Last Updated Jun 17, 2008 11:41 AM EDT
- The Find: A Hollywood producer who's heard thousands of pitches offers advice on how business leaders can present themselves and their ideas effectively.
- The Source: An interview with Stephanie Palmer, former Director of Creative Affairs at MGM and current author of "Good in a Room: How to Sell Yourself (and Your Ideas) and Win Over Any Audience," on TomPeters.com.
- It's more important to be interested than interesting: rapport building (otherwise known as small talk) is actually the most important part of any meeting. Don't talk about business too soon and demonstrate you've done your homework by asking specific, targeted questions.
- It might be counter-intuitive but focus more on relationship building than the immediate outcome of a meeting: "If you focus primarily on... learning from your experience, more than on getting a particular result, you are much more likely to achieve what you want in the long run."
- Brevity has value, but don't pitch your idea in an elevator (or at the dentist, or in the men's room): if you care about the project, wait for an opportunity when you have time to discuss it adequately.
- Traditional networking is a waste of time. "Instead of spending small amounts of time with lots of people, I suggest spending more time with fewer, carefully chosen people."
- Send hand-written notes in non-business sized envelopes: assistants will automatically put small envelopes at the top of the mail pile.
The Question: Traditional networking is a waste of time - true or false?