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When you have an important meeting coming up, how do you prepare?

Pull some materials together?

Create a new slide deck?

Prepare your opening line? Maybe ‘thanks for sparing your time’?

People do things like this all the time. You see it every day.

But just because it's everywhere doesn't mean it's best.

For example, when you turn up with pre-prepared material or slides that they haven't asked for, they'll probably assume you intend to talk at them, not with them.

And phrases like ‘thanks for sparing your time' can come across as deferential (‘your time's more important than mine’); not equal.

The other person picks up on this. ...

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