All day, every day, we are pitching. It never stops.
A dinner date is a pitch. The Monday morning staff meeting is a pitch. A telephone call with a client is a pitch.
If you think about it, we are all constantly aiming to persuade people to believe in our potential, our proposal or, our perspective. Persuasive people know that great ideas need landing gear as well as wings.
Here are five tips that will help you be more persuasive.
You must know what you want.
Don’t begin a conversation with a fuzzy, vague shadow of an idea but, with a clear and concise outcome you want to achieve. Know your goals, budgets, resources, outcomes, key people and expected deadlines.
The very act of thinking it through and writing things down will create clarity and a more compelling conversation.
In today’s business climate, context is king.
Your idea needs to consider and have currency within the current climate you are operating.
Expensive projects during austerity measures for example will make for a poor pitch.
Successful pitches always considers the audiences point of view – what’s in it for me? How does this affect me? What will help and hinder me?
The benefits to others’ needs to be clearly demonstrated and effectively presented if you want a person to embrace anything that adjusts the status quo or known quantity.
There is status in status quo so, be prepared to manage objections to any new idea or proposal.
Consciously examining your ideas for flaws beforehand is a great start to being successful.
Think in advance to be able to address potential flaws and be ready to highlight benefits, deliver alternative data or, provide a viable solution to the problem.
A warm shower is much better to step into than a cold one!
Prior to your formal presentation and pitch, discuss your key ideas informally with opinion leaders or key stakeholders. Their support and ‘buy in’ can then potentially be leveraged during your presentation.
Apply these techniques to your every day pitches, you’ll see just how easy it is to be more persuasive.
Andrew Horsfield is the Director of Thrive Group. He is engaged by people, teams and organisations who want to accelerate the performance of their people so exceptional results can be achieved.
PS: This article has appeared here before.