Foundation of communication in meliorate – Pyramid Principle

The first weeks at a new workplace are always triggering and anxious period. When I started working in meliorate, I had no single idea what corporate governance was, the unspoken rules, values of the company. So, Oliver Förster, co-founder of meliorate, and Anna Haddick, senior consultant, and I had a conversation in which they presented me Barbara Minto’s book “The Pyramid Principle.” At that moment, I discovered that it was a sacred meliorate book describing its communicational milestones. I would like to present several lessons Minto’s book taught me and my understanding of company after reading this book.

To provide you an understanding of the Pyramid Principle, it claims that ideas in every oral/writing material should be presented in pyramid form. Look at figure 1, the example from Minto’s book about why pigs should be kept as pigs. So, the first level is the conclusion and main idea, which grips readers’ attention. The second level is summarized arguments and answers to the questions ‘why.’ All of the following levels are precise ideas and details that support views.  

Figure 1. Origin –
Barbara Minto “The Pyramid Principle”

Firstly, Pyramid Principle teaches you to show the conclusion first, which was mind-blowing for me. At first, I was, “How can executives/readers understand the conclusion if you don’t give a background for it?” But as Minto demonstrates, it significantly reduces time, increases attention, and engages the audience with your material. The first idea always makes the audience decide if they need this information. If they are interested, they continue to look into details, further ideas, and arguments. Therefore, Pyramid Principle

The second point that I meditated on was pyramid structure of ideas is very natural for human psychology. We know very little about how information is stored in our brains and how our memory works. Still, we certainly know that we easier comprehend data if it is coherent and consequent. That is how our reasoning and thinking function. The best example is our shopping patterns. When you decide to go shopping, it is the main idea and conclusion of all your needs. After deciding to go to the shop, you make a list of necessary products and secondary goods in need. This is the second level and answers the question, “Why do I need to go to the shop?” So, we always think of the Pyramid Principle but don’t realize it.

Reading and analyzing Minto’s book deepened my understanding of meliorate’s consultants’ values. Comparing corporate presentations and Pyramid Principle, I discovered that consultants really appreciate accuracy and open-mindedness. They should have competencies to present ideas in one sentence, engage clients to listen further and explain each argument. Moreover, developing these competencies is a time-consuming process, which requires familiarizing with superficial psychology, deep knowledge of the topic, and even intuition to read clients’ reactions as they appear. Thus, I was stunned how such a simple concept can be a foundation of a company’s values and competencies, in meliorate particular.

To conclude, Pyramid Principle is a highly beneficial instrument even for self-development and structuring your own opinions. Personally, I believe mastering this tool is challenging but definitely worth the results. As a meliorate’s employee, Pyramid Principle is the foundation for me to build my viewpoints and skills.

Iryna Nykoriak

Published 22.08.2022


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