Coming up with new ideas, that’s great. And if they are original and break through, it is even better. But that is only where the story starts. Ideas that never materialize are simply worthless. They do not bring change. They remain only dreams and utopias… because unfortunately, there is a huge gap between dreams and execution that you need to overcome. And that gap is called ‘convincing’. Why should your boss free up time and resources, take risks and soend a lot of money, just to make your dream come true?
Research shows that the quality of an idea is only for 40% decisive in the decision making process. The remaining 60% is decided by the ‘packaging’, the way the idea is presented. So it is of the utmost importance to come up with a very compelling and trustworthy story. That is what we call ‘creative storytelling’, an essential part of the change process. Within the domain of business creativity, creative storytelling is a topic you can discuss extensively; We will lift part of the veil that is covering this topic. Using these seven chronological steps, we provide you with a solid scenario that will enable you to win over your audience for your idea much easier.
1. Explain the situation
What is the problem? And why is it a problem at all? Who is suffering from it and what are the (negative) consequences of this problem or situation? Why is it urgent to find a solution? If you are able to explain the situation clearly, using these questions, a first and important step is taken.
2. Create the ideal world
What would the world look like if this problem wouldn’t exist or if we would be able to find a solution? What would be the advantages and who would benefit? Try to make the contrast with the previous point as big as possible. Take your audience by the hand and guide them through your ideal world and make them curious to figure out the solution that you will present to them instantly. Tip: start with ‘Wouldn’t it be great if…"
Guide your audience through an ideal world and make them curious about the solution you will present.
3. Reveil your idea
Now its time to show your cards. Explain the idea in a simple and obvious way. Why didn’t anyone think of this before? Or: we have always been focusing on X, while the solution is Y. It even gets stronger when the audience feels like they have come up with the idea themselves (for example by asking some leading questions)
4. Counter the pitfalls
Show that your idea is not naive, but realistic and well thought. Do not hesitate to mention potential disadvantages and resistances, but counter them at the same time with rational arguments. Is part of your audience still resisting your idea? Ensure that you can change them to supporters. Show them that the advantages outweigh the disadvantages.
5. Put your plan on the table
You continue with that atmosphere of lucidity and now present a (base)plan of how to materialize your idea. Who and what do you need? In which timeframe will it be realized? What will the cost be (and clearly mention why it is an ‘investment’). Get your audience hungry enough so they want to start immediately.
Is part of your audience still resisting your idea? Ensure that you can change them to supporters.
6. Summarize in three powerful points
Not two, because that is not credible enough, not four, because that is too much to remember, but three super strong elements that your idea consists of. These three you underline one more time. These three USP’s should be remembered by your audience and be used in a inspiring elevator pitch that they use to further spread your message.
7. Put the cherry on the cake
So there, now you have won over your audience for your solution. Moreover, you have changed them into ambassadors for your idea and now you have them interested, you can close of with a small extra. Put a cherry on the cake but keep it light (and preferably funny). It is certainly not the intention that in this final stage you come up with the ultimate argument.
Unnecessary to say that you should keep it short. A perfect pitch only needs to last two minutes. Pay attention: less is more. And that also is true for your preparation. Take sufficient time to prepare, you only have one chance to make a first – and often decisive – impression.
You want to give an additional boost to your story? Present the entire story in a kind of storyboardposter with simple drawings and keywords.