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July 12, 2008

Good in a Room: How to Sell Yourself (and Your Ideas) and Win Over Any Audience (Hardcover)

Good in a Room

I try to keep up with what's going on in consulting and what is drawing everyones attention. Sounds a lot easier than it is actually. There are a large number of people who are writing intriguing things for consultants these days.

With this in mind I recently read Good in a Room: How to Sell Yourself (and Your Ideas) and Win Over Any Audience.  great book, I recommend it to everyone. In fact, just this week I used some of the concepts from this book to get a few concepts through a room of heavy-hitters from a client organization.

The goal is, as the title hints at, pitch meetings. The board meetings or client encounters when you have a lot at stake. One one hand a possibly game changing outcome, and on the other hand a disastrous ending that will end up as a cautionary tale.

Author Stephanie Palmer does an excellent job at investigating this area, based on her attendance at around 3000 pitch meetings. She talks about what works, what doesn't, and what you can do about it.

Two elements that really struck me were the tips about avoiding deal breakers in the first 90 seconds, and the whole area of confidence in high-pressure situations.

In particular I am glad that she agreed with me about the foolishness of the elevator speech! Wonderful news, and good to see it on main street. (-too needy, too much the slap on the back, let's do business model)

If you believe, as I do, that the art of consulting is all about the skills of starting and managing relationships, and that sales is a consulting skill - not a department - then this book will provide tremendous value for you in your career and company. (read Amazon reviews)

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