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Make your best pitch

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in Dealing with Bosses,Office Management

To upgrade your persuasiveness, present your ideas in small, appealing packages. Cite the right evidence, anticipate objections and know how much to ask for. Use these techniques:

Describe the problem—bluntly. Present a problem, its causes and a solution. Be blunt when identifying the problem. But unveil the solution indirectly.

Convince your audience that you’ve uncovered the problem’s true causes and that new approaches are required. Then lead your listeners to conclude for themselves that your solution addresses the root causes. Allow them to “beat” you to figuring out the solution.

Submit speak-for-itself evidence. Support your case with proof such as independent studies, financial exhibits or other visuals that substantiate your point. Let others see for themselves what you’re telling them.

Example: If you think your company should install a new security system in its stores, shoot a video of shoppers inspecting your merchandise. Screen it for the top brass. This allows them to see breaches in security and reinforces your credibility as a keen and knowledgeable observer.

Rehearse your pitch. Prepare to wow your bosses by practicing your pitch. Have a trusted colleague challenge your assumptions, object to your reasoning and ask rapid-fire questions. Answer without hesitation. Tape the session, play it back and polish your remarks.

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