#1 How to Pitch Your Idea to a Friend
Follow these 9 easy tips to get Real Raw Feedback on your Idea (Challenges included)
Hey guys, let’s get right to it, shall we? You probably opened this article because you either have a few “mind babies” just sitting in the corner (waiting for its dirty dancing… whaat?), or you already have your ideas kinda out in the world, and yet, your family or friends are uninvolved. Confused. Uninterested even?
So let me help you. I went through this a few months ago, struggling on my own with my startup idea. I love my family and friends the most, but sometimes it’s really hard to get their attention and relevant feedback. Especially when I want to discuss something that doesn’t even exist yet! … Seems familiar?
I decided to make this “How to Pitch Your Idea to a Friend” series to help you grow as an idea maker. In every episode, I'll introduce a new tip from my experience of how to get ready for an Awesome Friendly Idea Pitch (AFIP for short? Yep? Nope?). These tips worked for me perfectly and hopefully, in the end, you'll become a real raw confident idea pitcher.
Of course, this is not something you could use with a potential investor or for a partnership. Obviously, it would need to be more complex. These are just simple steps to follow to amaze your close ones with your beautiful idea. Or maybe even yourself. (Also, your friends would probably gain some kind of nerve itching for listening to the whole complex version… Love your friends. Don’t do this to them.) Knowing how to introduce your ideas in a simple way is an important start for your idea journey and maybe even for your new project (Wow!).
Also, I prepared a few questions for you at the end and even a challenge after each episode. I really advise you to complete the challenges, because you know… It’s all about the hard work and practicing, practicing, practicing. All over again. But remember, you’re not alone in this and I believe in you.
So let's start with the #1 tip:
#1 Pick the right time - set the mood and make it good
This is a really important one. You can't just spray an idea on someone who is busy with crying over crying kids or is tired after long working hours. They would probably understand every seventh word and trust me, you don't wanna fight for attention in this. You would probably lose and start to feel that your idea is not that good which might not be the truth. Many great ideas were lost due to bad timing and you don't want to end like that. You're a hero in your own story, you want to collect as many wins as you can.
So let's give some thought to choosing the right place and time. Think about where your person feels the most comfortable and open-minded. If you do know, let's pick that place and if you don't know, give maybe some options and let the person choose (she/he probably chooses the most comfortable place on his/her own, and that's the best solution).
The timing is very sensitive as well, always ask your person first how it's going, and if the answer is: “sooo busy”, “depressed”, “not so well”… well, then there is a very little chance for being interested in your idea, isn't it? Choose the right time when the mood is okay and the minimum distractions are around. Can't you manage to find such time? No problem! Again: let your friends figure it out on their own. Make them work for it and they end up even more invested.
Even if the right place and time are picked, even if everything is peach-perfect and your person has eyes and ears just for you, don't start with your idea right away.
You don't want to seem like you're there just to sell. No one likes that, especially if people are not ready to buy.
So what can you do? Chat together for a while, be nicely invested in their life too, but not too much. If you waited too long for introducing your idea, it would end up with people too cheery or sad, and of course, in both cases tired. None of that is the mood-setting you need. I'd recommend starting with your idea after around 20 minutes of casual talking if you're in a public place and around 40 minutes if you're on a friendly visit (no science behind it, just my real raw experience).
The last, but not least important piece of advice: be honest about your intentions and prepare your person for it a little bit in advance. The simplest things work the best and in this case, honesty is one of them.
Be open and say: “I've got this idea and since I value your opinion, I would really appreciate hearing your feedback first. Would you be interested to meet and hear more about my idea?”
Like this, you'll make your person not just ready, but also curious and that's a pretty good start if you ask me. Why? Because a curious friend is usually a very good listener. Also, if you make your friends answer “YES” to the “Would you be interested…?” question, not just curiosity would be activated, but now they are subconsciously really committed to hearing you out. Hurray!
Questions your mind should mind:
- How is your person feeling? Is your person going through some hard times right now? Does your person have time for you?
- Where does your person feel the most comfortable, open-minded, inspired? Are there more options for such a place? Do you want to choose your safe place or do you prefer your person to choose?
- When is the right time to meet? Is your person a morning bird or night owl? Do you want to choose the meeting time or do you prefer your person to choose?
- Do you want to prepare your person for your idea in advance? Does your person want to hear your idea out?
#1 Challenge Time!
Your challenge for this episode is to think about the ideal place for presenting your idea. What is this place and how does it look like? Is it a public place or not? What is the atmosphere, mood, sounds, or even colors in there? Is it a passive place (like, for example some, kind of cafe or a restaurant), or an active place (like walking in the park)? Think about all the places you know and like, and pick your favorite idea place. Write down (or make a poem, draw a picture…) the most important facts about this place that can help you with setting the right idea mood. Have these factors in mind every time you're getting ready for your idea pitch. So how does your own private “idea sanctuary” looks like?
Complete the challenge and help other friendly idea pitchers by sharing your answers in the comments. We all might learn something new from your answers, or just have fun with it.
Congrats! You finished the first episode of how to become a great and friendly idea pitcher. Hopefully, you found something useful by reading this and I’ll look forward to seeing you on the next episode!
For all the idea-heads, you're more than welcome to try our Dayllo ideas app which was created for all the OCD idea makers such as I am: click meee, I’m useful! So far on Google Play, but we are working on the iOS version as well and of course, we continue to make the product better on both platforms.
Thank you very much, have fun with your mind and stay tuned for the next episode — I'll try to publish #2 on Monday!
Thank you and “Say day to your hello”!