I had a meeting with a potential investor recently, for which I prepared a pitch deck and an extended executive summary.
Prior to my meeting, I went through every slide and every paragraph to make sure our story and our projections were air-tight.
I also had versions of both prepared in Keynote and Pages as well as in Powerpoint and Word. Then I made PDF versions of each, and for the pitch deck, I made versions including every stage of the builds and without. I had copies on my laptop, on a USB drive and in my Gmail.
When I got into the meeting, guess which docs I actually used?
I sat down and simply started talking. I told our story from the heart and I rattled off our pitch, our plans and our trajectory with honesty and confidence. The result? A successful telling of our business, that had my audience interested in investing.
So it seemed all that preparation was a waste, but without it, I wouldn’t have been in a position to tell the story. Sure, at this point (two years in), I can pitch HomeField off the cuff. Likewise, Tom Brady can still throw a football pretty well. But does he still practice? You bet he does. In fact, in the lifetime of an athlete, you’ll generally spend more time practicing than actually playing!
In my life - whether it’s sports or business - the game is always changing and practice is the eternal must. I’m glad I know how to do it and thankful for the people who taught me the importance of practice along the way.