The Inverted Pyramid

We show you how to present ideas and communicate information.
So that You are heard! How?

Use the inverted pyramid approach:

  1. Always start with the most important info for your audience
  2. Then share important details
  3. For the final leave all other (tertiary) general details.

Details that will help you apply this approach.

The most important information – the one you start with, answers the questions: Who? What? Where? When? Why? How?
It is usually 1 or 2 sentences.
This will allow your audience to decide whether or not they want to listen all the way through.

The important details presented to your audience are the context, evidence, and examples.

Finally, add the general stuff that gives more background and possibly references to other sources.

Here are the advantages of this approach:

  • whenever interrupted, you’ll have already said the most important info;
  • you can easily spare the details if you realize people don’t need them;
  • people will be perfectly informed, no matter how little time you have for the presentation.

A bit of background

This approach is mostly used in news agencies. A popular example that illustrates the use of the inverted pyramid is an article covering the assassination of President Lincoln. The very first paragraph of it answers the questions who, when, where, why, what, and how: “This evening at about 9:30 p.m. at Ford’s Theater, the President, while sitting in his private box with Mrs. Lincoln, Mrs. Harris, and Major Rathburn, was shot by an assassin, who suddenly entered the box and approached behind the President…”
The less important details are left after that – “The pistol ball entered the back of the President’s head and penetrated nearly through the head.”.
There is a transitional sentence about the Grants, who were advertised to be at the theater, which suggests that less-important facts are being added to the rest of the story.

The inverted pyramid will when you want to communicate something to your team:

👉 You can see 4 types of Team Communication

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