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Everyone has Ideas. Converting an idea to real life thing is hard. It has several reasons why it is difficult, fore most of them is no one wants their ideas ripped apart. It is like our child. We have nutured them in our mind and we dream about them growing, succeeding and changing the world. But Idea is not worthwhile if it is not delivered.

I have come up with many ideas, but many of them die out in their initial moment. I criticize my ideas so much that most are stupid. For the most part, I believed that they have no future or there is a use for it.

Negative/Self-Critical “WhatIf” Scenarios

I had lot of “WhatIf” scenarios I run through my mind. What happens if I couldn’t find any interested parties. What if this turns out to be too risky to pursue. I kill it even without a try. I had fear of failure and wanted to save my face. I came across an article about [Mom nuturing a baby(https://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/moms-stay-children-early-years-article-1.3160717). The inspiration for the post is, that as mom nurtures a baby in her, most people should nurture their Ideas. Protect it from internal/external opinions and comments in their initial stage. Let it grow in your mind. Do your study and research the possibilities and most important of all dream about it. If it continues to excite you, you do realize that idea is worth while to pursue.

Overcome Fear of failure

But before that overcome the fear of failure, it is also number 1 enemy of creativity. It is ok to get rejected. It’s ok to be a failure, but never ok to be sitting in couch doing nothing, thinking you will fail.

Start now. Start where you are. Start with fear. Start with pain. Start with doubt. Start with hands shaking. Start with voice trembling. Start, move. Sara Blakely (Spanx)

Present the Big Picture.

It is good to present the context of the talk or point you are about to make. It prepares the audience to grasp what you are about to present. You have to ready them to hear you out. Understand where you are coming from.

Never ask anyone jump into sea and expecting to swim, when you have not given them any life jackets.

Sell your Idea

Questions are your friend. It will

  • Help you understand the basis of their argument.
  • Will let you know the origin of it.
  • make you understand where they are coming from.
  • Help avoid you assuming something.

It’s ok to get ideas rejected. But try to do your best to give your idea a second chance by clarifying their doubts and going over details.

People work harder to avoid potential loss than they will to acheive a potential gain.

Ask them a question “How would you feel if insert your idea ? “

Trivial Example - If you want to pitch an idea to local book store owner who has no online presence. You would rather ask the owner a question “How would you feel if I say you can sell books online?”

This kindles their creativity. This is like “whatIf” scenario games you play with kids. You help them kindle their thoughts and it goes wild with ideas. Idea takes them to respond to you and then you start your pitch.

Kindle their imagination

There is no surprise you get excited by your idea. But how to get other excited and join you in your journey. You have to let them imagine the possiblities of your idea. Once you have done that, you then have to give them an idea of an end state. You tell what is possible instead of letting them keep imagining about your idea.

Imagine where we can be in six months with this idea

You are now aiding them to think, visualize your idea already exists. Here two things can happen

  • They get excited and want to hear more from you
  • They are going to see problems to get there and challenges to get there. (We will answer this later in this post )

Timing

It’s all about timing your pitch. People don’t have time to hear you out. They are busy with their course of work. Make time before hand. Prepare well in advance, with a short note on what to expect. Prepare yourself to be more specific in your point and keep stressing them often when the time is yours.

Follow up

Remember I told you, that your prospective customer or your boss is busy. They don’t have time. They are busy with everyday things. You need to make time. You need to prepare. Sometimes getting their time can become challenging. You need to follow up. read more

Promiseland

Now you got the time, you need to show them the benefits of your ideas. But before that, talk about the pain points. Negative scenarios evoke response to fix them.

This is a If…this…Then…. model

You have explained what the problems are. You will present them how you plan to fix it.Finally, you now show listeners the PromiseLand. If you are here, you got them excited.

Let me tell you a story from my little experience I had

Team where I worked, had a system which helps the delivery of prescription to the patients. It is critical to business. In its current state, it had issues in visibility of whats happening. Business could not see the metrics in real time. There were also stability issues. Operations team were spending much of their time in fixing issues in production.

We pitched a potential solution to higher ups. We presented the facts as it is, then we went to show what we proposed to do and how we are going to execute it. It sounds simple but no. Due to the fact it is a sensitive system, We ( lead being me and my team of developers) took time to prepare our pitch. Most important of the pitch is to help management imagine the world we were promising. It helped everybody to get involved in our proposal and they came along. Infact in many places they came up with ideas, which we didn’t imagine from our solution.

Help them make the Decision

Now you presented your idea, you need to take questions and doubts they might have

What Questions do you have for me ?

  • Find the areas of least resistance
  • Find the common areas of interest in the proposed solution.

    “You’re bit like me here ….. "

  • Find the areas where they differ

Once their doubts are well defined, ask more questions to understand their objection. Fill them with details if you find any gaps in their understanding.

Black & White

After stating the facts, remove all the gray areas of the ideas so to make the decision making easy. Make them choose by distilling down to minimal options.

There are two types of people ….

Refer : Decision making in management

Indecision stands in the way of progress

Be the messiah

Tell them the good news. Be the messiah. Deliver the good news. Like for example

  • Good news is that, the new technology will not change our current deployment pipeline
  • Good news is that, same raw material supplier can deliver the new proposed crane structure

This should instill trust in the proposed execution. This enables the listener to proceed forward with optimitism.

What happens next … ?

You have shown them the promiseland. Your presentation has got them all excited. Immediately tell them “What happens next… “. You provide the immediate phase wise deliverables. It is important to talk about what is the next immediate thing they can expect from you and you expect from them. Never let any assumptions do the talking.

One more thing..

Video: Steve Jobs does this.

One more thing is the final act. One little act which can erase any doubts they had by presenting them a surprise punch when the guards are down. Sometimes the pitch might not go as you expected it to go. There were some doubts in the mind of the customer or listener. So, you will surprise them when they thought you finished.

Before we wrap up, One little thing I have to tell if you do want to go forward with this idea, there is this benefit.

For example,

  • One more thing, We tried a proof of concept, it worked great. You can give it a quick try
    • Big companies will bring in a famous users or celebrity to voice out their opinion about the product in public

End of the day, be optimistic, be enthusiatic about your idea and believe ideas can change the world.

OK here comes my “One more thing”….

Asking a favour, if you found this content worthwhile, please share it to your friends. If you have a feedback please reach out to me with your ideas or feedback at rudra_inbox [at] outlook [dot] com.

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