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Abe knew a thing or two about axes.

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.

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