How To Pitch Your Idea At Work Like A Pro

By Siew Ching

They don’t involve multiple charts and graphs, just a good old convincing story!

This is it! The project you’ve been waiting for and boy do you have a lot of ideas! Especially one that you know will slay and define your career once and for all.

But before that even happens, how do you convince your boss to listen to your idea, get it approved, and give you all the support? You gotta pitch it right to get everyone onboard, and here are some tips on how you can get that done.

#1 Tie It With Company’s Goals
This is most important. You want to make sure that your idea is aligned with your company’s values, what it believes in, and what it hopes to achieve in the near future. If your company is interested in going completely digital with all its services, pitching an idea that involves archaic, traditional methods isn’t going to work.

Pay attention to what the higher-ups have been communicating about the direction the company is heading towards. See if your idea is able to connect with this bigger picture. Don’t despair if it doesn’t. Your idea could still work with a little re-framing or fine tuning to make it more relevant.

#2 Start With A Problem Or A Story
Think of this as your pitch’s first impression! You want to grab attention right from the start and a good way to do this is with a convincing story or highlighting an issue that has been plaguing the company for a long time. Address the pain point, which is a persistent problem or an unmet need that needs to be satisfied.

Once you’ve identified this pain point, either start by highlighting it with a short statement to remind your audience why it is important to resolve it. Or you can humanize it with a story so your audience can relate better and talk about the impact of this pain point

#3 Introduce Your Idea With A Compelling Summary
It’s the elevator pitch at work here! What’s an elevator pitch you say? It’s a summary of your idea that is short enough to be told during an elevator ride. You want to keep it short during your presentation. You can even create a short phrase so everyone catches on immediately, like a value proposition, which is an outcome-focused statement that highlights your idea’s benefits. It basically summarises why your idea works.

#4 Explain Further How Your Idea Works With A Pitch Deck
OK everyone’s listening now. It’s time to dig into the specifics with a visual element that is easy to understand. A pitch deck is the best solution here to highlight key points using enticing design elements. You can easily do this with PowerPoint. Think of it as the meat of your idea so your pitch deck needs to explain exactly what your idea does and how it does it. Make sure you have a rehearsed and memorized script to guide your presentation and idea or it will just fall flat, no matter how long you’ve worked on the pitch deck!

#5 Outline The Project Timeline And Resources You’ll Need
Your boss says it’s a great idea! Then he asks: What does it take to execute? Thankfully, you’re prepared to answer this very important question because you’ve mapped out the project timeline and also the budget you will need to make sure it runs smoothly. You’ll need to have researched this earlier as this is the crucial part between make or break for your project. Your boss will want to know how you arrived at your estimations so be prepared with an answer. Don’t fake your way through this part! You want to show that you’ve thought the idea through and are ready to get started.

#6 End It With Conviction
Now the tables are turned and it’s time for your audience to ask questions or even share some ideas on how to improve on yours! Be open minded to the discussion and work together to improve on your idea – you know what they say, the more heads the better! To end the discussion, round up your presentation emphasizing again on how the idea works to help achieve the goal the company is striving for. List out what your first steps are should you get the green light so your boss knows you’re ready to jump into action.

Bonus Tip: Practice Makes Perfect
And in a pitch, it really does! Speak to others about it to get honest feedback on both your idea and presentation style. This will help you improve upon your idea and how to present it so it has an even greater impact. It can also help you create a list of questions that you may be asked so you come better prepared.

Any tips on how to ace a pitch presentation? Share it with us @Graduan.

Photo by Jason Goodman on Unsplash.

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