Career

3 steps to pitching an idea to your boss without losing your cool

Pitch to boss image


The days of being an aspiring housewife are over because being a #girlboss is in. Here’s how to make your great ideas be seen and heard in the workplace.

If a successful career is something that you crave more than anything, the words ‘getting ahead’ are basically part of your mantra. But, like most things worthy of your efforts, the art of actually advancing yourself to where you want to be is definitely easier said than done.

So, when you’ve finally got your genius idea – you know, the one that’s going to fine-tune your workflows, make your boss’s life a heck of a lot easier, or give you the career visibility you deserve – you nurture it until it’s fully grown and pitch perfect. It’s the idea that you’ve hidden away like a cheat day snack or the thing you’ve guarded like your primary school diary — because baby, it’s all yours and yours only.

But now that you’ve realised your brilliant idea is the thing that could earn you the recognition you want or the position you’ve always dreamed of, it’s too good not to share, and suddenly the pressure is on… gulp!

Pitching an idea can be scary at the best of times. Follow the steps below to avoid a major freak out and pitch your idea like a boss (to your boss):


1. Have a proposal ready

Now, if your boo got down on one knee and didn’t have a ring handy to seal the deal, sure you’d be impressed, but there’s no denying that there would be a little something missing, right? Same goes for a pitch proposal.

If you’re going to make your big move and sell an idea to your manager, you’ll need to back it up with something substantial; starting with a proposal or one-pager. When drafting your proposal, consider including the following where possible:

  • Description of the idea/opportunity
  • Data or statistics that back up your point
  • Costs, responsibilities, and a workflow outline
  • The outcome or end result

Do: Keep in mind that your boss may use it as a reference point and/or circulate to the wider team or management. In other words, that flower 2010 Word border has got to go.

Don’t: Remember to keep this super professional and objective – emotions and feelings don’t belong here in writing.


 2. Practice makes perfect

Now that you’ve got your pitch together it’s time to study your content.

Regardless of the countless times you’ve gossiped about MAFS or what your weekend plans consisted of in the past with your boss, don’t be surprised if the thought of discussing your idea with your boss suddenly becomes a daunting interaction. It just shows you want your idea taken seriously.

Whether you’re just teeing up the meeting,  chatting briefly on the subject in passing or it’s the actual pitch itself, if you’re concerned your words will get twisted or come out wrong in the heat of the moment, the practice of reciting exactly what you’re going to say is an oldie but a goodie.

Do: Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse. Go grab a hairbrush, use it as a microphone and gather your boyfriend, girlfriend, BFF, mum, dad, sister, brother, dog and cat and starting pitching, girl. Call it ridiculous if you will, but you’re looking at the start of the journey of feeling prepared and confident.

Don’t: Underestimate the benefits of hearing yourself say the words out loud — even if it’s directed at your car dashboard on route to brunch with the girls.


3. Timing is everything

The way things are timed in life is crucial to the way the world goes around and your pitch is no different. Think of the time and place to best present to your boss; a time that’ll maximise the experience and leave you feeling rewarded and heard.

Don’t: Send a meeting request for a Monday as they are usually busy, frantic and consist of playing catch up from the week before. Plus, anything after 4pm is more likely to get bumped. The last thing you want is to get worked up ahead of your pitch only to have the meeting pushed ’til next week…

Do: Consider a mid-week pitch from 11am when they have settled into their day and aren’t too rushed to listen to what you have to say (because it’s genius of course!).

So what are you waiting for? Go crush it.

Words: Maxine Fourie
Images: Getty Images

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