Happy 2013! Hard to believe we are upon another year, but it is certainly a year of promise and excitement when it comes to innovation. So to kick off the new year, and the new you, I thought it would be great to focus on the importance of making an impression. There is great truth to the phrase “You never get a second chance to make a first impression”. First impressions, whether it be when interviewing for a job or going out on a first date, often times will be an indicator of whether or not you will meet again. Every day we encounter numerous first impressions, whether it be the commercial on your TV screen or the billboard you passed. It is so important to capture the attention of a person instantly in the hopes that he or she will take the time to hear what you have to say. Same philosophy applies when articulating an idea – first impressions are everything. Making the all important first impression with your idea will hopefully result in the decision for someone to invest further in the great ideas you have presented.
When articulating an idea, there are some key opportunities for you to create that lasting first impression. Being able to create a great first impression for your idea will not only put your idea in the best light, but it will also place you there as well. Grabbing and maintaining attention will be a key factor in whether they want to invest in the idea or not. Your first impression will be the difference between obtaining new opportunities to enhance career growth and not being given a second thought.
So how do you make a positive first impression with your ideas? I have some suggestions on how you can make the best first impression. This might be the easiest and the hardest concept as ideas are often like marathons, taking time to go from concept to implementation. In order to make that ideas happen, you must have passion, confidence, authenticity, and a true desire to make it happen. The following suggestions will provide a strong foundation as you build your creative idea from its infancy through to its maturation and successful acceptance and implementation.
Putting your best foot forward always requires having a passion for the idea. Being able to convey your point of view with impact and authenticity is key. Being able to exude passion about the idea will inspire others to be interested, and most importantly, peaking someone’s interest may be all you need to get the idea off the ground. Sharing your passion for the idea will help convince others why they should be passionate about it as well.
Ideas can come from one person, but to implement an idea takes a team. Having the passion to communicate your desire to see the idea come to fruition and make an impact in your life or in the lives others is something you must continually communicate. Given that it will take a team to implement your idea, you have to inspire others to have the same passion to help take it forward. In order to successfully inspire people to take action, you should meet a need they have so they will feel emotionally connected to the concept. Remember that a primary goal is to inspire others while continuing to inspire you.
And most important, be prepared to be a Champion for your idea! Be passionate, champion it, own it, make it happen.
- Key Questions to Consider:
- Why is this idea important to you, the company, and the end consumer?
- Why should this be important to them?
- How could this idea become a passion of someone else’s?
Convey Impact and Value
Details are important, but the right descriptors are even more important. Value will be the ultimate driver of whether the idea is successful. Value (not just beauty!) is in the eyes of the beholder, so understand what is valuable to the person to whom you are pitching your idea so you know how it may best be received .
If you can create or leverage that burning platform, the chance of your idea being implemented will be much greater as it is serving an immediate purpose. Make sure the value is apparent to the reader, quantifying the benefits and value will get their attention. Think of the opportunities it will create – the breath, the depth, and the reach. Formalizing the details, opportunities, and needs are important in positioning your idea. You should strongly communicate the value that will be received by the person impacted by this idea.
- Key Questions to Consider:
- What need does this meet?
- What is the target audience?
- What is the market opportunity?
- How does it fit into our strategy?
- What is the growth or people opportunity if the idea was implemented?
- How would this idea impact the buyer?
Keep it Simple
Communication is everything so having a way to easily and simply communicate your idea could make or break moving forward. When you represent things in understandable form you diminish uncertainty and avoid confusion. Making it simple to communicate and understand will deliver the impact you desire. The idea should be concise, but detailed enough to have the reader understand critical elements such as the who, what where, when, why. Simplicity in communicating your idea should also be a balance of sharing creative elements but also highlighting practical elements of implementation (e.g. cost, feasibility, complexity). B
- Key Questions to Consider:
- Can I explain this idea in 60 seconds or less?
- What is my elevator speech on how to explain the concept and impact of my idea?
- How complex is the idea to implement?
There are many factors to a great idea, but keeping a focus on passion, value, and simplicity will put your best impression forward. You may never get that second chance, so make sure to make the first impression the best you possibly can. Taking the time to consider these factors could make all the difference in hearing “yes” or “no”.