Prepare for Success!

quietInfluenceChapter 5 of “Quiet Influence; The Introvert’s Guide to Making a Difference” by Jennifer Kahnweiler is about the introvert strength of Preparation.  The chapter continues with ways to use your strength of preparation more effectively.

As in the previous blogs, words in italics are my comments.

Effective quiet influencers follow four basic strategies:  gather information and insight, strategize, manage yourself and practice.

Gather Information and Insight

  • Pull together what you know and organize it.  Keep an “idea box” of inspiration.  This always seems like a good idea to me, but I never do it, beyond clipping internet articles using Evernote and letting interesting emails pile up in my inbox, both of which have grown to be unmanageable.  I need a better system.
  • Conduct “due diligence” before meetings.  I am big on this idea.  I always research companies or individuals with whom I’ll be meeting.  I will sometimes drive to the location in advance so that I know I’ll be able to find it easily on the day of the meeting.  I read up on the subject.
  • Do a deep dive.  Before I switched this blog over to one that deals primarily with introverts, I read a dozen books and many, many articles.  If it’s important to you, do your homework ahead of time.


  • Interview yourself.  What do you want to accomplish?  What are the likely questions going to be?  Conduct a question and answer session with yourself.
  • Draft a strategic plan.  This section had some good advice for me.  I already plan out what I want to say, have my bullet points in my head, and know what my opening remarks will be, but Kahnweiler also advocates having your closing remarks ready.  I like that idea. 
  • Think of alternative scenarios.  I do this to a small extent, but I’m not a big fan of it.  I prefer to be well prepared and improvise.

Manage Yourself

  • Pause.  Breathe.  Take things slowly.  Give yourself time to think about resistance rather than responding quickly (and badly).  This is a hard one to remember to do, but it might be the most important tip of the book.
  • Positive Self-Talk.  Ask yourself what you would do if you weren’t afraid.  Turn negative internal talk around by rephrasing it in a positive way.
  • Ask for help.  Know your limits and ask others for help. I have learned to do this and it has given me a big advantage.  Most people appreciate someone who will ask questions, or ask for help.  You can use it to gain friends and respect.


  • Learn Your Lines.  I always rehearse my lines, sometimes just out loud in my head, sometimes out loud for real.
  • Find your voice.  This means to learn to use your voice as an instrument, and to me it is priceless advice.  Learn to vary your pitch and intonation, cadence and volume of your voice.
  • Create two versions of every script.  The advice here is to create both a long and short version of your presentation.  You don’t always get the time you need to present something as you would like, but if you’re prepared to give a three minute version, you’ll be able to respond to schedule changes.

Next blog:  Chapter 5 – Overuse of Preparation

Previous blogs:

1. Quiet Influence for Introverts

2. What Shapes Introverts

3.  Six Strengths of Quiet Influencers

4.  Introvert Strength – Taking Quiet Time

5.  Making More Time For Quiet Time

6.  Strength of Preparation

 Hi.  I’m Chris.  I’m an introvert.  All of my postings tend to reflect my introvert world in some way or another.  Join me and like minded introverts for a special slant on the world.

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