When I was starting out, I had a meeting with a high level exec at ABC. I was trying to impress her by gossiping about another high level exec at a different network. Thought I was doing great until she told me that woman was her best friend. Oy. And that’s just one way to put your foot in your mouth in a meeting.
Avoid these three things (along with gossiping) and you’ll be golden.
1) “Here’s what’s wrong with your project.”
This is especially true in television showrunner meetings (which are essentially job interviews) but apply to all meetings. If someone wants to meet you to work on a project they want to know that you like or better yet, love their baby. Here’s what to say instead: “This is what I liked. This is what I’d like to see more of.”
2) “How much am I going to get paid?”
Leave that to your agent or if you don’t have an agent wait to the end of the meeting and say: “I’d love to work with you, when would you like to discuss compensation?”
3) “I heard about your arrest!”
Don’t be the one to bring up a delicate or awkward situation involving the person you’re meeting with. Instead try the always useful: “Can you believe those Dodgers?”
These are easy to remember if you just think about what you’d like to hear if you were on the other side of the desk. Now go out there and crush it!
All my best, Carole
Director of WGA's Showrunner Training Program, creator & Director of the CBS Diversity Writers Mentoring Program, international speaker and a leading expert on entertainment career strategies, Carole Kirschner teaches creative professionals how to navigate the often mystifying landscape of show business. Her book, Hollywood Game Plan: How to Land a Job in Film, TV and Digital Entertainment is a primer on how to break in and move up in the entertainment industry. Through her popular workshops, Carole teaches writers, producers, directors and executives the real world strategies that will help them not just succeed, but thrive.