Learn What Executives Want to Hear: How to Pitch an Idea

Getting recommendations approved in this virtual landscape is more challenging than ever. The way you structure and present your ask will make or break your pitch. Follow these four steps to cut the clutter and get to YES!

What you should say first.

Do you know what is most important to the executive or manager you’re presenting to? (Hint: It’s not the details.) When you begin your presentation or pitch, the first thing you say needs to be that executive or manager’s goal. The number one thing executives and managers are charged with today is doing more with less. If you can tell an executive how your idea will either save money, save time or increase profitability, you are off to a great start. If you cannot provide this information, your idea may be shot down before your limited timeframe to present is even up.

Identify short and long-term results.

Present information that will make it obvious what choice they should make. You can help do the thinking for them by explaining the short and long-term impacts of your recommendation. There might be short-term costs, but long-term profitability involved. Don’t leave it up to them to figure that out. Spell it out in a way that is easy for them to follow.

Identify where the resources are coming from (people or finances).

Your recommendation will likely require an initial investment. Even if there are long term gains, you still need to address where the initial investment, whether it be manpower or finances, will come from. Provide two or more clear suggestions regarding staff and fund allocations. This shows that you have fully thought through your proposal and are aware of the investment required. Most importantly, it takes the guess work out of it for the executive.

Think outside the box.

You may be addressing a problem that has been around for years and the status quo is no longer efficient. Ask yourself, “How can we do it differently?” To stand out from others, you will want to consider how you can do something in a more productive, efficient way. Be creative. Executives like to see that someone is coming up with new ideas. Even though the bottom line (cutting costs and increasing profitability) is important, executives also want to know that you can solve problems.

Put it all together

These tips will get you thinking about how best to address your executive or manager. To learn how to pitch an idea by compiling all this information in a format that can be delivered in less than 10 minutes, contact us for training options.

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