Much of the power of Hannah Gadsby’s hit show “Nanette” was her deconstruction of comedic performance, lifting the veil and stepping us through the set-up, tension and release.
The comedian’s role, Gadsby shared, is to deliberately create tension so they can then relieve us of it.
That’s your role too, by the way, if you are interested in gaining traction for your ideas or winning new business. Whether you are creating a PowerPoint presentation, writing a tender or pitching over the phone, you need to generate tension to gain interest, and then provide relief so the person you are influencing is not too daunted to take action.
Here’s how to Nanette your approach.
The beginning of any pitch, proposal or presentation should be full of stories about who you are, how wonderful you are and how others agree.
Ah, no. Actually, that’s where most go wrong.
It should be all about your client or stakeholder and their problem state. Remember, we are the heroes of our own story, and that means the person you are trying to convince is most interested in themselves. They are only interested in you to the extent you can shed light on their issue.
To gain interest, show interest.
Topics to cover in Act I include:
In Act II you are building on their interest in how you will resolve their issue. Now is the time to detail your intended process, timeframes and cost. Price is usually a sensitive topic, so:
In Act III you can add your bio, case studies and credentials for external clients. If they can be bothered to read it, great, but it’s really there to signal you are a safe pair of hands. Importantly, include a Call to Action in the final page because too many proposals leave the client hanging instead of taking the opportunity to nudge their next move.
For internal stakeholders, let them know what comes next, and make them feel the decision is an easy one to make.