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In a Cosby Show episode, one of Bill’s daughters brought her new fiancé home; the fact they were engaged (and had been for months) was a complete surprise. Bill compared it to serving an expensive piece of steak on a trashcan lid, i.e. taking something wonderful and desirable and completely ruining it through how it was presented.

The same thing happens to great ideas all the time.

We’ve become so dependent on email as a means of communication that no one thinks anything of taking a new idea, burying it in an email with a non-descript subject line (or worse, an unrelated forwarded subject line), and sending it off to rest among potentially scores of unread emails in someone’s inbox.

Even if the recipient does eventually read the email, an accurate understanding, interpretation, and any excitement about the idea depends solely on the recipient, not on your presentation of the idea.

Instead of taking this easy (and typically fruitless) way out, here’s an alternative – actually present your ideas as you would pitch any creative concept:

  • Identify who can approve your idea
  • Frame your pitch as simply as possible with the audience’s motivations and expectations in mind
  • Practice and refine the pitch, augmenting it with any necessary support & identifying how you’ll counter challenges
  • Pitch the idea with enthusiasm and be there to answer questions and clarify

Try this when you have an idea to share instead of passively emailing it. The process needn’t be overly complicated, and you’ll find yourself with a stake in so many more successfully implemented ideas.

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Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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