I’m a huge fan of improv acting, when you start with nothing but a premise and more than one person just moves an idea back and forth to entertain others. I’m not especially good at it, though the concepts are partly what fuel my best talents. On stage, I love to speak from my domain knowledge and not follow a very tight script. This has served me well, and yet, I’ve been really enjoying deep preparation lately.
Preparation Can Be Beautiful
First, a lot of people will scoff when reading this. Well, of COURSE you’re supposed to prepare. But I’ll tell you: I see less and less preparation out there in the world. When I see the kinds of questions people ask me in interviews, I can tell who has prepared even a little bit versus who is just sending over some questions. I can tell the difference between companies who have records and decent client relations materials and those who just take my money.
When I speak, for instance, I love the fresh and vibrant feel of saying something for the first time. People react well to it, provided the something fresh and new is something useful to them. But in a way, by working from an improv mindset, with only some bullets and some previous concepts to guide the process, I’m not letting people get into a groove with the material I’ve created, and I’m also not giving them something to anchor on while learning their own perspective.
Professional comedians practice their material for months and months (and then years) before they have even an hour of gems. Me? I’ve been creating a unique speech for every audience with only a few pieces that repeat here and there for the last several years. As with many things, it’s somewhere in the middle of these where the excitement happens. There has to be some fresh and new but also some I’m expecting this part places in my work.
And maybe yours.
How Do You Prepare?
If you’re educating people or consulting, how do you prepare for your clients? What are you doing to make their experience unique to them? If you are selling a product, what do you need to do to get the product ready for the buyer? How do you “do your homework” before any transaction occurs?
My new audio podcast was recently added to the Stitcher network. I got a really great personal email back with my welcome information. It showed that they had done some homework, had looked me over, and knew with whom they were talking. It was a really great feeling.
To that end, I’m asking you what you do to prepare for your opportunities. What do you do to prepare in your business? How much of a ritual do you make your preparations?
I’m just curious to know where you are with it all. Are you very prepared? Not very much? And why?
One Last Thing
I’ve been pushing rather hard lately, and if you heard my request in yesterday’s newsletter, sorry to repeat. If you are thinking at all of buying The Impact Equation, the very best time to do so is this week. Why? Because it will help Julien and me immensely. I’m grateful. Please consider picking up The Impact Equation, if you want to improve how you get your ideas across a platform of value and reach a network of value. And if you already have, thank you. I’m grateful. Super grateful. Thank you! This is the last we’ll talk about it. : )
Now, talk to me about preparation.