“Could everything be done twice, everything would be done better.” – German proverb

You can’t escape it. If you want to put in a good performance, you must practice — and then you must prepare.

I had practiced my new system for critiquing advertising copy at least a dozen times and felt confident I could run that portion of the program without a glitch.

But the night before I was scheduled to do it, John F., who was leading the program, suggested we go over it “just in case.”

Two hours later, we finished the preparations. As it turned out, my system wasn’t as tight as I had thought. John had good ideas about how to tweak it, as did AW and MS. And TH, too, gave me a very good idea on how to improve it.

Recognizing how much better organized they’d gotten me, I thanked them all for their help and John in particular for goading me into spending the extra time. “These people came a long way to have us teach them,” he said.

“I feel like we owe it to them, if only as a gesture of respect, to come in properly prepared.” It was another humbling moment for yours truly.

The next day, I woke up groggy — but my presentation went very well. My fellow instructors were able to run their workshops without gaps or interruptions, and TH’s idea saved me from an unexpected problem I encountered in mine.

I promised myself that I will always set aside some serious time to prepare for all my important meetings and presentations. I started with my presentation for the AWAI copywriting bootcamp that recently took place in Delray Beach. I cut an extra day out of my schedule to review my own — and those of everyone else involved — so that every student who paid money and took the time to get there felt like he got what he paid for.

Sometimes, it’s not enough just to be good at what you do. Taking some extra time to turn good into really good will reward you in multiples.