Although the chill is conspicuously missing from the September air, fall is nevertheless upon us; and with it comes perspective, clarity, and the renewed drive to hit the ground running after all those lazy days of summer.
In anticipation of the fresh opportunities that are undoubtedly coming YOUR way this fall, I want to share with you the #1 mistake I see people make as they head into The Big Meeting -- the meeting that could either bring their business to the next level, or else leave them exactly where they've always been.
Which is that they spend all their time crafting the narrative -- the words they'll use to pitch the opportunity -- and no time at all learning how to control the narrative in the context of conversation.
And wouldn't you know -- these are two vastly different skill sets!
While storytelling itself IS critical to influence, it's really only half the enchilada.
The other (and arguably more important) half is HOW you deliver it -- and what your style and structure of delivery impresses upon the person sitting across from you.
Because no matter how perfect your story, your pitch, or whatever you've prepared...
... it is still VULNERABLE to an unpredictable audience.
Imagine for a moment that tomorrow is the Big Day -- the day you are to meet with the person whose partnership could totally catapult your career or business.
Maybe, when you walk in, she is wearing fierce red stilettos and the kind of designer eyewear that immediately precludes anything but seriousness.
She has already seen your pitch deck. She knows what you're here to discuss.
She motions for you to have a seat. She is already seated, present, focused; waiting to hear what you have to say.
One thing is clear: SHE is the one accustomed to being in control.
You know it's important to "build rapport", so maybe you break the ice by asking about her day or riffing on current events. And let's say, for a moment, she humors you.
But then, how do you transition gracefully from small talk... to BIG talk?
And how do you move the conversation swiftly and gracefully through ALL the vital points, in an order that keeps her attention, while building a bigger case...
... WITHOUT having your momentum thrown by her interruptions, probing questions, or penetrating gaze?
Hint: Here's what you DON'T do.
You DON'T deliver a perfectly tuned 60-second pitch, and then invite her to ask questions.
You DON'T reiterate each slide in your slide deck and then ask, "... So, what do you think?"
You DON'T sing and dance through all your vital points while she quietly observes you, and then trail off in the face of her unnerving silence with "... So."
... All of which I've seen very smart, very talented people do.
You can be absolutely brilliant, and still have no idea how to effectively control the narrative of an important meeting.
Now ask yourself how a leader might conduct this kind of meeting?
Here are just a few things you might see them do:
They take the time to connect first, while avoiding mindless small talk.
They direct the conversation immediately, and continue directing from beginning to end.
They build a bigger context for their story and opportunity to fit into.
They ask questions, solve mysteries, and build momentum.
And they never, ever, EVER leave the meeting without a concrete YES or a definitive NO.
Sound like a skill that could serve you well?
Until now, this kind of training has only been available exclusively to my private clients.
But I've decided to shake things up this fall -- and make it available to ANYONE with a vision and the courage to act on it.
So, as a special September gift, I'm offering a one-time live workshop on this very topic -- this Wednesday in San Francisco -- as the first and only of its kind.
And I DO hope you'll join me in this exciting experiment...
... Because while I am *honored* to show up in your inbox each week, there is nothing like engaging in person to help new ideas and strategies take root.
So gather your boldest initiative and all the questions you've ever had about high-stakes conversations -- and reserve your spot now.
I can't wait to hear what YOU'LL be getting up to this fall.