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How to get the right idea

This post was originally written for  International Ideas Month. According to its creators, IIM is "dedicated to all ideas—large, small, great, not-so-great, past and current as well as ideas yet to come. Without constant new ideas, progress and people stagnate." This is the first in a series of posts on ideas.

We all have ideas we want to share, whether it's for our jobs, our community work, or at home. But it's not always easy to communicate those ideas, especially if we're anxious or the situation is charged.

You can share your ideas effectively with a two-step process:

  1. Pre-writing helps you firm up your thinking and develop the right details to support it
  2. Drafting gives you a chance to hone your thoughts and practice helps you sound confident

1. Pre-write your ideas

The Idea-Details® Strategy is a fast way to suss out your thoughts and make sure there's enough there there. You can do a quick inventory in 5 minutes or less by capturing the most important thing you want others to know and the relevant details that support that main concept.

IDEA-DETAILS STRATEGY™ from Teaching That Makes Sense, Inc.

Start by writing down your big idea, like this:
The Idea-Details® Strategy from Teaching That Makes Sense, Inc.

Then add the supporting details. They can be simple, like these, or meatier (learn more about great details):

The Idea-Details® Strategy from Teaching That Makes Sense, Inc.

2. Draft your piece

Write out some sentences, staying focused on the information that's vital for your audience. Work on your word choice and sentence construction, and make sure you've got stuff in the right order. This is an important process even if you're going to be speaking your thoughts and not sharing them in writing. Writing is the best way to think through your ideas. Once you've got the draft done, you can either practice it till you can deliver it naturally, make slides or create notes--whatever works best for you.

Finally, take a breath and share your great ideas!

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