How to Present an Idea to Your Boss in 8 Easy Steps

As an employee, coming up with creative innovations is only half of the battle – now you have to present your idea to your boss and convince him or her that it’s worthwhile. Even the best ideas can end up in the trash if you don’t present it in the right light to upper management. So before you go storming into your boss’s office, do your homework. Try a few of these ideas to make sure your idea gets off the ground:

  1. Evaluate your idea from your boss’s point-of-view. Is this a good solution for you or for the company? Although your boss should care about your welfare as an employee, he or she cares more about the welfare of the company as a whole. Think about how your innovation can help your boss and your company.
  2. Think about the questions your boss will ask when hearing this idea. You want to make sure you aren’t caught off-guard. Start off by asking yourself these 3 questions: How much does the idea cost? How much will the idea make? What is the long-term effect of the idea?
  3. Choose your timing well. Consider when your boss will be the most open to new ideas. This may take some more personal knowledge of your boss. Making an appointment so that you have your boss’s undivided attention is also a good idea.
  4. Frame the problem, then present the solution. When presenting your idea, you first want to address the issue that you are trying to solve. Maybe your idea will make the company more efficient – in that case, demonstrate the pitfalls of an inefficient office and the ways in which your workplace is inefficient.
  5. Use your company’s mission statement in your presentation. How does your idea fit that mission?
  6. Present your idea in writing. Writing your idea down will help you gather your thoughts, and make it easier for your audience to keep up with you. Make your language strong, but also match the language of your company’s mission statement or sales pitches. Be brief and succinct.
  7. Be confident. If you aren’t sold on your idea, than your boss won’t be either. If you have any doubts, your boss will be able to sense that. The best way to obtain confidence is by thoroughly doing your research and being prepared.
  8. Retain your optimism, even if your boss doesn’t go for your idea. It’s disappointing to have your idea rejected, especially after all of that work, but don’t despair – that work ethic and initiative will impress your boss. Ask him or her what you can improve on in your presentation.

What tips do you have for presenting new ideas to your boss? Share in the comments!

Sources:

Madden, Kaitlin. “Have a great idea? How to tell your boss.” http://www.cnn.com/2011/LIVING/03/16/cb.tell.boss.good.idea/. (17 April 2014).

Nath, Ishani. “5 Tips For Successfully Pitching Ideas To Your Boss.”  http://talentegg.ca/incubator/2012/12/18/5-tips-successfully-pitching-ideas-boss/. (18 April 2014).

Colter, Carolee. “5 tips to sell a big idea to your boss.” http://newhope360.com/managing-your-business/5-tips-sell-big-idea-your-boss. (18 April 2014).