Abe said “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I’ll spend the first four sharpening the ax.” Abe knew that if you were going to do any job right, your most important tool was preparation. I teach effective speaking, communication skills, and vocal skills. The most important thing I tell my students is to be prepared for that next communication. Yes, they need the vocal and communication skills I provide, but if they are not prepared to use them correctly, they won’t do a very good job. To extend the ax metaphor, if you attempt to cut wood with a dull ax, not only will it take forever, but you will end up doing a lousy job, and you are more apt to hurt yourself when the ax fails to bite into the wood and bounces off. (Yes, I was a boy scout for many years.)
Don’t be the one who goes into a meeting unprepared and without your “tools” sharp and ready to use. Your conversation or sales pitch will be dull, lousy, and bounce right off your prospective client.