Sharing your entrepreneurial vision is one of those moments where it seems like everything hinges upon each word that drips from your lips. Well, that’s because it is one of those moments! So, how can you more effectively share your entrepreneurial vision with others?
Here are five quick tips to implement the next time you are going to share your entrepreneurial vision.
1) Communicate how you will add value and solve a problem
We live in a time where our first inclination is to ask "how will this impact me?" As you are communicating your entrepreneurial vision be certain you are answering that question. But, answer it in a way that clearly indicates how you are adding value and solving a problem. Provide enough detail for the audience to understand your reasons for taking the action you will take. Your reasons need to convince your audience that your vision, when acted upon, adds value and solves a problem. Here are four questions to ask yourself to get you started:
1) What problem will my entrepreneurial vision solve?
2) What value is inherent in my entrepreneurial vision?
3) What is there to gain?
4) Why take action on my entrepreneurial vision now?
In reality, sharing your vision is not just about "sharing," it is really about effectively communicating answers to questions.
2) Don't just "Tell 'em," have them "experience" it
Communicating your entrepreneurial vision is not only about answering questions. To effectively share your entrepreneurial vision you must appeal to your listeners’ senses. Your listeners must "experience" your vision, not just “hear” about your vision. It is about using words to paint a picture in your listeners’ minds. If you offer a product or service, don't just tell your listener about the product or service, allow them to experience it. Don't just tell your listeners about the benefits of the product or service, allow them to experience them. There is a phrase, "experience is the best teacher." Well, experience is also the best influencer of action!
3) Use effective heart/head balance
Too many of us are not balanced when we share our vision. We either have too much emotion, or not enough. Either too much logic, or not enough.
Let’s be realistic, most entrepreneurs are driven by what can be, not what is. Entrepreneurs find it easy to paint a vision with “heart” appeal. Heart appeal is a good thing, it is both the flicker that starts the entrepreneurial fire and the fuel for long-term motivation. A “head” appeal calls on human reasoning and logic. A head appeal satisfies the “yes, but” folks. “Yes, that sounds like a great idea, b-u-t…what’s the start-up cost… what’s the statistical need…etc” A head appeal shares, in a very real sense, the logical reasons for taking action on your entrepreneurial vision.
The key is finding the right balance of “heart” and “head” for your vision.
4) Know that some questions won’t have answers
The typical response of someone who is hearing your entrepreneurial vision for the first time is always the same – they will have questions. Questions are understandable, but don’t expect to have all the answers to all the questions. While this may be hard for your audience to grasp, it is just part of the DNA of an entrepreneur. Some questions won't, or can't, be answered ahead of time. Often, the answers come in the midst of the vision unfolding. So, when asked a question that just does not need an answer yet, here is a phrase that works great, "that's a great question that we will entertain as the vision unfolds into reality."
5) Wear your CAP
When sharing your entrepreneurial vision, above all else, be sure to wear your CAP. CAP stands for: Conviction, Action Orientation, and Passion. People are impressed by figures and data and logic, but people yearn for someone with conviction, action orientation and passion. Your listeners can get behind someone with conviction, because conviction means you won't stop when troubles plague your launch. Your listeners can get behind someone with action orientation, because action orientation means you have the gumption to back up your vision with sustainable action. Your listeners can get behind someone with passion, because passion means you have the fuel to persevere through the grueling stages of making a vision become a reality. So, don't forget to wear your CAP!
Sharing your entrepreneurial vision is a communication art and science that can be developed to more effectively impact your listeners. Happy vision casting!