Every important meeting goes more smoothly with little bit of prep work. Before you meet with anyone who is a key decision maker or influencer (or even just someone you want to influence), take three actions:
- Write down the name of the person and the reason for the meeting. Think of what results you hope to elicit from the conversation.
- After you nail down your objectives, write out a general outline of what you want to say. Then review and tweak your initial thoughts. Cut out all unimportant, subjective, or emotional language, leaving just your key points positioned in the possible strongest way.
- Visualize the meeting and conversation, and practice each argument, as well as how you hope to transition between your points. You can practice alone, or enlist another person to interact with you and give you feedback. Do so until you feel comfortable with your talking points and prepared for any unplanned segues or objections.
Now you’re ready for the meeting, as well as any and all opportunities for advancement that come about as a result. You are a peer, and you have a talent, ideas, or experiences that will help your organization be more successful. Now go get 'em!
—Simma Lieberman, Career Coach