As our nation moves to a knowledge – based economy, your ability to sell your ideas will become increasingly important. You may have great ideas, but if you can’t sell these your performance evaluation will suffer.
Outlined below are some general perspectives on communicating ideas.
- New ideas are critical for modern organizations. Without new ideas, organizations decline and jobs are threatened.
- Everyone needs to contribute ideas.
- The key to communicating ideas is quiet confidence. The successful idea communicator does not have to be a good public speaker. You also don’t need to be a natural salesman. But you do need to display self confidence.
- You shouldn’t wait for special situations before you contribute ideas.
- Ideas are sold in a two step process.
Communicating – informal sharing and developing of the idea.
Presenting – making a formal presentation for approval
Communicating ideas can be difficult for a new college graduate because you probably have not had a lot of experience in doing this. The following perspectives on how new ideas are presented may help you understand the environment you will encounter in selling your ideas.
- Most ideas are communicated one-on-one or in small group meetings.
- The best speaking style for presentation ideas is informal and casual.
- The content of an idea is more important than the way it is communicated.
- Few visual aids are used.
- Once the idea is initially accepted, the presentation format becomes more formal.
- Visual aids are used.
- The audience is larger.
- The presentation style is more formal
In general there is an approach that you can use to present your ideas.
- Provide context for your idea. Give background that lets others understand how you came to your idea.
- Describe your idea with major points first. Cover details if asked for them.
- Communicate your idea with quiet confidence.
Don’t downplay your idea by saying, “This may be a dumb idea.”
Don’t oversell your idea by saying, “This is a great idea.”
State your idea simply by saying, “I have an idea that I would like you to consider.”
- Accept the additions of others.
Every good idea can be made better.
Don’t ignore suggestions. Write them down.
- If others reject your idea ask, “What better idea do you have?”
Don’t let people reject your idea without giving you an idea of their own.
The essential thing about presenting any idea is to “push the first domino.” You won’t be successful in selling your ideas unless you make the first step in sharing your idea with others..