depending on your audience will determine on how much detail you provide. If they are peers and know your subject they will most likely want lots of details. If they are new to your subject, they will not want too much detail.

There is a great technique to help you add complexity and detail to the information you are delivering.

Chunking Down is a technique used in order move from a broad, general sense to a more detailed and specific Chunk - topic, phrase or word. It also is where you state your key objectives and where you justify your point of view.

Used effectively, Chunking DOWN up will allow you to bring new insight and understanding of a possibly vague chunk. Chunking DOWN is very effective after delivering a "Big Idea", and now to start detailing the specifics. (Your "Big Idea" is formed from chunking-up).

General questions used to Chunk DOWN are:

- What is an example of this ?

- How specifically ?


One thing to bear in mind when Chunking DOWN (or up or across) is that there may be many possibilities, so you should decide what your area of interest, or "Domain", is. This will help to keep your Chunking relevant to your subject.

Let us choose an example Domain of "Border Security"

One of the things we want to discuss about "Border Security" is the issue of bringing into a country foreign "Food", so we will use "Food" as our start Chunk.


To Chunk DOWN - Revisit the questions above and apply them to the chunk "Food" in the context of the Domain "Border Security", you might get the following:

information chunking down example

The diagram above is an example of a very simple "Chunk Map"

Let us Chunk DOWN again:

another information chunking down example

Let us Chunk DOWN again:

and another information chunking down example

As you "Chunk DOWN" you will notice the information becomes more specific and detailed and draws your audience into understanding the specifics of the chunks higher up. The resulting Chunk Maps that form also allow you, the author, to visually see the specific relationships between your chunks of information - this in turn allows the possibility of previously un-thought of chunks and relationships to come to mind so enhancing your core research.

Additionally, the visual Chunk Maps allow you, the author, to compliment the Chunks by investigating other related chunks through the use of, for example, a dictionary, thesaurus, internet searches etc.

Chunking DOWN results in deeper understanding of the more vague broader chunks higher up in the Chunk Map.

Whenever you are discussing the specific details of anything, remember to continually "Chunk UP" to re-engage your audience and keep them "on the same page" before Chunking DOWN again deeper - This is taking your audience on the "Journey of Persuasion" and ultimately influencing their decision and understanding to the way you want.

Next Article: Chunking ACROSS

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