ARE your FINishes SLOPPY?

 In News

‘For those of you who are skiiers, that’s when the slope is levelled off (ie. just before getting on the lift ride up) there’s less challenge.

Most people are very sloppy then . . . they have bad form. The problem is that on the lift ride back up, unconsciously, you’re internalising bad body mechanics‘. (legendary skiier Billy Kidd, conveyed in an interview with Josh Waitzkin quoted in Tools for Titans).

How well do you finish a meeting, a presentation, an interaction, an encounter?

80% of what an audience will remember will be your Open and the Close.

Most people – on balance – are better at opening than closing. As with internalising bad body mechanics when skiing (being sloppy just before getting on the lift ride up) you can be sloppy with your closing.

In my One-on-One work with clients, I’m experimenting with them perfecting their speaking at the closing of our consultation, so they take that ‘perfect performance’ to their next speaking event. 

Here is the piece my clients work on perfecting:


Radiate warmth, acceptance and calm enthusiasm through your face and body.

Sit tall with arms uncrossed on the table.


‘Thank you for your time. (pause for a full one second)

My message is this. (pause for a full one second)

That you sign-off on $2.5 million dollars for the Karl software.

 These are reasons why. (pause for a full one second)

Number one: You’ll remember the system crash and $30 million dollar reputational damage that PQR had three months ago. This software will prevent this from happening to us.

Number two: The software will push $10 million dollars to the bottom line over the next five years – and I can document that.

Number three: The software can be installed with minimal operation downtime.

(pause for a full one second)

to recap

My message is, that you sign-off on $2.5 million dollars for the Karl software.

Do I have your approval?’ (silence).

Own the Conversation

Try this. At the close of your next business day,

  • Have this piece ready to access.
  • Familiarise yourself with it.
  • Picture yourself in front of a very senior, tough audience.
  • Aiming for a top calibre performance, deliver the piece exactly as written, including the pause breaks – with no ‘erms’ etc. fillers.


Another reason for doing this drill and other drills in my work with clients,  is based on the work of Aubrey Daniels. Below is a telling passage from Daniel’s book Bringing out the best in people, under the heading of ‘Train performers to fluency’.

“When you are fluent at more than one thing, you are able to recombine, these fluent repertoires in new and novel ways. Contrary to the popular notion that repetition makes one less creative; under the right circumstances fluency makes creativity possible.
Think of an expert tennis player practising for hours every day to master the standard shots of the game. During a match, however, unexpected situations always arise. It’s at these times that spectators are often amazed at the ‘creativity’ of the tennis star. “How did he do that?” is the frequent reaction of the fan.
How ‘he did that’ one of a kind shot, is a result of the fluency developed in those standard shots through years of practice. Because he doesn’t have to spend time and energy thinking about how to do the standard shots – he is free to combine two or more behavioural repertoires, into one that is novel.”
p.s. for those of you who want to trial my work in a one day format, here are links to my trilogy of workshops conducted for the University of Sydney, Centre for Continuing Education.
The three workshops are:
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