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  • Haufe Fachbuch 01635

    Key Message. Delivered - Englische Version

    Business Presentations with Structure

    Bearbeitet vonWolfgang Hackenberg, Carsten Leminsky, Eibo Schulz-Wolfgramm

    1. Auflage 2012. Taschenbuch. 232 S. PaperbackISBN 978 3 648 03661 7

    Wirtschaft > Spezielle Betriebswirtschaft > Marketing, Werbung, Marktforschung

    Zu Inhaltsverzeichnis

    schnell und portofrei erhltlich bei

    Die Online-Fachbuchhandlung beck-shop.de ist spezialisiert auf Fachbcher, insbesondere Recht, Steuern und Wirtschaft.Im Sortiment finden Sie alle Medien (Bcher, Zeitschriften, CDs, eBooks, etc.) aller Verlage. Ergnzt wird das Programmdurch Services wie Neuerscheinungsdienst oder Zusammenstellungen von Bchern zu Sonderpreisen. Der Shop fhrt mehr

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  • 38

    pyraMiDS tHe MoSt StaBLe StruCtureSin tHe WorLDThe Pyramids of Giza have fascinated mankind for over 4,000 years. It is not just their size and

    appearance that has aroused our interest: their stability, too, is unique. These tombs of the Pharaohs

    are the last of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. And this is due not least, of course, to their

    basic design. Each of the huge stone blocks from which they are made sits on at least two others.

    No single storm could ever leave a mark on these buildings, let alone topple them.

    The same principles as those underlying the construction of the pyramidsThe same principles as those underlying the construction of the pyramids

    can and should be used by you when formulating your arguments.can and should be used by you when formulating your arguments. your.reasoning framework should be as solid and stable as an egyptian.

    pyramid. This will help ensure that you can successfully transmitThis will help ensure that you can successfully transmitwhat you are seeking to communicate.what you are seeking to communicate.

    STABLEREASONING

    FRAMEWORK

    EGYPTIAN PYRAMID

  • unDerstanDtHe PyraMiD1 DeterMinereQuireMents2 structuretHe task3 DeFine tHekey MessaGe5 builD tHePyraMiD6 DesiGn tHePresentatiOn7 PrODucetHe sliDes8analyze tHeaDDressees4

    39

    eSCaLate to tHe MoSt eSSentiaL

    We can thank Barbara Minto, an American communication consultant, for the Pyramid Principle.

    To improve the communication skills of her colleagues, this former Mckinsey consultant developed

    the basics of pyramid thinking as practiced in business. That was in the late 1960s. Since then, the

    Pyramid Principle has been adopted globally as a tool for sorting large amounts of information and

    presenting important topics in a simple yet compelling manner. In short, it is the proven basis uponwhich strong communication structures can be built.

    But what is it about the pyramid that makes it so special? Why is it so revolutionary in this context?The short answer to this is that by giving your presentations a pyramid structure, with the most

    important point you wish to make placed at the very top of the pyramid (and therefore at the

    beginning of the presentation), you can make it much easier for your readership or audience to

    understand what you are trying to convey. This is the case regardless of which presentation soft-

    ware you use, especially since such software did not exist in the 1960s.

  • 40

    MiSS MarpLe VerSuS CoLuMBo

    Think back to your own education. How did you learn not just to write but also to structure your

    writing? How, for example, were you expected to structure essays in high school? You may have

    been taught to describe the topic in detail, illuminating all its various aspects, before, pages later,

    setting out a conclusion. Later in life, while studying or training, you may have found yourself taking

    a more academic or scientific approach to writing, with the general theory coming first, your specific

    conclusions afterward with the latter based soundly on the former. The logic of this approach,

    which sees a movement from the general to the specific, we can think of as inductive, since itshares some features with the classical principle of induction. We like to think of it, though, as the

    Miss Marple Principle.

    In the television series that took her name, the eccentric Miss Marple would always be presented

    with a murder-mystery to solve. The body would be shown to the viewers at the beginning of

    each episode, so the puzzle to be solved was made clear right from the start. Then, thanks to Miss

    Marples cunning detective work, a chain of events and a foundation of evidence would be estab-

    blished, piece by piece, leading to the eventual unmasking of the perpetrator. The solution the

    essential insight therefore came at the end. You can picture this process as funnel-shaped: the

    further we are in the case, the more focused and specific the information becomes, squeezed into

    an ever smaller space. This process is often referred to as bottom-up, since it involves the devel-opment of a theory or theme from an underlying factual basis.

    miss marplemiss marple

  • unDerstanDtHe PyraMiD1 DeterMinereQuireMents2 structuretHe task3 DeFine tHekey MessaGe5 builD tHePyraMiD6 DesiGn tHePresentatiOn7 PrODucetHe sliDes8analyze tHeaDDressees4

    41

    In a process based on induction, arguments are presented one at a time, with these arguments

    eventually leading to a final solution or result. This method is indispensable for university essays

    and academic or scientific articles and lectures since it gives the listener or reader an overview of

    the approach taken and also clearly exposes the underlying facts.

    Yet, if you look at most instances of information transfer in the workplace, you will see that what is

    required is not the gradual development of a theme but speed and focus.

    Induction-based communication is, therefore, not particularly suitable for business communica-

    tion, as it gets to the main point only via a long, meandering path. With induction-based commu-

    nication you also run the major risk of soaking or even drowning the addressee especially the

    casual reader in a flood of details. This feeling of being engulfed by too much information may be

    familiar to you.

  • 42

    The opposite of inductive is deductive. And the opposite of Miss Marple in this connection is Lieu-tenant Columbo of the television series of the same name. The Columbo Principle is therefore the

    deductive counterpart to that of Miss Marple. On Columbo's beat we are first shown the murder and

    the murderer. This means that we know the result (the identity of the perpetrator) from the very

    beginning, with the investigation then slowly pulling back the veil to reveal the events that led to it.

    With the deductive method, which takes its name from classical deduction, with which it bears

    similarities, a conclusion is drawn from a series of facts and theories, with this conclusion also acting

    more or less as the major premise. The conclusion is known from the start, and the individual facts

    upon which it is based are communicated afterward.

    You can picture this process as a pyramid, the apex of which is the central insight, the lower levels

    of which are the arguments developed top-down from this.

    As may have occurred to you, this second principle is much more suitable for a business environ-

    ment. With this principle no time is wasted: you start with the central insight and then explain how

    you arrived at it. This approach has a number of advantages:

    < Even if you eventually lose the attention of your addressees, you will still have communicated your

    key message.

    LIEUTENANT COLUMBOLIEUTENANT COLUMBO

  • unDerstanDtHe PyraMiD1 DeterMinereQuireMents2 structuretHe task3 DeFine tHekey MessaGe5 builD tHePyraMiD6 DesiGn tHePresentatiOn7 PrODucetHe sliDes8analyze tHeaDDressees4

    43

    < Your addressees will try to place what you are telling them in a logical context. So if you let them

    know what the most essential insight right at the outset, they will have less difficulty understanding

    your arguments. If you begin instead with some random observation or theoretical point, they may

    end up floundering and frustrated.

    < Following this method you will see new questions loom up at each level of your argument, the

    answers to which will fill any gaps in your logic.

    < Addressees attention and curiosity are at their greatest when they begin listening or reading. So

    you should insert the key message tailored to the audience or readerships needs at the start

    of the presentation.

    An example of a structure that accords with the deductive method is: Our recommendation is X,

    and our reasons for this are first ... second ... third ... Such a framework will enable the audience to

    judge in real time whether each reason does in fact support the recommendation.

    An equivalent inductive structuring would produce something like this: We have determined the

    following: first ... second ... third ... We therefore recommend X. In this case the audience members

    or readers will have to remember all the arguments until the end of the presentation, since only then

    will they be able to evaluate how well these support the recommendation.