Killin' it at Project Kickoffs

You just landed an exciting project with a brand new client. You've labored over the proposal, dreamed about clinching the win, and assembled your dream team. The client kickoff meeting is fast approaching, and your stomach is in knots. Now what? Here are some tips for killing it at your next kickoff meeting:

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Upon Award

Nail the logistics. Make sure you send out that kickoff invitation as soon as possible (and definitely within the timeframe specified in the award!) Ensure that all key personnel are included, book the conference room, reserve the conference line, and verify the room layout and AV capabilities.

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The Week Before

Prepare your materials. All good kickoff presentations must introduce the team, establish reporting procedures (if not already specified in the award), clarify deadlines, and ask questions about any unresolved issues in the award. Ensure that the presentation reflects your understanding of the issues and starts to tease the project approach. Do not simply regurgitate your proposal - get the client excited about what your team has to offer!

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The Night Before

This is one time where just winging it is not going to set you up for success. Make sure you know your slides inside and out. Anticipate tough questions that the client might ask, and practice your answers. At a certain point, you'll want to cut yourself off and do something relaxing before heading to bed early for a good night's sleep.

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The Day of

Eat a hearty breakfast. Bring extra mints, lipstick, a phone charger, and printed directions to the meeting location if it's somewhere unfamiliar (in case your phone dies.) Leave at least 15 minutes early to account for any unforeseen delays.

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15 Minutes Before

Don't forget to visit the restroom! Who knows how long this meeting will last?! Flash yourself a grin and do the Jersey fist pump to confirm that there's no breakfast stuck in your teeth or deodorant stains on your shirt. Triple-check the AV setup and pass out any printed materials. Then, casually slip into your seat and nonchalantly wait for the meeting attendees to arrive. Last step: knock 'em dead with your killer kickoff prezi!