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The framing of an idea is critical in achieving a favourable response

Published by Vincent Pickering

All ideas should have an elevator pitch. If you can't boil it down; the idea needs more work.

The framing of an idea is critical in achieving a favourable response from others. Present the idea in the wrong context or to the wrong audience and it may well kill it outright.

Consider the intended audience, write down bullet points on what benefits the solution brings to that audience. Use the points to write a brief pitch as a “high level” overview on what your efforts offer.

Think in terms of:

  • Business benefits
  • Workforce benefits
  • Expenditure savings
  • Time efficiencies
  • User experience gains
  • Market perception
  • Unique selling points (USP)
  • Long-term efficiencies (make other work easier, later).
  • Savings to the business
  • Reducing complexity

Take the pitch and distil it down further in to around 6 words.

This is your sound-bite and the starting point in any conversation. When talking to a person about the idea; starting with the sound-bite will give you a good steer on the audience you are pitching to. If they understand completely they are likely to be interested in hearing more, in which case you can proceed with the longer pitch. A negative reaction allows you to move on to another proposal or area of conversation and minimise the impact of a less than favourable reaction.

Prepare a more detailed description, no more than a few paragraphs.

The act of writing a more concise description reinforcing the elevator pitch will focus your mind on the essential points and during delivery prevent you meandering off-topic without anything pre-prepared. A few paragraphs are all you need to plant a seed in a receptive individuals brain. Allow the idea to sit with them for a day before following up on anything. In that time they will have become more acclimatised to the proposal making discussion easier.

Progressive disclosure of an idea in this manner helps to prepare the receiver in the conversation for the ideas that will come, involving them in a shared dialogue, especially if the proposal is unconventional. This in turn enables the designer who has nurtured the idea for some time to feel less discouraged if it is not embraced or realise they have not rationalised it correctly.

Reduce time spent describing ideas or content the other party is not embracing and more time on those ideas they are more receptive towards.