Developing your idea for a new product or service was probably time consuming, heart wrenching and exhausting. Now comes the task of selling the idea to the people who have the money to convert it from a concept into a product or service that can be sold on the general market. Since many companies are constantly bombarded with new ideas and suggestions, you really have to make yours stand out from the crowd with a solid presentation. Here are a few tips to make your idea presentation pop.
Do research on the company that you would like to present to before attempting contact. Find out about any initiatives and goals that the company has that could relate to your idea.
Contact the marketing department or the product development group at the company. You will speak to a series of gatekeepers, usually receptionists and administrative assistants, before getting through to the main point of contact. Describe your purpose and idea in general but give enough details to spark interest. The features you describe should have a direct correlation with the needs and motivations of the company.
Prepare a short PowerPoint presentation for your meeting. Stick to about five or six succinct slides describing your idea. PowerPoint is a supplemental tool, not the focal point -- it is your job to fill in the blanks for the people at the meeting with descriptive, vivid explanations of your idea. Also, design a prototype or demonstration of your idea. People are visual beings. Telling the company representatives about your idea won't go over as well as showing them with professionally designed, illustrative, colorful examples of your idea.
Break your presentation down into main segments that are easy to follow. Give an overview of each section, and then go into details. Avoid talking too much -- you could easily say the wrong thing and end up talking yourself right out of a deal. Only expand on your points if you are asked specific questions about your idea.
When in the meeting presenting your idea, remain standing when you are talking. Maintain eye contact with your audience in between glances at your visual presentation. You must portray yourself as knowledgeable and confident.
Focus on the top decision-maker in your audience, but don't neglect the other attendees. Get right to the point. Depending on the mood of your audience, adjust your presentation style: More upbeat for an excited crowd, more laid back for a muted, relaxed crowd. Smile and always look positive when presenting your idea.
Conclude your presentation on a positive note. This could be opportunities for the future, promising research data that you've gathered or even just a reference to recent positive news about the company that shows that you've been doing your research.
If you're not good at presentations, either pass on the duty to your partner or hire someone to come with you to the meeting to conduct the main part of the presentation, while you clarify points and answer any questions from your audience. Polish your idea to near perfection. That means if you still have a few snags in a new computer program that you have developed, take the time to iron them out. Test, test and then test your idea again before going into any presentation. If your idea is a new product or service, have it patented or have the product name trademarked if it is central to the concept. Prepare a small folder of information regarding your idea for each meeting attendee.
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