Stakeholders have an important role to play in an enterprise. They can be investors, employees, suppliers, and customers.
Your firm must impress its stakeholders. They have an active role in the business and influence its trajectory enormously. Having a hand in multiple decision-making processes, if they feel alienated by the actions your business takes, your firm will undoubtedly suffer for it.
More people are reevaluating their value system, too. Calls for boycotts have recently grown among the public as consumers strive to uphold their core principles. When controversies stir, suppliers, investors, and other professionals will not want to be associated with affected businesses. Consumer spending is tightening for economic reasons, too.
As there’s so much at stake and less margin for error, getting nervous when presenting new ideas to stakeholders is perfectly natural. Nevertheless, you’ll still require a solid plan of action.
Here’s a quick guide to presenting new ideas to your stakeholders.
Prioritize Concise Communication
The world of business is more fast-paced than ever before. There’s less time to beat around the bush.
Even correspondences that invite stakeholder feedback are concisely presented, relaying important information with shorter sentences and bullet points. Moving away from jargon is also recommended.
Instead of providing endless copies, incorporating graphs, charts, and other professionally presented graphics and images can help make everything more digestible.
Stakeholders should never feel overwhelmed at any juncture. Instead, feel confident that they can confidently understand the new ideas your firm proposes. Moreover, they should also feel that they’ve learned enough to present an informed opinion on all matters discussed.
Debates and negotiations can occur with new business ideas, and every stakeholder must be equipped for that conversation.
It’s also important to value other people’s time. Your stakeholders already give a lot to the business and have many other pressing matters to attend to at any given time. By succinctly presenting your new ideas, stakeholders will understand that you’re also conscious of their other obligations.
Learn How to Set OKRs
Many firms use an Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) framework to establish business change. It’s worth looking at the OKR examples out there so you can get a better sense of how these business ideas are translated to others.
The 1ovmany OKR canvas is an excellent place to begin when refining your objective-setting processes. Their OKR template is suitable for many purposes, one being the ability to better introduce stakeholders to the OKR method and smart goals.
After that, you can better demonstrate how they can be utilized to align company objectives. The OKR template can be downloaded as a PDF or Miro backup file and serves as the blueprint for internal OKR coaching.
It’s helpful to organize your thoughts and give structure to your company objectives. Templates can ensure that you fit that mold and that all the dialogue commencing between you and stakeholders is proceeding in a logical order.
An OKR canvas can imbue your new business ideas with more credibility, showing that matters have been thought through well enough.
Get Your Facts Straight
The OKR template also comes with data boards that document collaboration activities’ outcomes. That evidence-driven approach can be applied elsewhere too.
The new ideas that stand the test of time in business tend to be fact-based with well-researched data. Compile everything you’ve gathered from market research, customer surveys, accountants, and business advisors.
Learn it all so you can recite these figures on a whim and pack more punch when delivering your case or answering questions.
It’s important to be forthcoming with your business ideas too. If you gloss over any areas of weakness, stakeholders may understandably assume you’re attempting to mislead them. A ‘warts and all’ approach is best. If there are flaws in your new business ideas, address them. It might be that you can overcome these hurdles together and collaborate.
While not everything has to be perfect with your business ideas, you must demonstrate that you’ve done everything in your power to reach that level. You don’t always need to sell a completed idea but rather communicate the potential of something marvelous. To do that, you still need to adopt a data-driven approach to presenting your ideas.
Develop the Narrative
Your business isn’t the only one developing new ideas. Of course, there’s rarely such thing as a wholly original idea as well, as most firms build upon what has come before on some level. There’s no shame in sharing your inspiration.
Briefly discuss where your ideas have come from. What problem have you encountered that needs to be solved? Has somebody you’ve interacted with unknowingly given you an idea? Have other firms succeeded or failed in what you’re trying to achieve? It paints a vivid picture, so it’s all worth mentioning too.
Of course, not everybody agrees with the latest consensus or insights either. TED Conferences are often considered reputable, but there will always be those with different opinions who wish to criticize them. Perhaps your new business ideas counter something you’ve seen and not liked. That’s valid too.
Telling a story is a great way to pique the interest of your stakeholders. While you only have so much time to make your case, getting the ball rolling with an impactful, story-like intro can enrapture your stakeholders.
All firms have a narrative and a legacy to honor and continue, so unpacking relevant tales can be a grand ‘in’ point.
Develop the Rehearsal
Stakeholders are made up of individuals. You can’t always approach them the same, as they’ll have different wants to be addressed.
Therefore, instead of rehearsing one generic business proposal for an abstract collective, it’s much better to fine-tune your pitch for a series of different audiences.
How do your suggestions improve the working life of your employees? What do your investors stand to gain? Will supplies feel more compelled to do more business with you, and if so, why?
Some of these entities will also have specific needs to be catered for. For example, clients may feel alienated by certain word choices, while your target audience may feel that certain references are polarising.
Presenting business ideas requires a performance, so be sure to develop a script, learn your lines, and tinker with it as you go. If you can, research who you’ll speak to and adapt accordingly.
Rehearsing without receiving any feedback is a missed opportunity, too. Many people are nervous about public speaking in the workplace, but overcoming such challenges is more easily done with the help and guidance of others as you practice.
Whether you’re consulting mentors or your family and friends, they’ll all have useful comments about how well you’re presenting your new ideas before you address stakeholders directly.
Ensure Your Tech is Working
Everybody experiences tech mishaps. Still, it can be a major faux pas if they occur in front of your stakeholders during a crucial business pitch.
Ensure all your software is updated, that your files are backed up, and that devices function as they should. Suppose you’re engaging stakeholders during a crucial meeting. In that case, it may be worth instructing your IT support colleagues to be on hand in case unforeseen circumstances arise so they can work on a quick resolution.
Even minor hiccups can undermine your competence. After all, if you fail to present business ideas smoothly, does it bode well for the execution of such goals? Don’t allow your tech to let you down at the final hurdle.