How to Introduce New Ideas to a Skeptical Audience

February 27, 2018 0 Comments
Introduce New Ideas

Have you ever had a really great idea, but struggled to get others on board?

Aversion to new ideas isn’t a new phenomenon and can be especially prevalent among senior leadership who may be wary of new technology.

In a recent article we discussed how to include your team in change management to gain buy-in.

In this article, we’ll look at effective strategies for educating and persuading skeptical audiences, particularly senior leadership of new ideas, such as new technology.


Firstly, What Should You Not Do?

Avoid coming off too aggressive or insistent that your idea is definitely best. Take a collaborative approach, and discuss the merits and drawbacks of your new plan.

Don’t hide anything. Transparency is key in gaining buy-in, especially with an audience who is already skeptical. If it comes to light that you were holding back certain information, you may blow your chance all together.

Don’t expect immediate results. It may take more time and energy to get the result you want. But persistence and patience will eventually pay off.

Remember, for senior leadership who have been accustomed to the status quo, new ideas can be disorienting and complex.


How to Introduce New Ideas for the Best Results:

Highlight the drawbacks of not adopting your idea.

Studies show that negative information is more memorable than positive information. The reason being that humans are averse to pain; we will do anything to avoid negative consequences.

If the decision is between your idea and another, or your idea and no action, present your case around the limitations of the option you do not want them to choose.


Show certainty and decisiveness.

No one is going to adopt your idea if you don’t even seem sure of it. Especially as it pertains to leadership, they don’t want to hear “I think”, “maybe”, “could be”, etc.

Be confident in your idea. Speak as if your idea has already been adopted and discuss the merits of your plan as if they’re already a reality.


Appeal to their emotions.

Facts are great and very necessary.

But at the end of the day, anyone can present a fact sheet or PowerPoint presentation.

Emotion is more memorable and appealing. Think of how your plan can improve the experience of your team members, customers, vendors, etc. Even more importantly, how can your idea benefit the audience to whom you’re pitching?


Prepare for criticisms.

Before pitching your idea think of question and criticisms your audience may bring up. For each point, create an answer or solution. Your “rebuttal” should be based on fact and be straight to the point.

You should always avoid overpromising for the sake of gaining their favor. It’s best to just stick to the facts.


Ask for feedback.

Embracing change requires buy-in from each and every team member. People are bound to have questions. Show that you are invested in their feedback by asking for questions and actively listening to their concerns.

Asking for feedback will demonstrate your respect and interest in including everyone in decision-making.


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How to Introduce New Ideas to a Skeptical Audience
Learn how to overcome aversion to new ideas and gain buy-in from skeptical audiences.

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