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Chapter 4. Presenting your business case

This chapter offers advice about ways to approach key audiences, get on their agendas, and make good use of opportunities to present your case. To do this effectively, you need to customize your basic message by focusing on selected elements of the case that you know interest or concern specific stakeholders. You also need to decide what medium and venue will best enhance the delivery and reception of your message.

Your aim now is to get your case on the agenda of all your audiences - whether they are agency executives, budget officers, elected officials, fellow professionals, community organizations, the media, or the public. By presenting your business case, you will educate stakeholders about your initiative and how it will improve services, administration, or quality of life. This is your opportunity to turn your business case into support - in the form of funding, staffing, advocacy, and energy - from various stakeholders.

You are probably very familiar with the decision processes, norms, and expectations of your own agency, which of course is your first audience. The techniques in this chapter will help you make a strong case in those internal processes. Often, you need to engage external audiences as well. We highlight some of them here and offer specific advice about working with them. A more detailed description of Audience and Presentation Skills can be found in Part Two beginning here.