You have an idea for an awesome song for your group to sing. You thought of a way to restructure rehearsals or changing the way the group communicates internally. You have a suggestion for a new venue in which to perform. Any time you’re working with a group and intend to suggest a new idea, there are social and political factors you need to take into account beyond the confines of whether the idea itself is good. So how do you make your best pitch? How do you sway others to your opinion? In the long run, how can you best help your group?
Make sure you believe in your idea.
There are people who share ideas just for the sake of doing so—because they like the sound of their own voices, or because they’re less invested in the success of the group than they are in being able to claim that they were important to the group. Don’t be “that guy.” Instead, earn the respect of your peers and do what’s actually in the common interest by bringing forth ideas that you yourself believe in, that you can earnestly defend, and that you honestly believe are not only worth the group’s time, but that will help the group better itself in a meaningful way.
Don’t be scared.
This pointer might seem redundant in a post about pitching ideas with confidence, and yet it’s easy to miss in the midst of planning your proposal. While good ideas can stand on their own, it’s a lot easier for people to poke holes in a suggestion when the presenter himself doesn’t seem sure of it, or even goes so far to bring up his own plan’s shortcomings without addressing how the group will overcome them, or why the pros outweigh the cons. Be bold, be sure of yourself, and you’ll give your idea the best platform to succeed.
Do your homework.
The difference between brainstorming and making a proposal is all about elbow grease. Spit balling is useful—you come up with a body of ideas and select the best ones from it. But when you can identify those ideas you’re passionate about, it’s time to do the research. Has the idea worked for other a cappella groups? What are its limitations and how will you overcome them? Will it cost money? How will it affect other group members; who can you expect to be your allies or your opponents on this and how can you make the most of each to give your idea the best chance of flying? An idea is only as good as the work behind it.