By Barbara Minto
The Minto Pyramid precept: good judgment in Writing, considering, & challenge fixing
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He will be pleased to make that effort only if there is a compelling enticement for him to do so. Even if he is quite eager to know what your document contains, and convinced of its interest, he must still make the effort to push aside his other thoughts and concentrate on what you're saying. All of us have had the experience of reading a page and a half of something and suddenly realizing that we haven't comprehended a word. It 's because we didn't push aside what was already in our heads. Consequently, you want to offer the reader a device that will make it easy for him to push his other thoughts aside and concentrate only on what you're saying.
To do that 1 take the Subject and move up to the L 昏昏 25 Situation. The first sentence of the Situation must be a statement about the Subjec t. What is the first noncontroversial thing 1 can think of to say about the Subjectsomething 1 know the reader will not question, but will accept as fact? ) When you go to write the introduction out, you wi I1 of course in this paragraph explain the nature of the change, but for the purposes of working out your thinking you need only get clear the essence of the point of the paragraph.
Here we have the structure of a 20-page memorandum recommending the purchase of a British Leyland franchise (several years ago, obviously). It is a good buy for three reasons, and underneath each reason is the answer to the further question raised in the reader's mind by making this point. The reasoning is so clearly stated that the reader is in a position to determine whether he disagrees with the writer's reasoning , and to raise logical questions concerning it. Ex Ìt ivii 3 All documents should reflect the questionjanswer dialogue \u 俨 队门 俨『 E 令 l·、 Bωb 门uJ广U eh 川 VE- Hμn -u 「「 IH2u 』 γ Will grow faster than thc industrγ ωLd 比 pL an ueha Will have positive financial impact Will beeasy to absorb To summarize, then, a great value of the pyramid structure is that it forces visual recognition of the vertical question/answer relationship on you as you work out your thinking.