getting ready for the big day

I helped a friend get ready for a huge meeting.

We chatted last night in preparation and I’m glad to report that it went really well today.

Here’s some of the tips I touched on. Actually, these tips work well for day job meetings and for triathlons.

– Have a plan.

  • No one wants to deal problems. They will be relieved and happy that you have a solution to the problem.
  • Ask for what you want. They can’t give you what you want unless you ask for it. Put it out there. Give them reasons to love it. Make it compelling. For them to choose a plan B, it will have to be really great to beat your idea.
  • Write it out like script if you have to. Point for point. In order that you want it remembered.

– Be prepared.

  • Lay everything out. Clothes, food, pens, paper, computer. Pack you bag. Distractions put away.
  • Go to sleep early. Be rested. Body, mind, soul. If you’re scared or anxious, pray about it. Clear your mind. Focus on what you can do about it. Believe in yourself. You’ll be great.
  • Eat well. Happy body. Grooming. Clean. Neat.
  • Go to the bathroom right before the meeting. Relaxed.

– Engage

  • Be pleasant. Confrontation doesn’t help resolving issues.
  • Look them in the eye. Gain their confidence that you’re dealing straight with them.
  • Tell the truth. Don’t hold anything back. It’s easier that way.
  • Body language. Comfortable, relaxed. Lean forward, like you mean it. You’re into this meeting.
  • Please and thank you’s. Polite, generous, kind. Grace under fire. If you’re nice to work with, even under duress, you’ll be nice to work with under sunnier times.

– Relax

  • Big deep breath. Peace.
  • Smile. Even if it’s an unfriendly hostile place. Put yourself in a happy mental place. Share your happiness.

– Speak

  • Talk slowly. I tend to get squeaky and fast under pressure. Or mumble when I’m scared. Both are bad impressions.
  • Articulate with the point of being understood.
  • Stay on message. Don’t get side-tracked or derailed.
  • Answer their questions with your answers that support your plan. Fold their questions into support for your plan.

– Leave with action plan

  • Walk out knowing what happened in there and what happens next. Repeat it back to them for clarification.

I remember pulling all this together to prepare to job interviews. Much of this is selling yourself. Make them like you and your message will be well received.

G’luck out there. Break a leg. You’re gonna be great!

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