You’ve spent months jumping through hoops and leaping over obstacles to land a face-to-face meeting with your company’s CEO, and finally, your persistence has paid off. You have a meeting scheduled for next Friday. Once the excitement has subsided, you realize there’s only one week to prepare for the meeting, which could ultimately change the course of your career. Keep calm, don’t stress, and follow these simple tips for success:
Some professionals judge one another based on their handshakes. A limp “dead fish” handshake may give off a timid, incompetent vibe. A strong handshake, on the other hand, exudes confidence and capability. Practice a firm handshake, but as a general rule, avoid crushing the CEO’s hand.
Another major sign of confidence is portrayed in the way you hold yourself. Stand up straight and push your shoulders back. Refrain from putting your hands in your pocket, crossing your arms, and fidgeting. Finally, keep eye contact and don’t be afraid to look the CEO in the eyes. Failing to make eye contact may seem as though you are nervous, uninterested, or intimidated.
Do Your Research
Before the meeting, do your research on not only the company, but the CEO as well. Check the news, press releases, and keynote presentations. Also, look for any recent changes in the business or industry, which could potentially benefit or harm your position or pitch. The CEO expects you’ve done your homework, but avoid seeming like a stalker, and don’t throw all of your researched material on the table at once.
Create a Game Plan
We sure hope you had something in mind for this big meeting when you went and spent six months trying to arrange it. Clearly the CEO’s time is valuable, and this could potentially be your one and only shot at making an impression or receiving the green light on your innovative idea. Prepare your pitch and cover your bases. Anticipate questions and backlash, and have several different approaches in mind to convince the CEO of your standpoint.