It had nothing to do with quality of research, sparkly posters, or articulate communication. The secret to my success was knowing my audience.
Every single presentation, be it on Moldova, Jane Austen’s Elizabeth Bennett, or World Religions, was preceded by the liberal distribution of candy or some form of pastry, which was loosely tied back into the presentation in some way.
Apparently, in business, this is called marketing. When you go to see a prospect, you bring them a gift. Quirky, practical, or just something with your brand slapped on it, gifts make companies more memorable. I have a yellow plastic pail (originally, it was filled with cookies) from a vendor that came to visit our company, and I remember them as friendly, accessible and peanut butter flavored… my impressions may have slightly been influenced by their gift.
Food makes a great thank you gift, as well.
I’ve given and received boxes of thank you chocolate, and for a reasonable price, you get to show your appreciation, make someone’s day, and feed your office, making it less likely that you’ll be the one sent out when zombies attack and your barricades start to crumble and the Poland Springs guy refuses to deliver. Like last Tuesday.
Gift food for no reason is even better. My mom calls these “pesuÃ±ias.” No obligations, no strings attached. M&Ms to cashiers who are having a bad day. A bowl of candy for your co-workers, when you don’t eat candy yourself. (Sacrilege, but this occurs.)
How is all this warm, fuzzy deliciousness relevant to World Domination?
Originally, I had much more modest ambitions: I was going to take over Australia by air-dropping Nutella all over the country, then striking with deadly ninjas while everyone was passed out in chocolate hazelnut bliss.
I still maintain that this might work, if only we could replace those pesky glass jars with plastic. Glass doesn’t air-drop well. We learned this on the trial run, with a small, never-to-be-named island nation, where it’s no longer safe to walk on the beach.