Let's suppose you are going to an event where Priyanka Chopra is going to be attending, and let's stretch this even further. Let's suppose you get a chance to talk to her briefly. What would you say to her?
Now I am using Priyanka Chopra because she is famous, but it could be even someone not famous to whom you are interested in talking. What would you do?
First, I am going to find out more about her from Wikipedia and Google and see if there is any information that would tell me something to go prepared in the event I get to meet her. I don't want to sound like others who are going to meet her.
Most will tell her things like, "Priyanka, I am a big fan of yours," or Priyanka, I love your film X" or "Priyanka, you are my favorite actress," etc. You get the picture. What do you think she is going to say to these people? She will say something like, "Oh, thank you so much. I love you too." All of these fawning statements are conversation enders. They don't do anything that requires a thoughtful response.
I came up with this from my Google search regarding an interview she did with EOnline titled, "2015 Breakout TV Stars: Quantico's Priyanka Chopra and the Young Fan Who Crossed India to See Her."
The part that caught my attention is this question:
"What movie/song/book/TV show can you count on to bring a tear to your eye, no matter what?
There are two: Jerry Maguire and Schindler's List."
You have all you need to extend the conversation then the conventional "Thank You" from her.
So here goes my script:
Me: Hi Priyanka. Enjoy your work. You know we have two favorite movies in common: "Jerry Maguire" and "Schindler's List."
Priyanka: Those are my favorite two movies.
Me: They both have so many great scenes, my favorite one from Jerry Maguire is when he is giving his farewell speech and from Schindler's List is when Oscar Schindler goes to the train station to look for Itzhak Stern. What are your favorite scenes from those two movies?
The one thing I did not want to do was to focus on what she does as an entertainer. I want to give her some insight that will make her want to chat a little. I will not take too much time and catch up with her later if there is another opportunity. The second time will be easier since we have already chatted.
Now is this ever going to happen. Highly unlikely, but it is a good practice since this would work with anyone you want to meet at any event you are attending.
What is my objective?
My objective is to have a good conversation. That is all the expectation I have since I am not ever going to be seeing her again. That's it. I hope to create a moment that I can tell others about. I will take this as a challenge.
My Memorable Moment
I worked at Oracle in the late 90s. I once had an opportunity to ask Larry Ellison, a question in front of thousands of employees. I was prepared, and the question I asked had to do with his competition with Bill Gates. Here is the question I asked:
"Hi, Larry. My name is Jay Oza. As you probably know that Bill Gates once wrote "BALONEY" on a whiteboard. The acronym represented each company he was going to destroy. At this time, the only letter he is missing is "O" signifying Oracle. Are you scared of Bill Gates coming after you and Oracle?"
I did not get fired. He did answer it by saying that he is trying to do the same to Bill, and we both want to win, and we both fear each other.
It is no different than the moment that Tess McGill creates in the movie "Working Girl" in getting to the CEO named Oren Trask at his daughter's wedding. Tess, played by Melanie Griffith, and Jack, played by Harrison Ford, gatecrash Trask's (Philip Bosco) daughter’s wedding. In a brief interaction Tess has with Trask, she quickly pitches her plan. Trask is interested, and a meeting is set up. That manufactured moment helped Tess close the deal. Now I agree this is Hollywood, but, nevertheless, it shows that in real life you have to hustle like Tess. But to succeed, you got to have a mission and be well prepared for the short time you may get. Tess created the moment and won the business.
What should you do to create a memorable moment?
You want to bring up something interesting to talk about. But this means you can only target at most three people you want to have a conversation with for which you are going to go prepared.
1) Plan what you want to say when you meet
2) Go to Google, YouTube, etc. and find something interesting tidbit about the person
3) Pick one thing that you can bring up in a casual conversation
4) Research it
5) Prepare a script but keep it short
6) Rehearse it so it is natural
7) Launch it
Does this take some time? Yes, but not as much as you may think. Moments happen easily in movies. In real life, you have to work at it to create it. If you create the moment, you will be remembered. And you will have a great story to tell others.
We all have to be prepared to create a moment so we can win. The worst that can happen is learn and have a good story to tell others.