THE BLOG

How to Convince the Boss Your Idea Is Incredible!

02/27/2015 11:38 am ET | Updated Apr 29, 2015

Launching a new business is extremely difficult. As the owner, there are always many things on the to-do list and it seems that list never goes away. Additionally, the value proposition of the company must be firmly established and presented in ways that propel it in a direction that help to create sustainable growth.

New Idea Development For Big Companies

When you work for a large, matrixed organization, getting your ideas across can be very similar to launching your own business. Here's an example. You have a great idea for a corporate event that will help create customer engagement. You want to go tell your boss, but you know your boss won't be as receptive as you would like. Do you let your idea die or do you push it forward taking the risk that it may be a lot of work for nothing? In my opinion, if you believe in yourself and your idea, you should develop some action steps to get your idea off the ground.

Convincing The Boss

Have you ever walked out of a meeting you just had with your boss and wish you could reverse the clock and start it all over again? I have been in that circumstance before and you would think after all my years of presenting and pitching ideas I would have it perfected. Wrong. I went into the meeting highly confident, knew my stuff, even did some industry research with data to support my key points. However, I got sidetracked talking about the exciting parts of my idea and it threw me off. After realizing that my key points didn't come across as strong and in the order they needed to, I tried to go back and re-state them. However, I already created confusion and I was now in the middle of a messy, poorly executed presentation that didn't sound like my idea was a good one, and it really was - ugh. Don't let this happen to you.

Get Your Point Across

Here are 9 great tips that will help to make sure you communicate your message clearly and articulately every time. Before you begin, your presentation, remember; go slow and leave room for your boss to ask questions. Sometimes silence and pausing can be very effective. That means thinking is happening.

1. Have a pre-established plan / agenda to keep your message delivery on-track and easy to understand - stick with it.
2. Answer these questions in your presentation: Why is this idea important? What is the goal? If it is to be successful, what has to happen? How can we pull-it-off with our existing staff? How does it align with our corporate strategy? These are just a few.
3. Ask your boss how much time you have to present your idea so you know how to best move through your presentation.
4. Give a brief, big picture overview - almost like an elevator pitch - using word pictures can be very effective here.
5. Key Points: Choose 3-5 key points you want to communicate and stick to those points in order, without wavering.
6. Forecast: Tell your boss you are going to talk about your key points, and tell them exactly what they are in 10 seconds or less.
7. Provide a visual representation of your overall big picture - this helps the person to actually see what you are talking about
8. Your visual representation may also need a reference example that will help make your key points easy to understand. *Make sure you use an example that they will understand perfectly.
9. Final wrap-up: Ask the question, "If this is not clear, what questions do you have I can answer?"

The final wrap-up question is critical because it determines if your boss has an understanding of your idea and also helps to clarify any areas that may need some extra work.