What Can Sarah Palin Teach Us About Managing Our Careers?
One of the best ways to sabotage your career is to show up for an important meeting unprepared. That's exactly what Sarah Palin did when she gave the keynote presentation at the Tea Party Convention and prior to speaking, wrote notes on her hand with some of her key talking points-points that she should have known, well, like the back of her hand.
The fact that Palin needed notes to remind her of her core principles has left many wondering if they really are just that. And the fact that she wrote notes on her hand has just left many wondering, period.
She does provide a good lesson, in how not to present yourself professionally.
Imagine how you would feel if your doctor, lawyer, or accountant had to refer to crib notes to remind them of the basic things they need to know to get the job done? It wouldn't inspire much confidence and might even prompt you to run towards the nearest exit.
What if you were prospecting a new client or going on that big job interview? What sort of impression would you leave if you couldn't articulate your value proposition clearly, succinctly, and without referring to notes? Not much of one.
Whenever you are preparing for a meeting where you want to influence others to support you, buy something from you or hire you, it is critical that you gain their trust. Trust is built by conveying that you know your stuff, have done your homework and have realistic and actionable solutions to their problems.
Whether you are trying to close a sale, land a job or win political supporters, you need a pitch that makes people believe in you and want you on their team. How you deliver that pitch matters as much as what you say with it. Practice until you know it cold and keep your hands where everyone can see them.