Barbara Minto – The Minto Pyramid Principle
The Minto Pyramid Principle refers to a process for organizing your thinking so that it jumps easily off the page to lodge in a reader’s mind. It notes that people ideally work out their thinking by creating pyramids of ideas:
- Grouping together low-level facts they see as similar
- Drawing an insight from having seen the similarity
- Forming a new grouping of related insights, etc.
Extended thinking eventually ends in a single pyramid of ideas, at many levels, obeying logical rules, and held together by a single thought. Communicating the thinking requires only that you guide the reader down the pyramid.
The technique applies to every type of document in which your purpose is to offer your thinking to a reader – email, 1-page memo, multi-page report, or formal slide presentation. It works equally for internal or external audiences, and regardless of medium or language. For this reason the Minto Pyramid Principle has become the de facto standard for all major consulting firms and professional organizations.
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