How often have you left an interview, a meeting, a presentation, an audition, thinking, “That’s it! I nailed it!”only to discover you didn’t get the job, the client, the account, the funding, the part? Alternatively, how often have you left with a bad case of the “if only’s”?
For me, there’s nothing worse.
And today, due to the speed of the world we live in, these thoughts are compounded by the fact that we’re rarely off duty. An elevator ride with our CEO turns into an impromptu presentation, our lunch date becomes a job interview, our conversation at a cocktail party sets the stage for a potential business merger.
But what if I told you that it’s possible to be far more in command of how you’re perceived than you currently realize? That you have far more control—in situations that are seemingly out of your control—than you know? That there are proven strategies that will leave your audience, interviewer, or whomever you are aiming to impress, thinking, “Now that’s someone I want to work with”?
The name of my company is Cole Media Management, and I’m hired on a daily basis by individual clients and corporations to teach their executives and employees these valuable strategies.
Over the years Cole Media Management has been in business, I have met with hundreds of clients, across a spectrum of industries, preparing for everything from job interviews to sales meetings, appearances on Oprah to IPO road shows where they’ll be asking for a billion (yes, that “B” is correct) dollars.
Every client, every situation is, of course, different, but regardless of the details of the situation, if you aren’t getting the response you want, or expect, you need to look at your message and—just as important—at how you are expressing that message. Often, with just a few adjustments, you can go from a near miss to a slam dunk, from a “that was nice” presentation to one that knocks their socks off, from a mediocre meeting to one that fires up each and every participant.
The thing is, when you want to make a good impression no detail is too small. No amount of advance preparation is too much. No word choice is unimportant. The shirt you wear, the chair you sit in, the thank-you note you write afterward should all be carefully considered, and ultimately compound the impression of someone who’s calm, confident, and in command.
I present the information in How to Wow in a one- to two page “search-and-destroy” format to make it easy for you to find the information needed in your situation—meeting, lunch, job interview, speech, PowerPoint presentation—so you can begin employing it, and enjoying the benefits of it, immediately. Then, when there’s time to browse, you can wend your way through the other sections.
The strategies I offer come from a spectrum of modalities and, aside from the general principles discussed in chapter one, the information I offer my clients, and you, is yours to pick and choose from. There are no “rules” because I recognize that, as with my clients, each of you comes to the table with a unique set of attributes and circumstances.
More important, I know each of you is smart enough to know what will work for you and your circumstances: what will help give you the confidence to speak your mind in a meeting, motivate your team under deadline, or negotiate your business deal over pasta puttanesca.
I will know I’ve succeeded when you begin to doubt your doubts—to be confident in your confidence. Because when you are, you are free to be enthusiastic, committed, authentic.
The you that you know yourself to be when you’re at your best.
Because that’s where the wow is.