Throughout my career I’ve been on the receiving end of many new project presentations from managers on my team or from other people in the company. I’ve also been responsible for presenting a lot of potential projects to senior management for approval. In all of them there has been great learning experiences on how to pitch an idea internally to get it approved. Here are my 5 Golden Rules for Presenting Your Ideas that are sure to get you further in your career.
Rule #1 – Never present an idea that you don’t believe in. If it’s not your idea or you aren’t completely on board with the project do not present it to someone else. Other people, and more importantly, the executive team will smell your fear/uncertainty & doubt a mile away. Let whoever thinks it’s a great idea do the presenting. Their passion and commitment will shine through, your lack of commitment will kill it before it gets off the ground.
Rule #2 – Anticipate questions. Never go in to a meeting without thinking through the most likely questions you’re going to get from your boss or the management team about your project. Stumbling out of the block when asked the first few questions will set you back and leave management thinking that you don’t know what you’re doing. It’s crucial that you make a solid first impression on the Q&A side.
Rule #3 – Make sure your business case has addressed the 3 Pillars of Performance. Any new project should have a STRATEGIC, FINANCIAL and COMPETITIVE reason for being. If it doesn’t don’t go any further. You not running a charity, at least that’s my assumption, so have solid business rationale on why the project makes sense. Addressing the 3 Pillars of Performance will carry the day.
Rule #4 – Build support for your idea with other cross functional teams. Before you make the big pitch to senior management spend time soaking your idea with other people in the company to get their input & feedback. It help you reduce resistance to the project and avoid any pitfalls that you may have overlooked.
Rule #5 – Never Ever Over Promise and Under Deliver. Presenting an idea that has unrealistic sales projections or requires aggressive market share gains will haunt you forever. You might get approval for the idea but if you miss your numbers you won’t get another shot at it. You will have burned that bridge to future project opportunities. Make your business plan realistic and achievable. Under promise and OVER deliver and you will reap the rewards of a successful career.
Stick to these rules and you’ll go places in your company. To learn more about how we can help you be more effective in your marketing efforts contact us today at 1-416-435-5290