I have presented and been on the receiving end of countless presentations of new ideas.
Here are my 6 tips on how to help you sell your ideas with more success.
1. Present a usual idea, a different and a radical option.
Using this framework gives the receiver or judger a real choice covering 3 distinct options.
This is much better than presenting say 3 ideas that are very similar.
2. Give the concept a catchy name or label
Rather than just list all the elements of your new idea start with a catchy label e.g. this is the premium idea.
This has 3 big advantages — it is easier for the receivers to remember your idea, they do not get lost in the details and even if they do not like the elements of the idea they may still agree with the overall concept.
3. Be passionate about your idea.
If you do not believe in your idea no-one else will.
Also evaluators are buying the person as much as the idea itself.
An ok idea sold with great enthusiasm can often win the day because ideas need energy to overcome the many barriers to implementing or testing the idea.
4. Talk about the idea in terms of other (successful) ideas.
This is the Hollywood way of pitching an idea.
For example, I just saw Brad Pitt in a WW2 drama called Fury. You can imagine the people who created the idea by saying this is a drama about a tank crew fighting against each other and against the enemy — similar to Saving Private Ryan.
People instantly get what you are talking about and your new idea is linked to an existing, successful concept (i.e. movie).
This is particularly important if your new concept is very innovative. You will have more success if you can link it to something that exists is the consumer’s mind.
For example, many years ago when I worked in advertising we won a new business pitch by talking about Tacos (i.e. a new food) as a kind of Mexican hamburger (i.e. something that exists already).
5. Identify the problems or gaps with the idea
There is a valuable practice.
Rather than trying to hide any deficiencies in your hide and wait to see if they will be discovered it is better to identify these up front and how you plan to address these.
You will get more points for thinking through the concept and you will engender a feeling of trust with the receivers of the idea.
6. Provide a pathway to test the idea
And lastly it is always a great idea to provide the judgers (or client, boss, leader etc) with a way to test or pilot your new approach.
Again you demonstrate that you have thought through your concept and you are providing the other person with a simple, low-risk way of testing the idea.