How to Perfect a Practice to make Practice Perfect
What if tomorrow you had a very important meeting with people you’ve never met before? Maybe it’s an interview for a job you really want; maybe you’re selling a product you’ve created; it could be any event you’re unprepared for.
A few practical tips worth revisiting are:
Be prepared and know exactly what it is you want from this meeting;
Thoroughly research the company you’re going to be dealing with;
Choose an outfit appropriate for the meeting – if unsure ask your friends (asking your mother may cause greater anxiety than you first started with);
Know exactly where and when the meeting will be and who will be there;
Meditate before you leave for your meeting – it’s important to be in a centred and calm frame of mind; and
Arrive with plenty of time to spare.
Something which has helped me be prepared for just about anything is practising an imaginery meeting and watching myself interacting with others starting from the moment when I arrive at the Reception counter. I run through this imaginery meeting until the end when I say my farewell. By doing this, not only do I become familiar with the meeting, it also gives me greater confidence and self awareness as well as produce a successful result.
If you’ve never considered rehearsing before the following exercise may be worthy of consideration.
You can start this step by step process by first:
Writing down at least 10 possible questions that may be asked of you. Answer each question in detail, adding any variations that come to mind.
Putting aside for now the end result , practice using your five senses (hear, taste, see, smell, feel) and your mind’s eye to imagine in full detail how this meeting will unfold, starting from the very beginning to the end. Imagine and experience this meeting fully in the present tense, in other words, be there now.
Experience and imagine:
Rerun the meeting differently several times and include different verbal exchanges, further tweak what needs tweaking. It’s not about perfecting one scene over and over, it’s about providing a combination of possibilities that will help you be even more prepared.
For example, visualise the other person looking perplexed by what you’re saying, communicate differently and notice what happens. See and hear this exchange in full detail. Rerun as often as you need to until you get the result you want.
For added measure, you could also rehearse your meeting by placing two chairs at a table for yourself and the other person. Sit down in one of the chairs and imagine you’re speaking to the person sitting opposite. Become aware of how you sit, your breathing rate, clarity of voice and rapport.
When you’ve finished speaking, move into second position (the other seat) and communicate what you believe that person will say, how they’ll respond, what you anticipate their body movements to be and volume, speed and tone of voice.
As a final practice technique dress for success and speak to your reflection in a mirror. Practice various verbal exchanges with the other person. Watch and notice your facial expressions, body movements including breathing rate as well as using different postures, expressions and questions and answers. Have fun and tweak what needs tweaking…
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Michaela is a Transformational Coach, certified practitioner of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), writer and intuitive who is totally committed to helping others create positive and action oriented changes to their lives.
Michaela is author of several self help e-books and publisher of a lively monthly newsletter called From My Desk.