Do you have a fresh, innovative idea you want to share with management? If this is your first time presenting a new idea or concept, it may feel a bit daunting to put yourself out there. It is natural to have butterflies in your stomach, but by making sure you have all your ducks in a row will help things to go smoothly.
Present the Benefit, Not the Idea
Be ready with facts and numbers that show a clear benefit in the implementation of your idea. If it will save your company money, have a specific figure ready. If it is about saving time or making the office more productive, come ready with ideas on how much time it will save, or what percentage the productivity will increase. Once you make the benefit clear, management will be much more receptive to the idea.
Think of How Your Idea Fits into the Bigger Picture
Whether it is a full overhaul of the filing system in your office, or catered lunches on Friday, the changes you suggest can have wide ranging effects. As you are thinking about presenting your idea, consider the effect it will have on the office, and the company, as a whole. Where will it fit in the budget, will any training be required, how it will be implemented, etc. When you think of your idea on a macro scale, you can anticipate management concerns, shore up holes in your idea and make sure you give as thorough a presentation as possible.
Get Tips from Someone in Your Office
When in doubt as to how your manager prefers to receive ideas, talk with a mentor or someone in the office who has done it. They can give you some great pointers on what information you need to present, how you should present it, and what types of follow-up questions you can expect to answer.
Be Prepared For Follow-Up Questions
Management is going to ask questions after your presentation and you need to be ready to answer them. While some questions may be rather obvious in nature, some may seem to come out of left field. While it can be hard to prepare for these types of questions, you can be ready with numbers, historical data, and other important facts that will help you address unexpected questions. If you are asked a question that you cannot back up with facts, don’t guess but instead write it down and let them know you will do your research and answer it later.