Make your ideas concrete.

In the book “Made to Stick,” by Chip and Dan Heath, the two public relations gurus explain how to make ideas “sticky.” In the first few chapters they outline how to use simplicity and unexpectedness to make your point as a professional. In chapter three, the book discusses using concrete images, analogies, examples and exercises to make your concept more real to the audience.

The classic example that the Heath brothers use is the story of 29-year-old Jerry Kaplan. He went in for a meeting with Kleiner Perkins in 1987 to give a presentation and pitch a new idea to local venture capitalists. Before him was another hopeful up-and-comer who had ideas of his own. In fact, he had ideas, charts, graphics and confident answers delivered courtesy of a pin stripe suit Kaplan thought he was toast.

His confidence now shaken, he went in to pitch his exciting new theory about evolving PCs. The one thing that differentiated him from the first guy was his notebook. Kaplan carried a normal size notepad with blank paper inside for the meeting and this turned out to be his best asset. This notebook gave the new PCs a size, shape, feel and color. Executives were able to use the notebook as a tangible, concrete brainstorming tool. Investors asked questions about the chip size and memory capabilities instead of doubting the presentation idea.

To make an idea concrete you have to give people some sort of way to physically or mentally gauge the new idea.

Read more great ideas from “Made to Stick;” visit  http://www.madetostick.com/.

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