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In Pitching Projects and Products to Executives, author Dane Howard interviews executives and product managers from renowned design firms and corporations like Google, Apple, and Adobe, who share their insider take on how to effectively move projects and product ideas forward. Video and multimedia producer Richard Koci Hernandez weaves the interviews together into a captivating visual narrative. The soft skills course shows the practical techniques, processes, and communication styles employed to sell to executives more effectively, and to bring ideas to life.
(Music playing.) Dane Howard: There was a point in my career that I realized how vital it is to create the right environment for an idea to be received. A distraction-free environment allows for a story to unfold. Your shift of thinking from the creative execution to also balance out the environment it's communicated in will help you set up your ideas for the best success that they can. Guthrie Dolin: When it comes to an effective environment for a pitch, I actually think of it more about conditions than environment per se.
Are they comfortable? Do they have everything that they need? Have we removed distractions from the room? Is it a place that they feel like they can be candid, that they can be open? Sometimes I think that removing distractions is one of the most important things because our clients tend to be very, very busy people. And so I think getting them out of the office is a great way to do that. If at all possible, I love to get them out in a more relaxed social environment. Sometimes that is as simple as taking a break for the meeting, and saying, "Hey! Let's walk down the street and get a cup of coffee." That extends the conversation.
They can fill in the detail and the minutia in some maybe broad statement that they said. You can get a little bit more clarity. Then I think that that's even more prevalent if you get them out to a commitment like dinner. You can really have a conversation. You can get more personal, but you keep it business. You can keep talking about it. You can get more insights about the way that they think about things, the things that concern them, and you can start to adjust the conversations around the specifics of their point of view. And really, that happens in an environment where it's a little bit more intimate, and again they have the time to get into those kind of details that they gloss over in the office.
Tim Barber: One of the things that we do when we're establishing kind of the setting for a pitch is oftentimes we configure the room to support the story, fill the room with all of our work product, and it allows us to tell kind of a non-linear story about how we got to where we did, because oftentimes people, especially senior executives, they have questions about well, did you pursue that, did you pursue this? And when you flood the room with your work product, you can tell a very dynamic, non-linear story about how you arrived at your destination.
You can point across the room and say, "Oh yeah, we explored that over here, and because of what we discovered, we chose to go in this direction."
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