Using Logic for Productive Presentations and Reports

Using Logic for Productive Presentations and Reports

This presentation uses the The Minto Pyramid from Barbara Minto to describe how the logical principles described can be used to create more effective presentations.

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Mark Buckwell

January 31, 2013
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  1. Mark Buckwell, FBCS CITP CISM CISSP http://speakerdeck.com/buckwem http://buckwem.wordpress.com http://www.facebook.com/mark.buckwell http://www.linkedin.com/in/buckwem

  2. Present Using Frame It Introduce It Structure It 2 Using

    Logic Question It Describe It Reuse It
  3. Present Using Frame It Introduce It Structure It 3 Using

    Logic Question It Describe It Reuse It
  4. Enabling Change Reports that convey understanding quickly are key to

    gaining agreement and enabling the change needed Understanding 4 Time Agreement Understanding
  5. Format and Structure The message can be lost through poor

    format or poor structure in a presentation or report 5 Poor Structure Poor Format
  6. Failure to Gain Support ...resulting in additional cost, delays in

    issue resolution or project and an unhappy customer Unhappy Customer 6 Additional Cost Delays
  7. Presentation as a Report This set of techniques is using

    the approach of a report within a presentation Report Key Note 7 Formality Report in a Presentation
  8. Barbara Minto defined The Pyramid Principle Ordering of ideas aligned

    with the way the mind thinks It uses a pyramid structure Proven Logical Structure The Pyramid Principle focuses on using a structure that orders ideas in the way the mind thinks It uses a pyramid structure Single thought Ideas relate vertically Ideas relate horizontally 8
  9. Present Using Frame It Introduce It Structure It 9 Using

    Logic Question It Describe It Reuse It
  10. Structure A Report to determine whether Blue Engineering should invest

    in Benzene production Topic A: Bezene Demand Increasing 3% per year Plant shutdown Topic B: Bezene Exposure Structure B Blue Engineering should not proceed with investing in Benzene production Conclusion Preview Benzene is in oversupply Manufacturers are moving from Benzene Not cost competitive with Middle Top Down Ordering – Chemical Engineering Structuring a report starting with the main idea enables immediate understanding and need to know more Plant shutdown Topic B: Bezene Exposure Hazardous Replacement Topic C: Cost Competitive vs Middle East Conclusion Benzene is in oversupply Manufacturers moving from Benzene Not cost competitive with Middle East Recommend: Do Not Proceed Not cost competitive with Middle East Topic A: Benzene Oversupply Although 3% growth plants are being shutdown due to oversupply Topic B: Benzene Hazardous Benzene is hazardous and manufacturers are looking for alternatives Topic C: Not Cost Competitive South Wales is not cost competitive compared to Middle East Recommend: Do Not Proceed 10
  11. Idea A Pyramid to Tell a Story Structure a report

    as a pyramid under a single idea with elements of the story line below Story Line Story Line Story Line 11
  12. Decompose The Problem A longer report can be decomposed into

    sections that correspond to categories or parts of the story to be told Idea Section/ Category Story Line Story Line Section/ Category Story Line Story Line Section/ Category Story Line Story Line Section/ Category Story Line Section/ Category Story Line Section/ Category Story Line 12
  13. A human brain can hold 7 ideas +/- 2 in

    short term memory Breakdown into categories Seven Ideas +/- 2 Keep the number of subsidiary ideas to seven (plus or minus two) to help people remember your story Difficult to Remember? Easier to Remember? Bleach Potatoes Milk Eggs Carrots Green Beans Floor Cleaner Mop Cheese Butter Cleaning Bleach Floor Cleaner Mop Vege- tables Potatoes Green Beans Carrots Dairy Milk Eggs Butter Cheese Difficult to Remember? Easier to Remember? 13
  14. Idea Vertical Logic Each idea above should summarise all the

    ideas below and all the ideas below should be within the idea above Vertical Relationship Section/ Category Story Line Story Line Section/ Category Story Line Story Line Section/ Category Story Line 14 Relationship
  15. Horizontal Logic A horizontal relationship should create a storyline summarising

    the points being presented Horizontal Relationship 15 Idea Section/ Category Story Line Story Line Section/ Category Story Line Story Line Section/ Category Story Line Story Line Section/ Category Story Line Section/ Category Story Line Section/ Category Story Line
  16. Present Using Frame It Introduce It Structure It 16 Using

    Logic Question It Describe It Reuse It
  17. Introduction Report Structure Reports should start with a Situation, Complication,

    and Question structure followed by the main ideas Situation Complication Key Question (and/or Answer) Main Idea • First subsidiary idea • Second subsidiary idea • Second subsidiary idea Key Question (and/or Answer) 17
  18. Establishes context Audience can agree Only information needed The Situation

    Establishes the context stating something the audience can agree with and leaves them expecting more Situation Only information needed Audience expects more Example: The IBM 2012 Tech Trends report from developerWorks and the IBM Center for Applied Insights is based on a survey of more than 1,200 IT and business decision makers who are determining when, where and how their organizations adopt mobile, analytics, cloud and social technologies. 18
  19. Identifies the problem Sufficient to understand all elements The Complication

    Identifies the problem to be discussed in the context of the situation Complication Example: Only 1 out of 10 organizations believes it has all the mobile, analytics, cloud and social business skills needed to put those technologies to work. 19
  20. Identifies question report will answer Example: The Key Question (and/or

    Answer) The Key Question and/or Answer should define the single idea the rest of the report will be about Key Question (and/or Answer) Example: Jim Corgel, General Manager IBM Software, challenges the business and IT communities to rally together to bridge the skill gaps threatening our collective ability to innovate – and shares the steps IBM is taking to help address this critical issue. 20 See https://www.ibm.com/developerworks/mydeveloperworks/blogs/techtrends/?lang=en
  21. Introduction Example This introduction follows the principles of Situation, Complication

    and Question/Answer The world is demanding more and more energy. The projected growth of worldwide energy demand by 2030 is 36.8% according to the International Energy Outlook 2008. The power generation industry faces major challenges in meeting this growing demand, not least because of inhibitors such as regulation and Situation Complication 21 growing demand, not least because of inhibitors such as regulation and legislation; inadequate investment returns and unhelpful economic incentives; and of course the supply of natural resources. The report recommends investing in energy production for consumers : • Optimise: Apply smart solutions to extend existing capabilities. • Grow: Rapidly grow existing capability through smarter design and operation. • Accelerate: Nurture and accelerate new capabilities to commercial scale. Complication Question / Answer
  22. Standard Order Situation Complication Solution Concerned Order Complication Situation Solution

    Changing Tone Changing the order of the introduction elements changes the tone of the report Direct Order Solution Situation Complication Aggressive Order Question Situation Complication 22
  23. Present Using Frame It Introduce It Structure It 23 Using

    Logic Question It Describe It Reuse It
  24. Example Introduction Using this example introduction we can develop the

    body of the report The data centre hosting the University systems is located in the centre of London and hosts all administration and central student IT facilities. Situation Complication 24 All the systems the systems became unavailable on the 5th November for 36 hours due to a lack of power to the systems in the data centre. This report examines why the power failed in the data centre. Complication Question
  25. Question/Answer Dialogue Create a question/answer dialogue elaborating until reader has

    no further logical questions Power feed failed to the Data Centre Fire at sub-station Why? Generators were overloaded Batteries had limited power Therefore Data Centre had no power 25 As new project added additional load No check made for additional power Why was generator overloaded? Someone deliberately set the fire Why was there a fire? Physical security was insufficient How were they able to do this? Why was additional power not identified? Why is power limited? Generator was designed to take over As no resilience in generators Generator designed with no resilience Why no resilience? 3121 servers for 20 customers failed What was the technical impact?
  26. Horizontal Relationship Answering the questions below follows a logical sequence

    by either deductive or inductive grouping Generators were Deductive Grouping Inductive Grouping Power Failed were overloaded As new project added additional load As no resilience in generators Power Failed to the Data Centre Fire at sub-station Generators were overloaded Batteries had limited power Therefore Data Centre had no power Why? Summarise Why was generator overloaded? 26
  27. Deductive Grouping Argument in successive steps Implication from preceding steps

    Indicated by Process Steps Timeline Deductive Grouping Use of deductive grouping is used when you want to describe process steps, timeline or instructions Timeline Instructions Ordered Recommendations 27 Obtain Trees Debarking & Chipping Pulp Prepar- ation Paper Formation Paper Finishing Paper Production
  28. Inductive Grouping Used for a set of related ideas that

    can be described by a plural noun Inductive Grouping • A set of related ideas • Can be described by a plural noun • E.g. Reasons for, reasons against, steps, problems 28 Paper Hazards General Noise Machine Guarding Lockout/ Tagout Pressure Vessels
  29. Developing the Structure A pyramid of questions and answers can

    be developed that support the overall subject of the presentation. 1 3 Idea 6 New Q Fill in the top box 1. What is the idea? 2. What is the question about the idea? 3. What is the answer about the idea? Match The Answer to the Introduction 4. What is the Situation? 5. What is the Complication? S = 4 C = 5 Q = 2 8 7 5. What is the Complication? 2. Check Question and Answer? Find the story line 6. What new Question is raised by the answer? 7. Deductive or Inductive answer? 7. If inductive, what is your plural noun? Structure supporting points 8. Repeat the question answer process at this level? Source: The Minto Pyramid Principle 29
  30. Mind Mapping It can help to develop the structure of

    the presentation using mind mapping tools such as Freemind 30
  31. Present Using Frame It Introduce It Structure It 31 Using

    Logic Question It Describe It Reuse It
  32. Key stakeholder availability No verbal explanation Story line enables understanding

    Why a Storyline on a Slide? Many more stakeholders than at the initial presentation need to understand a report through the story line Story line enables understanding 32
  33. Starting With A Report Start on paper writing a story

    line for the report and check the message can be understood without the main body of the slide Write the story line and check it flows by Story Line and check it flows by reading the titles of the report in sequence – this will be your executive summary. 33
  34. Keep the slide simple One message per slide One Thought

    Per Slide Use only one message per slide with only information relevant to the message otherwise the message will be diluted One message per slide Only what is relevant to the message ... and no more 34
  35. So What? So what is this slide telling the audience?

    So what is so important I need to have the slide? So What? Always ask of a slide or report section, so what am I trying to present and does it convey an important message? So what is so important I need to have the slide? So what role does the slide have in presenting the message? 35
  36. Explain the Significance Ensure your slide describes the significance of

    the ideas being presented that keeps the audience interested to know more This provides facts without the significance of the population rise The title and supporting content states the impact of the rise in population 36
  37. Parts of the Slide The slide can be split into

    three main parts – the Short Title, Story Line and Main Body Short Title Story Line Main Body 37
  38. Story Line The story line should state the significance of

    the slide and should be sufficient without the main body State what the main message of the slide message of the slide (which should be sufficient without the body of the slide) 38
  39. Body of the Slide The main body should elaborate the

    storyline but not introduce any further ideas The main body should elaborate the detail of the story line but not introduce any more information than is in the story line 39
  40. Example So What? Elaborate the So What message in the

    notes of the slide to ensure the message flows 40
  41. Begin transition before moving on Showing next slide will take

    attention away Slide Transition To make a presentation flow begin the transition to the next slide before moving on and write into slide notes take attention away Write into slide notes 41
  42. Present Using Frame It Introduce It Structure It 42 Using

    Logic Question It Describe It Reuse It
  43. Formal report Create a story line Elaborate each slide Information

    to be gathered Reports When creating a formal report, create a presentation first to create story line and ensure a coherent story Group Development Ensure story line is coherent Work can be distributed 43
  44. Report Introduction The same structure of Situation, Complication and Question

    can be used in a formal report Benzene is a key building block for the production of other chemicals. It’s most widely produced derivative is ethylbenzene, a precursor to styrene, which is used to make polymers and plastics. Cumene is converted phenol for resins and adhesives. Cyclohexane is used in the manufacture of Nylon. Smaller amounts of benzene are used to make some types of rubbers, lubricants, dyes, detergents, drugs, explosives, and pesticides. Situation After the recession of 2010, benzene, an aromatic chemical building block used primarily for the production of other chemicals, including styrene and cumene, experienced growing demand in 2011, with world demand forecast increasing from 41 to 42 million metric tons by the IHS Chemical global market study from IHS (NYSE: IHS). Complication Blue Chemical Engineering plc think the growth in demand for benzene may be an opportunity for investment and have engaged Jarratt Consulting to investigate whether to invest in a new plant in South Wales able to produce 100,000 kg/h of benzene. Question 44
  45. Report Main Ideas The main recommendation is up front with

    each key idea summarised to form the basis of each major section After examining the market and financial implications, Jarratt Consulting do not recommend investment in a new Benzene plant in South Wales for the following reasons: Main Idea Idea 1 • Whilst there has been increasing demand at 3% per year there is oversupply in the marketplace and refineries that produce Benzene as a by-product are being shut down. • Exposure to Benzene is hazardous and as a result some products are looking to replace it as a component of manufacture which is holding back growth. Idea 1 by-product are being shut down. • The cost of Benzene production in South Wales would not be competitive against global producers in Asia and the Middle East. Idea 2 Idea 3 45
  46. Executive Summary Introduction (Summary) Situation Complication Question and/or Answer Main

    Point Point 1 Point 2 Point 2 Report Structure A report will follow the same structure with an Executive Summary providing senior management communication Same structure as a presentation Sections will form chapters Point 2 Introduction Situation Complication Question and/or Answer Key message 1 Key message 2 Key message 3 Chapter – Key Message 1 Chapter – Key Message 2 Chapter – Key Message 3 Summary Executive Summary to understand the implications 46
  47. Email Structure The same pyramid approach can be used to

    structure emails and clearly communicate the message From: Fred Bloggs To: Joe Smith Subject: Application Hardware Upgrade Required Hi Joe, Performance has always been something we monitor for the application to ensure we do not reach the limits of the systems. Situation Over the past month there has been a 20% growth in traffic in the application. We needed to know when we might read the limits of the underlying system and found that we have a further six months of capacity. We looked at the options and recommend a full replacement of the current system with new computer systems. The options we looked at were: 1. Increasing memory and disk for a cost of $200k would only give us another six months of capacity and the underlying hardware would be at it’s natural end of life. 2. Full replacement of the hardware at a cost of $500k which would give us two years of additional capacity with the option to add an additional two years of capacity. Please could you review the attached report and confirm our recommendation. Complication Question & Answer Main Point Point 1 Point 2 47
  48. Clearly communicate using a logic The Pyramid Principle is proven

    It will take practice and extra effort But it will improve productivity Summary Use the proven approach for structuring presentations will take effort but will result in improved productivity 48 Present Using Logic Frame It Introduce It Structure It Question It Describe It Reuse It
  49. References Chevallier, Arnaud (2012) Use logic to think and communicate

    effectively [online]. Published by: slideshare.com. Available from http://www.slideshare.net/achevallier/use-logic-to-think- and-communicate-effectively [Accessed 6 January 2013] Chevallier, Arnaud (2012) Powerful problem solving: Ideas to become outstanding problem solvers [online]. Published by: Powerful Problem Solving. http://powerful-problem- solving.com/use-logic [Accessed 6 January 2013] IBM (2012). Fast track to the future: The 2012 IBM Tech Trends Report [online]. Published by: IBM Corporation. Available from https://www.ibm.com/developerworks/mydeveloperworks/blogs/techtrends/?lang=en References and Tools https://www.ibm.com/developerworks/mydeveloperworks/blogs/techtrends/?lang=en [Accessed 6 January 2013] Minto, Barbara (2002) The Pyramid Principle: Logic in Writing and Thinking 3rd ed. ISBN: 0- 273-65903-0. Essex: Pearson Education Limited Minto, Barbara (2012) The Minto Pyramid Principle: Logic in Writing, Thinking and Problem Solving ISBN: 0-09601910-3-8 Zelazny, Gene (2006) Say It with Presentations: How to Design and Deliver Successful Business Presentations ISBN: 0-07-147289-4 Tools Freemind – http://freemind.sourceforge.net Free Xmind - http://sourceforge.net/projects/xmind3/ 49
  50. Part One: Logic in Writing Why a Pyramid Structure? The

    Substructures with the Pyramid How to Build a Pyramid Structure Fine Points of Introductions Deduction and Induction: The Difference Logic in Problem Solving Defining the Problem Structuring the Analysis of the Problem Logic in Presentation Reflecting the Pyramid on the Page Reflecting the Pyramid on a Screen The Minto Pyramid Principle Logic in Writing, Thinking and Problem Solving Barbara Minto ISBN 0-9601910-3-8 Difference Part Two: Logic in Thinking Imposing Logical Order Summarising Grouped Ideas Reflecting the Pyramid on a Screen Reflecting the Pyramid in Prose Appendix A: Problem Solving in Structureless Situations Appendix B: Examples of Introductory Structures Appendix C: Summary of Key Points Mentioned in the Text http://www.barbaraminto.com/ 50