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#992: Your "Be Prepared" Toolkit

Posted By Mark Haas CMC FIMC, Monday, February 23, 2009
What are some of the things a consultant should have with them when giving a presentation? I don't want to carry a suitcase but feel like there are probably some essentials.

Every so often, consultants show up at a meeting, facilitation session or workshop wishing they had an item that could make a big difference. It might be a whiteboard marker (all the ones there were dry), post it notes (it would have made quickly collecting client ideas easier), Ethernet cable (client wireless network went down), flash drive (needed to use client's laptop when yours died), or extra marketing materials (when a prospect asks, it pays to be ready).

There are a few items in your toolkit that can save the day. First is a three pronged electrical adapter (when wall plugs are only two prongs). How would you like not being able to do your presentation because you can't plug in your projector? Second is a digital camera. It is able to record the contents of a white board or capture images of the attendees at a meeting. Finally, a digital voice recorder is often very useful for capturing details of an interview or meeting when taking notes is impractical.

Tip: Think through all the times in a meeting, workshop or presentation where you or someone else either had or didn't have some item, tool or component that made a difference. Make a list of those items and check it before each time you leave the office. It is even possible to have a small box or case packed with the items on your list you can grab on your way out the door or keep in your car.

© 2009 Institute of Management Consultants USA

Tags:  meeting preparation  practice management 

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Rob Kealey says...
Posted Monday, February 23, 2009
It seems that too often one learns the hard way early in their career. I have probably experienced most if not all of the pitfalls enumerated here. I will concur that preparation is the key. Murphy's Law applies with a vengence, and the last thing you want is to look like a fool with a client.
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