I recently started reading the Minto Principle and wanted to share a brief story about how I have benefited from the first 100 pages of the book and recommend the book to other community members. I was not sure what to expect when I ordered the book so I thought I could provide a quick overview of how I have applied the principles of the book.
I work as an in-house attorney and each of us were recently asked to provide a 15 minute overview to the highest level of company about our responsibilities and how we support the overall strategy of the company. As a result of reading the Minto Principle I recognized the purpose of the meeting was not because someone woke up and wondered to themselves what everyone in our group does, rather there is a question in the audience's mind. I applied the principles the following way:
Topic: Discuss how the individual attorneys support aspects of the business
Major Question from the Audience (Unstated): Is there a better or cheaper way to provide legal support to the business?
Desired Conclusion: No, the group is organized to prioritize the most important company strategies and I am the right person to provide support to my areas of the business.
Major Premises Necessary to Reach My Desired Conclusion: 1) The areas of the company I support are important enough to warrant devoting an in-house attorney to provide support; 2) The level of legal advise and business knowledge I bring to my clients exceeds other available options, either internally or from outside law firms.
After I went through this exercise I was able to tailor my presentation to provide support and evidence for my two major premises. After organizing my presentation to reinforce the two major premises, combined with other suggestions from the Mark and Mike, I was very successful!