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CHAPTER14

Prepare to Win

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“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”

—Benjamin Franklin

Three undisputed truths:

  • Delivering a winning pitch will often determine the survival and success of a business.
  • People create their best work when they have time, space, and silence.
  • Proper rehearsal is critical to delivering a professional, persuasive performance.

Despite these truths, most pitch preparation takes place at the eleventh hour, amid constant distraction and noise with minimal, if any, rehearsal. Small wonder that most pitches are weak and ineffective and so fail.

Time

“The first draft of anything is shit.”

—Ernest Hemingway

There are two phases to all pitch preparation. The first is the creative process where you create your presentation and prepare your delivery. The second phase is rehearsal. Both take a considerable investment of time—days, weeks, and months, rather than seconds, minutes, and hours.

The greatest performers, athletes, and world-class experts from every field are not “naturals.” They reached the top of their game through using effective techniques and investing thousands of hours in preparation.

Neuroscientist Daniel Levitin, in This is Your Brain on Music, talks about 10,000 hours of practice being the magic number to achieve mastery:

… ten thousand ...

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