The light bulb is on.
You have a bright idea to improve things in your workplace.
But how do you get your brilliant concept from thought bubble to reality?
However, pitching the right idea at the right time could have substantial benefits for both your employer and your job standing.
Being able to effectively communicate your ideas to your boss is crucial to demonstrating your worth to a company and standing out as a student or recent hire.
Here are five tips to ensure that you don’t strikeout when pitching your ideas to upper management:
Before you can convince other people that your idea is great, you first have to convince yourself. Be confident in your idea and its effectiveness. Doubts are contagious; if you have them, then chances are that your boss will get them too.
Do your research
Outside of wet jeans or sweaty cheese, there is nothing worse than proposing an idea and having someone tell you that it’s already been done. Getting the idea is just the first step.
From there, you need to research to figure out if and how it can become a reality. Make yourself the expert on this concept so that when your boss asks questions, you have answers at the ready.
While you may think Tank-top Tuesdays are a fabulous idea for the office, it’s always helpful to get a second opinion. Talk to a few people in the office for feedback and advice, but make sure you choose people whose opinions you trust and who won’t commandeer your idea.
Figure out who pitch to
If you have an idea for your website, there is no point in taking it to the sales department. Look in the company directory and tailor your pitch for the specific person you’re speaking with. Ask around the office to figure out who will be the most receptive to your concept and if they have any pitch preferences (a quick email pitch instead of a detailed proposal, for example).
Put it in writing
Writing it out will allow you to put careful thought into how your idea is presented. Rather than word-vomiting up your pitch, you can clearly demonstrate what the problem is and how your idea is the best solution. Use confident language and keep your pitch brief but thorough.
Your boss is a busy person so they likely won’t have time to read a super long email, so grab their attention in a few lines by demonstrating why this is a worthwhile concept. Make them want to learn more.
Finally, offer to send more information or discuss this topic with them at their earliest convenience.
Time it right
Right before a big deadline or client meeting is probably not the best time to shoot your boss an email about new exciting things. Try to time your pitch for a time when you know your boss will have the time and focus to read it through.
If you’re unsure of your boss’ work habits, later in the week is usually a good option (i.e., Thursday or Friday) because their work load will likely be winding down in preparation for the weekend.
Photo credit: Fetmano