Book Review: Peter Gruber Tell To Win

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Peter Gruber’s Tell To Win became especially relevant for me in two different phases of my career.  I started this book almost two years ago and then picked it back up just a week ago.  Peter is an accomplished film producer.  He produced films with titles like Batman, Tango and Cash and The Deep.  The book is all about effective story telling.

Every story must have a hero and a goal.  Every great story must create emotion and move the audience.  He shares countless stories (real shocker) of pitching movie ideas to investors with and without those critical elements.  He uses the phrase “Tell your story with passion and enthusiasm and allow the audience’s response to come.”   In other words, you cannot control the response, but you can control your own preparation.

Preparation is one of the most under-discussed business school topics.  Preparation is as critical to our growth and success as apple is to apple pie or as a bat is to baseball. The game just cannot be played well without the proper tools.  Peter shares the following critical points regarding preparation and I have included my own suggestions for your consideration:

1.) Preparation includes goal setting, visualizing your ideal outcome before the meeting, documenting and being thoughtful.

2.) Preparation is the talk practice, the walk through and the outline

3.) Preparation is the hard stuff.  (Reading, repetition, the study, the note review and the thought)

As I shared, in my last post, one of my evaluation methods of each and every meeting, seminar or speech I give is to use the Three P’s Model. This model includes the first “P”, which is preparation.  How much time did I prepare and what was the quality of my preparation?  Is there anything else I would have done to improve that process?

How about you? I started this post to tell you about a book and I landed back at preparation.  It must be important!