The 10-minute new idea pitch: 20 questions


For Two Bits Tuesday:  B A L A N C E
Image by EraPhernalia Vintage via Flickr

When pitching a new idea you want to make sure to hit the target’s sweet spot smooth and fast. Here’s a simple formula to use.

  1. Use the first two minutes to highlight the problem you are solving
  2. Highlight the implications of your idea in 20 ways (limit 20 seconds per question)
  3. Ask your target their questions and when they might like to discuss it further.
  4. Book as second meeting to get to the meat of your proposal.

The 20- Questions

Section A

  1. What do you know, and how do you know it?
  2. What are the costs of staying the same?  What are the costs of the change or new idea?
  3. How will the new idea work?
  4. Can you show how the new idea will work?
  5. Why does anything need changing?

Section B

  1. What else could the new idea mean?
  2. What other options have you come up with?
  3. What other interesting ideas are there?
  4. How is the new idea interconnected with strategy?
  5. How is the new idea a new way to do something?

Section C

  1. What are the pros and cons of the new idea?
  2. What are the logical consequences of proceeding with it?
  3. What objections will people have to the new idea?
  4. What improvements can be made to the idea as it stands?
  5. Why aren’t people using this new idea now?

Section D

  1. What do you (or the market) like or dislike about the idea?
  2. What impact will it have on people?
  3. In what ways does this new idea make everyone happy?
  4. What’s good about this new idea?
  5. How will the people who will be hurt by this new idea be taken care of?

This may not be the exact life line you need for your proposal, it’s worth a shot though… you’ve got absolutely nothing to lose and a whole lot to gain by using these 20 questions as your guide for preparing your proposal and arousing interest so your audience wants to know more.  Shows you’ve done your homework.

As an experiment, before you ‘go live’, why not use it on a new year’s resolution to get the full spectrum in focus?  Let me know how it goes.

FYI – these questions are adapted from research conducted with regards to the Myers Briggs Type Indicator® Step II Instrument. Have been using it for years with executive teams to help them make really good decisions.