Barbara Minto, the first lady partner at McKinsey’s and author of the Pyramid Principle, outlined the need for presenting proposals and recommendations in the form of a nested hierarchy of logic to maximise the chance of your audience buying into your message.
This thinking approach is sometimes known as "Top Down Thinking" or the "Minto" approach.
PTP is the approach used by many of the leading management consultancies and corporates around the globe to achieve excellence in communications. The Plus incorporates a focus on Benefits and Purpose, forcing the communicator to see the world through the eyes of their audience, which makes it much more powerful than the original Minto framework. We use this approach in all our own proposals, recommendations, reports and even important emails.
We have also turned PTP into a training offering to customers across a broad range of sectors.
The training can be delivered in three different formats:
1. Face to face. In your offices, or in a venue arranged by you, typically for a group of 8-12 delegates. The group works through the materials and a case study on day one and then each works individually on their own communication which they discuss in a 1 to 1 mentoring session with a tutor. This option is best for organisations that have team members co-located or look to bring together a group of colleagues as part of the team building process.
2. On-line training. Using Zoom or Teams, and Mural whiteboarding, our on-line training course provides the equivalent content and group working experience to the face to face course. In order to provide active interplay between the trainer and course particpants, and to make work group sessions manageable, we restrict on-line training to groups of maximum five individuals. We split this course into three half days which makes it possible to accomodate time zone differences between the tutors and the learners. Participants finish the programme with a group tutorial during which they present and refine their logic for their own communications. This format is ideal for organisations with dispersed staff and/or hybrid working.
3. Individual Self paced learning. The programme is available as a series of 10 modules based on a self defined communications project. This is hosted on a leading global learning management platform, but could be hosted on your own in-house system. Each participant finishes the programme in a joint tutorial with maximum of 4 other participants during which they present and refine their logic for their communication. This format is ideal for organisatons where staff prefer to receive training in bite size chunks at times which fit with their busy schedules.
Whichever method you choose you will cover the same theory and learners get the chance to put the theory into practice in their own real live communications project.
Should you sign up for Pyramid Thinking Plus?
By embracing Pyramid Thinking Plus you will become more successful because people will say "Yes" more often.
This in turn will lead to:
More sales if you work in the marketing and sales arena
More approvals - both internal and external for recommendations you make
More subscribers - if you are in the research reporting business
Better teamwork - as you share logics with colleagues
Any or all of the above are worth orders of magnitude more than the cost of the training.
For more details on the content and cost of the various training options click here.
Read what some of our clients have to say:
James Harvey, Managing Partner - Economic Insight
"The Pyramid Thinking Plus training we commissioned for our new recruits was extremely well received. They found the mix of theory and practical group work gave them a sound grounding in why and how to deploy the Pyramid Thinking Plus approach. In particular they welcomed the individual mentoring sessions on day 2 to go through a communication logic for something they were actually working on in real life. They found this an excellent way of taking the theory and putting it into practice."
Neill Ryan, CEO , VRM Tech
"We recognised that we needed to make our propositions clearer, more compelling for our potential buyers. The decision was to try Pyramid Thinking as the way to structure our thoughts, both individually and as a group. Peter Franklin and Ian Campbell ran a one-day training course for our top team and business developers. They got the approach across well, and made the subject entertaining.
In addition, they have been mentoring us on the first few propositions we have been developing using this new approach which has been a great help in embedding the approach for the team. I am very pleased with the end result, a great improvement on what we had before – much more focused on what the customer needs than what we do from a technology point of view. It has changed our thinking for the better."
Andy Bradley, MD, Delta Energy and Environment
"Delta-ee is a knowledge based research and consulting company specialising in ‘new energy’. It’s critical for us to communicate the key messages coming from our work clearly and with impact, as the ‘new energy’ landscape is extremely complex and our clients often have little time to read long reports. Pyramid Thinking has provided Delta-ee with the framework and principles to structure both our consultancy proposals and our research reports, and is a tool we are now consistently using throughout our business. It helps us before, during and after projects by:
· Helping us to more precisely define the scope of work, identify what is required to fully address client needs and to develop winning consultancy bids
· With a better understanding at the beginning of each project, delivery can be planned and managed more effectively
· Upon delivery, clients benefit from the clarity of the reporting, which also enables others in the Delta-ee team to quickly acquire the learnings and cross-sell
The combination of engaging workshops and thoughtful mentoring advice provided by Peter & Ian has enabled our team to quickly learn and start applying the Pyramid Principles, and we are already seeing the benefits of our investment."
Bill Hodson, Business Development Director, Frazer-Nash Consultancy
"We have been gradually adopting Pyramid Thinking to support our business development activities in Frazer-Nash over recent years and it has been a significant help to our ongoing growth. Our bids are now routinely built around the clear and compelling logic that the discipline of the technique provides. Adopting Pyramid Thinking has had a direct impact on our win rates.
Many of our staff have been trained by Peter Franklin of Compelling Propositions, who is himself both an expert practitioner and trainer of the principles of Pyramid Thinking (also sometimes called Top-Down Thinking). Feedback from the courses he has run over the years for us shows that he achieves a good mix between communicating the theory, getting delegates to put the theory into practice and providing an entertaining and stimulating day of learning."