When I was a team leader in advertising, one of my staff asked me. “What should be the flow of presentation? Should I start with background, objective, followed with recommendations?”
Indeed, a checklist or template would be useful for fleshing out a proposal. However, filling out the different sections does not make it a good proposal.
Here are a few questions to start with:
- Understand your audience
- Who is your audience?
- What do they want from the upcoming conversation?
- What could be their potential concerns on your proposal?
- Ascertain your goals
- What do you want to achieve from this conversation?
- What do you want your audience to take away from your proposal?
- Planning your pitch
- Defuse their concerns that would make them say “no”
- Build trust by showing them you understand their challenges
- What should I share to demonstrate my ability to value-add and help them win? How can I make them say “yes”
- How can I differentiate myself from my competition?
An effective pitch need not be done with a presentation – in fact, I found this checklist to be useful thinking disciplines to prepare me for any dialogues with stakeholders.
I had delivered successful 5-minute elevator pitches because I make the efforts to think through these questions and distill my ideas into impactful speech.
It’s all about starting with the intent to win the pitch.