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Episode 42: Presenting New Ideas That Get A "Yes"

communication podcast Oct 11, 2022

How do I present an idea to the leaders in my organization so it has the best chance of being received?

Consider these on what might increase your chances of getting consideration for your idea.

Content is KING

First of all, content is king! I was so flustered at the suggestion to avoid communication that I plowed right into the conversation without thoughtful consideration on what content really mattered. You’ve probably noticed this too – without thoughtful preparation on content, people tend to ramble or overshare when presenting a new idea. So try this:

  1. Step back and take thoughtful preparation before sharing content.
  2. Discern that “bottom line” – if the idea is kind of “in the clouds” rather than “on the ground” it’s a good sign you need to take that pause before sharing it. What is the nugget that you need to share first then follow with some supporting evidence?
  3. Test out the idea and see if it floats before you share it with leaders. 
  4. Learn what your audience wants to hear will help you decide what content is important to your audience.

Timing is QUEEN

Too many times we have great ideas and the need feels urgent to us – but among the list of all the needs a leader is sifting through it may not have the same urgency to them. Ask these questions to test if the timing is right:

  • Is there capacity in the busyness of work for the leader or leaders pause and think through the idea you want to share? 
  • How important is this idea right now in the whole scheme of things?
  • How likely are the resources to be available to actually do something about this idea?

Presentation is EVERYTHING

Do you need something written down? How do they best receive information? Is it groups or one-on-one conversations? Is it more about stories or statistics or graphics that will help them understand the content you are trying to communicate?

Not every idea you present to leaders will be accepted. Just don’t immediately throw it out if it is rejected. It might be timing. It just need to be repurposed and presented in a different way in a different context with a different spin on it. And it might not be a great idea after all. That’s okay – there will be more ideas!

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