Picture: The room I pitched and won funding for my first business venture Nurtur.

Approx Readtime: 3-4 Minutes / 2 Minutes Highlighted

Other people not understanding the brilliance of your idea presents a problem and so for this reason alone some very clever individuals came up with the concept of “The Ideas Pitch”. The “Ideas Pitch” is the tool with which to create a bridge of understanding between your brilliance and their understanding of your brilliance.

Why Read

There are many great books and articles out there about “The Perfect Idea Pitch” and so I will not do the authors a disservice by presuming I can summarize their work in a few hundred words; however, I will explain a few super crafty  techniques that have worked for me in pitching ideas to everyone from my business partners to the CEO’s of large corporations and entire board rooms.

The Ideas Pitch

I understand your frustration, dear reader, I suffer from it too.

The frustration of which I speak relates, of course, to the necessary evil that is “The Idea Pitch”.

I understand, valued reader, the unnecessary annoyance and anxiety that they cause. Trust me I know, I do, that YOUR idea does not require a pitch; nay the very notion of a pitch would be a slap across the face of your brilliant idea from a silky white glove.

No, your idea is above other ideas, a higher power idea some would say; an idea that, should it have been dreamed up many thousand years ago, would now be compared to the greatness of the wheel. That is how good your idea is, and if only others would accept this, we could all be very rich and very happy, very soon. I know this, wonderful reader, because I too have been there and have had such great and brilliant ideas.

Unfortunately though , others may not see the brilliance of your idea right away, and thus it is your duty to enlighten them.

The Idea Pitch Origins

Other people not understanding the brilliance of your idea presents a problem and so for this reason alone some very clever individuals came up with the concept of “The Ideas Pitch”. The “Ideas Pitch” is the tool with which to create a bridge of understanding between your brilliance and their understanding of your brilliance.

It has created a hassle for us brilliant thinkers, this I know. Unfortunately however this is one that all entrepreneurs must accept, even Richard Brandson. Although in Brandson’s case, if his brilliance isn’t understood he can retreat to his private island in order to console himself. For some it is a very tough life and our hearts go with you Sir Richard Brandson.

But back to us. How do we get people to understand your ideas utter brilliance without resorting to force or telling tales? Because that is just not good form.

A Word of Warning from Painful Experience

I am sure, beautiful reader, that many of you have seen that torture program that is currently on TV where poor individuals are fed alive to five hungry devourers while lights and cameras capture the whole bloody affair. Horrifying to watch, it keeps me up at night. I speak, of course, of “Dragons Den.”

Now if you are like me, the most entertaining part of that program is undoubtedly watching one persons idea of a fully functioning Chocolate Oven for Kittens being mercilessly torn down by the dragons.

A sight more spine chilling then any current horror and definitely one to watch with the lights on.  Entertaining yes, but a word of warning, “They too thought their Idea was Brilliant.” Just a thought.

Getting (them) to understand your brilliant idea

However, I know that your idea is brilliant so we will ignore the warning and look at a few ways to ensure the guys you are pitching to also understand your brilliance.

There are many great books and articles out there about “The Perfect Idea Pitch” and so I will not do the authors a disservice by presuming I can summarize their work in a few hundred words; however, I will explain a few super crafty  techniques that have worked for me in pitching ideas to everyone from my business partners to the CEO’s of large corporations and entire board rooms.

Super Crafty Technique 1 (The Power Play): Don’t defend your Idea, let them do it.

This technique is incredibly crafty because it focuses on reversing the power play. It works in much the same as when involved in an argument. When someone has a issue with an aspect of your idea, or even the whole idea itself; arguing with them or defending your idea will only make that person argue their issue with it and their position all the more strongly. The more you argue or defend, the more they argue or attack back. This is exactly how an argument works and this is not good for you or for your pitch, the power play needs to be reversed.

Instead therefore, when negative issues arise, agree with them.

For added laughs, add a few of your own issues you have with the idea in there for good measure to let them have a good old kick around of it.

They are now left with a problem; you are agreeing with them and so they have lost the power; they jolly well can’t keep condemning the idea if you keep agreeing with them, there is absolutely no fun in that and it’s just not cricket.

The only way they can regain the power is to start defending your idea.

Now at this point, don’t stop giving your idea a good old tearing down, really go to town and be ruthless on it. You will be amazed at how quickly they will jump to your ideas defense and start to defend it from your merciless onslaught.

Once defending your idea they are much more likely to accept it as obviously they can’t be disagreeing with their own judgement and they have just spent the last 20 minutes defending the idea.

I think  you will agree, incredibly crafty. And incredibly effective.

Super Crafty Technique 2 (Let them do the selling): Let them sell your idea to each other

A slightly more difficult technique to instigate but if pitching to more than one person, try to get them to explain different aspects of your design to each other. A crafty technique to do this is as follows; following a question on your pitch, ask one of the others if they might do a better job of explaining your idea to their colleges then you have. Their ego is boosted and they will subsequently subconsciously start to like your idea more and more as they explain the benefits to the others.

I actually had the CEO of a multimillion pound company doing exactly this the other week to his head designer for one of my products.

It was beautiful to behold…and super crafty.

Super Crafty Technique 3(Drink To Your Success): Go in ready to wet yourself

Not a technique for the feint hearted but one that seriously works for calming the nerves as all your subconscious thought not being used for presenting is being used to focus on not soaking the seat and thus very little is left for thinking about how nervous you should be. Crafty with an edge of danger. Bond Style. Just throw in a Aston Martin DB9 and you are there.

Go forth and Prosper

Next time you have to go through the proceedings of pitching your idea think about including these super crafty techniques into your game plan to give your brilliant idea pitch that little bit more edge.

Until next time readers.

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5 Comments

  • October 6, 2009 Reply

    none

    I’m embarking on a personal project which involves doing pitches to businesses I have no connection with (professional or personal) on ideas I have come up with (no matter how crap) to help them make money. I have always resisted the idea of telling people how I can help them make a buck if I dont know them but I know this is a barrier I need to overcome.
    Thanks for this article. This is going to be my bluffers guide to pitching!
    A great article you could write is on how to get an appointment with business owners and senior people in orgs so you can get their attention. That would help.

    Cheers
    Gavin

    p.s. I assume that I dont resort to drinking beers before going to the meeting?!

    • October 6, 2009 Reply

      Jonny

      Well done Gav, I love the phrase “A bluffers guide to Pitching,” a lot better than the one I came up with. Glad that the article helped and I will definitely look at your suggestion for a post on getting appointments. Cheers for the comment.

  • October 6, 2009 Reply

    http://findyourselflost.com

    I’d read about agreeing with others disagreements before, never tried it, but if it works for you I might just have to give it a shot! Not sure I will try suggestion 3 though…

    • October 6, 2009 Reply

      Jonny

      Lol Kristin, aah go on.

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