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Consulting Top-down way of communication

During the case interview preparation, I was told by many case partners that I should use the 'Consulting Top-down way of communication'.

I was wondering if any good book/website/materials that I can learn from? Any recommendations or tactics would be highly appreciated! Thanks!

During the case interview preparation, I was told by many case partners that I should use the 'Consulting Top-down way of communication'.

I was wondering if any good book/website/materials that I can learn from? Any recommendations or tactics would be highly appreciated! Thanks!

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Hi Anonymous,

the top-down way of communicating is also sometimes refered to as the "Pyramid Principle". It emerges on the grounds of the mantra: "Think about your audience, first!" The canonical book on this was written by McKinsey's Barbara Minto: https://www.amazon.de/Pyramid-Principle-Writing-Thinking-Financial/dp/0273710516

As a consultant, you’ll be presenting your findings to busy C-level executives. In your interview you’ll be dealing with consulting Partners, who work everyday with CEOs and share their manners and approach. Hence, often the most challenging constraint you’ll face is time. What they expect from you is a short and clear main message or recommendation. Then, if they are interested, they’ll ask for details. This is called “top-down” communication.

top down approach for your case interview

It follows the principle that ideas should always form a pyramid under a single thought. The single thought is the answer to the executive’s question. Underneath the single thought, you are supposed to group and summarize the next level of supporting ideas and arguments. Then, for each supporting idea or argument, break that further into more ideas or arguments until you have formed a pyramid. Ideas at any level in the pyramid must always be summaries of the ideas grouped below them.

When comunicating your "pyramid", you should first lay out all elements of the upper levels before diving deep. For example, if the peak of your pyramig disaggregates into 3 buckets on the first level, list the three elements first before deep diving into any of them.

Cheers, Sidi

Hi Anonymous,

the top-down way of communicating is also sometimes refered to as the "Pyramid Principle". It emerges on the grounds of the mantra: "Think about your audience, first!" The canonical book on this was written by McKinsey's Barbara Minto: https://www.amazon.de/Pyramid-Principle-Writing-Thinking-Financial/dp/0273710516

As a consultant, you’ll be presenting your findings to busy C-level executives. In your interview you’ll be dealing with consulting Partners, who work everyday with CEOs and share their manners and approach. Hence, often the most challenging constraint you’ll face is time. What they expect from you is a short and clear main message or recommendation. Then, if they are interested, they’ll ask for details. This is called “top-down” communication.

top down approach for your case interview

It follows the principle that ideas should always form a pyramid under a single thought. The single thought is the answer to the executive’s question. Underneath the single thought, you are supposed to group and summarize the next level of supporting ideas and arguments. Then, for each supporting idea or argument, break that further into more ideas or arguments until you have formed a pyramid. Ideas at any level in the pyramid must always be summaries of the ideas grouped below them.

When comunicating your "pyramid", you should first lay out all elements of the upper levels before diving deep. For example, if the peak of your pyramig disaggregates into 3 buckets on the first level, list the three elements first before deep diving into any of them.

Cheers, Sidi

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Soul Music: Digital Engagement Plan for Advocates Soul Music is a newly founded music production company operating in the Asia Pacific region. It partners with several other agencies & distributors across the region. The internal communications team at Soul Music maintains a network of advocates across the company (internally) and partner institutions as a channel for their communications. The primary role for these advocates is to receive and distribute these communications as they see fit across their teams, however they also serve an under-utilised purpose of being the ‘eyes and ears’ for feedback from that area of the company/partner. Events of COVID-19 has demonstrated the value of such a network, alongside the necessity to innovate how to engage with it through digital channels. The team currently faces challenges around the engagement level of these advocates, given that this is a volunteer or nominated role in addition to their regular job responsibilities. How can the internal communications team of Soul Music evolve this network in 2021, using both digital and face to face engagement?
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Soul Music is a newly founded music production company operating in the Asia Pacific region. It partners with several other agencies & distributors across the region. The internal communications team at Soul Music maintains a network of advocates across the company (internally) and partner instituti ... Open whole case