The Magic Formula For Selling Your Idea

Last Revised: August 11 ,2016


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       CHRONOLOGICAL SEQUENCE OF PRESENTATION PREPARATION

1.   TIME CONSTRAINT. Determine the realistic amount of time you

     have for preparation and rehearsal of the speech. Dependent

     upon the subject, your familiarity with it and the target

     audience, give approximately 50% to preparation and 50% to

     rehearsal. With more experience and familiarity, you may

     cut this to 70%/30%.

 

2.   PURPOSE. Determine the purpose of the presentation through

     THESIS STATEMENT. Write out a single declarative sentence

     which states the specific behavioral objective you wish to

     attain and the mode of presentation by which you  seek to

     attain it.

     EXAMPLE: "I hope to persuade the Personnel Director and

                Comptroller to approve, by the end of the month,

                a $40,000 budget to initiate a 2 year Management

                by Objectives Training Program”.

 

       OR:   "I hope to inform the key design engineers of the

                background, assumptions and basic procedures of

                computer-assisted design techniques, sufficient so

                that they have adequate skills to supervise imple-

                mentation of this technique in at least one project

                this year”.

3. B0DY. Sketch out the main arguments, sub-points and supporting

      arguments or illustrations for the BODY of the speech.

     These should be flexible and will be much revised. Do not

     worry needlessly over the proper ARRANGEMENT of points at

     this tine; cast main points and sub-points into some logical

     and coherent order.

 

4. AUDIENCE ANALYSIS· First, generally analyze your audience

     in terms of typical categories; e.g. size, setting, time of

     presentation, professional background, job orientation,

     heterogeneous-homogeneous, positive-hostile, etc.  List all

     group generalizations or dominant group attitudes about you

     and your subject. Second, initiate more specific Negative

     Objection Analysis by picking the one, two or three Key

     Decision Makers and analyze each of these key individuals

     Intensively in terms of their key objections or questions

     with regard to your subject. List 20 objections, reservations,

     or questions which are at the fore-front of their minds;

     objections which they must make because their job requires it,

     objections which are likely due to previous exposure to this

     or similar proposals, objections which are likely because of

     the kinds of persons they are or have shown themselves to

     be in similar situations. NOTE: ALL INFORMATION IS VALUABLE

     T0 THE EXTENT YOU CAN DEFINE THEIR INDIVIDUAL OBJECTIONS AND

     MEET THEM WITHIN OR AFTER THE SPEECH; TO THAT EXTENT YOU WILL

     BE SUCCESSFUL IN ATTAINING YOUR PRESENTATION PURPOSE.

 

 

 

 

 

 

5.   BODY REVISION & QUESTION PREPARATION. Review your initial

     arrangement of main points and supporting materials in light

     of your thorough negative objection analysis and group analysis.

     It may suggest complete revision of your approach.

     More probably it will suggest you revise your order of presentation

     by deleting some areas, modifying and expanding others.

     ABOVE ALL, SELECT THE TWO OR THREE KEY NEGATIVE OBJECTIONS

     WHICH DEMAND IMMEDIATE ANSWERS, PLAN (IN CONSULTATION WITH

     OTHERS IF NEEDED) THE BEST, MOST APPROPRIATE ANSWER---THEN

     INSERT THOSE 2-3 KEY QUESTIONS BACK INTO THE SPEECH. Ask

     and answer them as negative objections.

 

     EXAMPLE:   "Before proceeding much further, I'm sure that a

              key reservation a number of you have is...Why is

              it necessary to initiate such a large training pro-

              gram next quarter when the field needs will not be

              evident until late next year?...This is surely a

              reasonable question...."

 

     Last, take the remainder of the questions and write as comprehensibly

     as need be the best, most appropriate answers

     to each of them. Determine the specific strategy, and gather

     the necessary factual information that you will need if these

     questions come up after the meeting. BE PREPARED FOR EVERY

     REASONABLE EVENTUALITY.

 

6.   INTRODUCTION. Now attend to the introduction. Your previous

     analysis will provide you with many possible approaches, e.g.

     opening with a question which articulates the most pressing

     problem bothering one of your key decision makers. Write

     out specific paragraphs for the Attention-getting Phase, the

     Significance Phase, the Framework phase (if needed) and the

     Specific Overview. Do not give this portion short-shrift;

     in a 10 minute speech this portion should probably last 3

     minutes, in some cases more. It is often helpful to extract

     key claims which you make later in the speech, hyphenate them

     and place them in the introduction in one of the above phases

     as "grabbers", i.e., striking claims, which you will later

     document, which challenge demand audience attention.

 

     EXAMPLE:  "Gentlemen, I think we are all agreed that the adoption

               of a sound compensation and managerial identification

               plan is one of our most basic responsibilities

               ...I will attempt to show that the Jacques Program

               can so identify, promote and compensate future

               managers that this company would, within two years,

               experience at least a 30% drop in company monies

               now spent in managerial selection and compensation."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7.   CONCLUSION· At this point, your conclusion should virtually

     write itself. Decide whether you need a simple recapitulation

     summary of main points covered (Likely, if it is a

     straight expository presentation) or an additional request or

     appeal for specific action (likely if it is a persuasive

     presentation). ABOVE ALL, BE QUITE SPECIFIC IN YOUR FINAL

     REQUEST SO THAT EVERY KEY DECISION MAKER KNOWS EXACTLY WHAT

     YOU WANT WHEN HE LEAVES THE CONFERENCE.

     EXAMPLE:  "I hope you concur with the significant need for

               this project to meet competition, and with the

               pressing need to move on it as soon as reasonably

               possible. I would very much appreciate your approval

               signatures within three weeks so that I might

               hire the two necessary technicians and begin work

               no later than one month from today. If there are

               further questions, I'11 be happy to answer them."

 

8. OUTLINE & TRANSITIONS. Reduce your outline to Key Sentence

     and Key Phrase Format by writing out main points of the

     introduction, body and conclusion in Key Sentences, sub-points in

     two or three Key Words or Phrases.

 

     EXAMPLE: II· Body

                    A. I would first like to sketch the previous

                         research on this project·

                             Break-through in abrasives production

                                -1950

                         2. Three research studies in the 60's:

                             Miller-Stanton-O'Nie1

               Then write out, word for word, your transitions

               between your major points to insure that your audience

               remains oriented to the development of the

               speech.

 

9.   REHEARSAL. You should have from 50 to 30% of your available

     time remaining for straight rehearsal. First, sit down and

     memorize the key sentence and phrases, concentrating on fairly

     faithful order or sequence of ideas. (Don't be bothered about

     minor sequence ordering of sub-points; few realize or care if

     sub-points are slightly out of order.) Second, find a setting

     safe from interruption, stand up and deliver the speech 4-5

     times in a mock presentation.  This means with all aids or

     reasonable facsimiles you will use in the real presentation.

     If you are fortunate you may recruit a "live" audience, but

     there is some merit in relying upon your imagination. Go

     through the speech until your thought sequence is completely

     reliable. DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE, DELIVER FROM WORD

     MEMORIZATION; deliver from your memorized thought sequence

     of the sketchy outline of main and sub-points. Take one

     final rehearsal to concentrate on your peculiar speaking

     weaknesses, e.g., poor eye contact, insufficient volume,

     poor emphasis on main points...or whatever.

 


This IS a "Magic Formula"! Try it out. Contact me if you have any questions.
I have presented a capsule form of this whole process in one full day to a "class" of 6 students with as many as 25 observers.
Feedback over the years tells me that this approach works. Pete Stanaitis

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