10 Ways to Present a Convincing Case for IT

By Dennis McCafferty  |  Posted 11-13-2013 Email Print this article Print

As a CIO, you know that determining a promising tech acquisition and deployment strategy is only part of the battle. The other part, of course, is getting key influencers and decision-makers to support your proposal. The new book, The Leader's Guide to Speaking with Presence: How to Project Confidence, Conviction, and Authority, (Amacom), goes beyond the standard public-speaking tips that you tend to find in these sorts of tomes. Instead, author John Baldoni goes deeper to provide a number of best practices to successfully sell your tech-expansion ideas to people from other departments, as well as members of the C-suite. Yes, we realize that you've figured out that these parties are probably not hardcore techies and that you have to make your presentation readily accessible for these audiences. The following takeaways, however, shed light more on the political tools required to promote a winning game plan, especially during a formal presentation. Baldoni is an executive coach and leadership consultant, and president of Baldoni Consulting. For more about the book, click here.

  • Find a Trusted Party Within

    Take advantage of this relationship to test drive your idea over coffee, lunch or a beer.
    Find a Trusted Party Within
  • Make a Strong Presentation Impression

    It starts at the beginning: Take the time to firmly shake the hands of everyone in the room, with a warm smile and engaged eye contact.
    Make a Strong Presentation Impression
  • Give a 30-Second Version of Your Full Presentation

    Start the formal meeting with this short summary so everyone knows what will happen throughout the presentation and what ground must be covered.
    Give a 30-Second Version of Your Full Presentation
  • Stand, Don't Sit

    You'll convey more energy by standing, and your physical presence will better command the room.
    Stand, Don't Sit
  • Identify Each Participant’s Objectives Up Front

    This way, they know you took the time to find out about their aims and are more likely to conclude that your idea aligns with their needs.
    Identify Each Participant’s Objectives Up Front
  • Begin With a Story

    As much as CIOs love metrics, you have to introduce a story early on that frames the existing problem and the impact-making potential of the solution.
    Begin With a Story
  • Determine Allies and Adversaries

    Study body and facial language for a quick read, then try to engage allies to neutralize the adversaries.
    Determine Allies and Adversaries
  • Don't Shut Adversaries Out

    Let them bring up all of their concerns. Then relate to each concern in an empathetic, problem-solving manner that speaks to mutual interests.
    Don't Shut Adversaries Out
  • Disclose all Roadblocks

    If you don't, someone else will. So preemptively indicate how you'd address each one, to convey a strong sense of proactive anticipation.
    Disclose all Roadblocks
  • Respect Their Time

    Whatever the agreed-upon, pre-determined time, make your presentation shorter: It's a sure way to gain a new fan. No one likes overlong presentations.
    Respect Their Time
Dennis McCafferty is a freelance writer for Baseline Magazine.


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