You’ve been waiting for this opportunity for ages and finally, it’s here! They invited you to address senior management and present the innovation project your team has been working on intensively for the past 8 months. How exciting! The idea is brilliant and it can revolutionise the industry.
On the day, there are several other presentations by other colleagues from your company. In essence, your project is in a competition with theirs as not all projects will get funded. When it’s all over you’re relieved and reasonably satisfied. You spoke with ease and confidence, and even managed to fit your presentation within the allocated 20 minutes. They said, they’ll come back to you within a week…
A week has passed and you’ve heard nothing. Second week… nothing. Third week…you bumped into one of the managers in the hall. You couldn’t help but ask:
“So, what did you think? Are we going to get some budget to kick this off?”
“Oh”, he said, “could you remind me what it was all about?”
“Yeah, that microchip which…”
“Uhm, not sure I remember exactly, let me look into this once again…”
Has anything like that happened to you? That you spent weeks or even months developing an important concept, you presented it and didn’t get the reaction you expected? What’s more, people couldn’t even remember what it was all about…
I’m afraid this happens (a lot!). And we can blame the “others” all we want for not paying enough attention but the truth is this. In our information-overload age it’s increasingly difficult for people to stay focused on what you’re saying let alone remember it! And if we don’t put extra effort into helping people remember our ideas, the likelihood is, they won’t. And that’s a problem. Because we cannot expect people to act or to change their behaviour, if they cannot even remember what we said…
So, if you want your ideas to persist, you need to make them memorable. Here’s my own ideas to make your ideas more memorable in presentations and business pitches 😉
(Another wonderful resource that I can highly recommend on the topic is a book by the Heath brothers “Made to Stick”).
By Alena Huberová