So you want to impress important people? Good for you! It won’t be easy. It will take mojo. It will require moxie. You will need cojones. You will also need a PowerPoint presentation. Don’t show them the presentation yet. And don’t go whipping your cojones out right away! Don’t do anything until all the cards are on the table. Did I mention that you’ll need cards? Don’t put your strongest cards down yet. Start with the middling cards. The important people will follow. No matter how strong their hands look, rest assured: they are holding back. You don’t become an important person by sprinting right out of the gate. This exchange will continue until you’ve run out of middling cards. Now go ahead and play your strong ones. The important people will follow suit and show you what they’ve got. It will be intimidating. Hang in there! You will probably lose. Don’t despair! You’ve come this far, and that’s no small feat. When the game is over, everyone will have a laugh. Cigar time! Not a smoker, you say? Tough titty! Suck it up and enjoy your cuban like a man. Don’t inhale! Now do the PowerPoint presentation. It doesn’t matter what’s in the presentation as long as it has an animation on every slide and ends with a graph. For your summary, choose an action word you coined yourself. Something like ‘Marketeering’ or ‘Maximatize’. Those are mine, by the way. When you finish there will be a long pause. You won’t know whether they’re pausing because they‘re impressed or because they’re embarrassed. Don’t panic! This is par for the course with important people. At some point somebody will break the silence with a question. This will be the most important person in the room. Nod very carefully and look the questioner directly in the eye. It doesn’t matter if you understand the question or can answer it. That is the least of your concerns. This is the moment of truth. You will need every ounce of mojo, every last drop of moxie. When the question is finished, take a deep breath, hop up on the table and whip out your cojones. Run down the length of the table. If these really are important people it will be a long table. Dangle your cojones in the face of the most important person in the room. Suggest that he or she repeat the question so that your cojones can hear it. Advise him or her to direct the question to your cojones. Brandish your cojones at the other people encircling the table for good measure. Emphasize that your cojones would be more than happy to offer clarification or take follow-up questions. The silence that follows will not be embarrassed. It will be the sound of important people, being impressed. It will be like nothing you have ever heard. It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it. Things will never be the same. Trust me on this one.
December 7, 2011