Presenting a Project or Idea at Work – Shelle’s Top Tips

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It can be a problem to present an idea or project at work because if you don’t present it correctly, sometimes you don’t get approval. So, here are some tips on how to get approval when you present a project at work.

First of all, when you start the project, make sure you get agreement on the criteria; what is important, what are you trying to achieve, what are the judgment standards by which it will be judged. Two very important questions to ask are “What are we trying to achieve” and “How will we know that the objectives have been met”.

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Then when you present the project, before you start, remind everybody of the criteria. So, we said, this is what we’re trying to achieve, these are the standards we’re trying to meet, and then as you’re presenting your project, point out why you made certain choices and how those meet the criteria for judgment.

Another tip is make sure you use the language of suggestion. Look very confident;  look like you know what you’re talking about. But instead of being commanding and talking down to people and making facts and statements say, this is what we recommend; this is why I came to this conclusion; here’s our suggestion for what we believe is the best way to meet these criteria.

Example, I was working with a group of book designers in a large publishing company and they said their big problem was when they presented their covers to the management, they would get answers back like, I don’t like it and can you make the letters a bit big and that red color doesn’t really suit me. And the issue was they hadn’t properly framed the design.

I suggested to them to make sure they get a really good project brief with all the criteria and standard before they start and then to post the project in the meeting room, cover it up with a sheet, and then to frame the project. This particular book project is designed for grade 3 math teachers. What we agreed is that grade 3 math teachers like the following things, dislike the following things, these are important to them. So if you like the design today, then maybe we haven’t done it correctly because this design is not for you, it’s designed to meet the needs of the grade 3 math teacher. So, once you get agreement on that pre-framing then you can present and show why. And again, look confident, but use the language of invitation, the language of suggestion, this is what we recommend, this is my suggestion, this is why we did what we did with regards to the criteria.

Check out  If you want some tips on communicating and solving some of the problems.

If you are interested in booking me (Shelle Rose Charvet) for a presentation, keynote or workshop contact me at [email protected].  Please visit my speaking page too.

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