How To Pitch Ideas like Don Draper & Why to Think About It Early

When it comes to turning creativity into innovation, how an idea is pitched is probably more important than what the idea is.  Creators often want to spend time perfecting the idea and run out of gas when it comes to developing the presentation.  I’ve seen it happen time and again in my work facilitating product innovation teams.

Visualizing the pitch during the idea generation stage is essential. Thinking about how to frame your idea will help you make your idea simpler, tighter, more coherent, and more valuable. Imagining your pitch is a very useful constraint during the creative process.  So don’t wait until you’ve decided on your idea to start thinking about how to sell it!   This is especially if your audience is likely to perceive your idea as a risky departure from the status quo.

This video shows Mad Men’s beloved Don Draper pitching an idea nearly perfectly.  Memorable story line?  Check.  Metaphor?  Check.  Characters?  Check.  Personal?  Check.  Emotional?  Check.  Vivid?   See for yourself….

(I used this video when David Reimer and I taught a workshop on pitching and presenting ideas – something we called “The How” – for Haas@Work, the Applied Innovation program at the Haas School of Business. –> If you’d like me to write more about pitching and presenting please contact me or write a quick comment below.)

TIP: If you need to pitch ideas to make innovation happen, I highly recommend Chip and Dan Heath’s book Made to Stick. Tons of free resources are available on their website to supplement the book, including the first chapter if you register.  Happy pitching!

2 Replies to “How To Pitch Ideas like Don Draper & Why to Think About It Early”

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