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 Choose the right time to start pitching ideas


    To sell your ideas, you need to listen to others first. Just don't listen too much.


    "When you keep listening to speakers, you let them reinforce their sense that they're right," said Nance Rosen, managing director of NAX Partners, a marketing and communications firm in Los Angeles. "It's like they're building brick after brick of a fortress by talking more."

    洛杉矶一家营销通信公司NAX Partners的常务董事Nance Rosen说:“如果你让别人说得太多,就会让他们强烈地感觉自己是正确的。就好像建堡垒一样,说得越多,堡垒越坚固。”

    Instead, interrupt gracefully. Redirect the dialogue so that you can assert your point.


    Author of "Speak Up! and Succeed," Rosen finds that the best way to interrupt in casual conversation is to hold up an outstretched hand toward the speaker. That, she says, is "a universal cue like a stop sign." At the same time, she'll say "great."


    If the person misses her cue and continues to babble, she makes another short comment, "Thank you," to signal that she expects the speaker to finish.


    Most people get the message and zip their lips. If they don't, Rosen interrupts again by saying "got it" in a firm but polite tone.


    By making a series of short comments to indicate that you understand a speaker -- and using the same prompts consistently to silence a motormouth -- you can train the person over time to talk less.


    When it's your turn to talk, maximize your persuasiveness by grabbing others' attention. Rather than plead your case and enumerate details that support your point, begin with what Rosen calls "a focus on misery."


    Specifically, engage others by identifying their pain, fear and unfulfilled desire. They will heed your remarks more closely if you begin by appealing to these palpable negatives.


    "Don't waste time on good news at the beginning," Rosen said. "It's a snooze. Happy talk isn't going to compel people to listen to you."


    For example, if you want to propose steps to your management team to streamline your operation, start by saying: "Sales are down, our rivals have launched a product that can steal market share from us, and we've squandered our potential to lock up our niche."


    From that point, position yourself as problem solver. Show that you not only understand the obstacles but that you have also developed a plan of attack.


    "Anchor your proposal by showing how it will empower you and your team to move forward on many fronts," Rosen said.


    Cite what she calls "heroic achievement stories" to showcase your experience as a leader who has overcome pain, fear and unfulfilled desire.


    Start with phrases such as "From my experience navigating through a similar crisis, I've discovered that" and "When we were struggling to stay afloat 10 years ago, I decided to."


    By establishing credibility as someone who has triumphed over adversity, you reassure others that you're equipped to manage the current challenge. Through your stories, you can also champion the core values that your listeners care about the most.


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