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Anticipate

In advance of placing yourself in the line of fire, compile a list of the most challenging questions you might be asked. Compile only the questions and not the answers. Seek input for your list from as many resources as possible…your colleagues, your customers, your partners, your consultants and, if you can, even your competitors. When politicians prepare for debates, they get stand-ins for their opponents for their practice sessions. The next chapter will cover practice and preparation in greater detail, but for now, be your own stand-in.

You know more about your own business premise than anyone else. Assemble the go-for-the-jugular questions, assume the worst-case scenarios. After your list is compiled, however, look it over carefully. You'll discover that, even if there are 100 tough questions, they all fall into groups of only a handful of red flag issues. You may also be surprised to discover that those red flag issues are the same in almost every industry. In my private practice, Power Presentations, Ltd., I consult for companies in Information Technology, Biotechnology, Manufacturing, Real Estate, Retail, Restaurants, and even in the not-for-profit sector, and they all share the same universal red flag issues.


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