Monday, February 18, 2008

Got a BIG meeting?...

With a landlord? Lender? Customer? Potential partner? Some great advice:
Some meetings are the equivalent of playing three games of chess at once. You’re making arguments and parrying others as you strive to give the best impression possible, make your strongest case, and, of course, listen to and actually hear what the other people have to say. You can’t expect the brain to do all that and think about what it’s doing at the same time.

That’s why you should never walk leave home without a Prep Card:

Take a 3” x 5” index card and write down 3 key points you want to mention in simple clear language, nouns and verbs. At the bottom, give yourself 2 reminders to avoid your bad habits.

* Bill got a raise in half the time, with an inferior track record.
* We will match our competitor’s best bid.
* You’d agreed to a 10% discount over the phone.
* —
* Sit up straight.
* Talk slowly and take a full breath after every sentence.

That’s it. In any discussion, you’re almost certainly not going to have time to process and deliver more than 3 important points.

And it always helps to be reminded not to crack your knuckles or speak too quickly when you have a tendency to do those things under stress. [More]
I imagine most of you will laugh at the stunning simplicity of this idea, but having spent nearly 15 years as a professional speaker, it sounds right on to me.

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