Have you ever listened to someone’s pitch and then wondered what they actually wanted from you?

Alternatively, can you recall someone giving you a pitch and after their first sentence you decided that the idea was a crock?

It is important to create a good flow when pitching ideas to others, for example:

  • Start with something that catches their attention – something you saw or heard.
  • Before stating what you want, explain the problem.
  • Only after explaining the problem, tell them what you are suggesting (this order is important, because once people begin to argue your chances of persuading them diminish rapidly, and they are more likely to argue if they do not understand the problem you are trying to solve).
  • Be sure to explain the benefits of what you are proposing.
  • Be proactive about communicating the possible downsides of what you are proposing, and what you think can be done to mitigate them. If you don’t do this don’t be surprised if the other side starts to pick your idea apart for you!
  • If you want them do something differently, make it explicit and don’t assume that they will magically know what you expect of them.

This concludes my tip series on influencing without authority. Feel free to check back to see the other tips in this series. Details on our workshop are here

Russel Horwitz, Principal