If you’re a small business owner, chances are, you’ve had that tingly feeling when you’ve come across a great idea. It’s an idea so great, you’re certain it will put your name on the headlines, and you’ll be the next rags-to-riches online success story everyone who’s anyone will know. Unfortunately, the great idea doesn’t make it through because somewhere between the formation of that idea and the actual selling of the idea, you faltered. What went wrong? Below are seven key persuasion tools you must hone to help that next great idea survive.
1. Brevity. Short and sweet pitches are more convincing than longwinded recitals about why your idea is worth buying. Trim your presentation down to the bare essentials, but rehash your wording. Make every phrase count.
2. Worthy content. Make sure your presentation is free from fillers. Filler language makes you look like you’re just taking your listeners out for a ride. You need to be certain. They need to hear meaningful content. You need to stop wasting their time.
3. Be unapologetic. Talk like a winner. Do not apologize. A presentation that’s just dripping with apology may give the listeners the idea that the one pitching the idea is less than confident about the idea. Give your idea a chance and don’t apologize for being there. You’re supposed to be there. You’re presenting, aren’t you?
4. Don’t equivocate. Avoid statements with “sort of” or “kind of”. You need to sound certain for your ideas to sell. Be declarative. Some people use equivocations out of habit. Cut the habit, or at least practice your presentation so it’s free from these dangerous phrases. Your listeners need to feel that you’re sure about you’re saying, not that you’re going to give them something that’s just close to what you’re promising. They want the actual goods.
5. Imagine success. If you’re selling an idea, help yourself and your colleagues visualize how good it will be to win because of the idea. This will put more value into what you are selling.
6. Begin with the strong stuff. Identify the strongest points of your idea and bring it to the fore. Don’t gradually build up to the highlights of your presentation. Start with a bang so your audience won’t fall asleep while you’re on your way there.
Think of your presentation as a chess game. Imagine points that can bring down your idea. Instead of dodging it, though, prepare good answers. Make your audience believe that you’ve also thought of that (insert opposing idea here), but you’re convinced your idea is still best for your company.