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Secrets to presenting your great idea

This story appears in the July 1999 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

At some point, that great idea of yours must come out of hiding. If you're ever going to get it to market, you must communicate your idea to others who can help you. It may be a manufacturer who will make your product, it may be investors who will finance it for you or it may be potential buyers. Whoever it is, it's crucial that you have a well-thought-out presentation that quickly communicates your idea, grabs your listeners' attention, and excites them enough to want to take part in your plans.

Your presentation can be made two ways: in writing or verbally. It's important to have both types of presentations prepared and ready at a moment's notice. What if you're at a networking event and you realize the person you're speaking with might be a potential investor? If you've taken the time to prepare an oral presentation, you can take advantage of an unexpected opportunity to make a pitch. Or if a friend knows someone who can help you, a formal written proposal that's ready to be delivered overnight can provide an instant presentation of your idea while it's still fresh in the prospect's mind.

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