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Recently, I sat down with a legendary technology leader in Silicon Valley and sought his advice on the best ways for preparing for meetings with the C-Suite and Board of Directors.

Specifically, I asked him to describe how CIOs and other technology leaders can make the most of their meetings with senior executives. His answer was a wonderful blend of insight and practicality. Basically, he advises CIO to show, rather than tell. A picture might be worth a thousand words, but a working prototype is worth even more!

In today's world of agile development and rapid prototyping, it's easier than ever before to create a working version of the idea or concept you're trying to explain in a meeting. "You can build that first embodiment of the product or the app," he said. "Before even walking in the door, you can build the first version. Then instead of talking, you're showing."

Nowadays, more senior executives and board members are familiar with the principles of agile development. That means you can bring an MVP (minimum viable product) version of your idea to the meeting. "Then you can walk into the meeting and say, 'Look, here's what we did using what we have today, and here's what we can do if we combine our present-day capabilities with what we'll have in the future.' That's a very powerful statement," he said.

He also recommends that CIOs network regularly to keep up with the competition. "If you're the CIO at State Farm, you want to know what they're doing over at GEICO. If you're at FedEx, you want to know what they're doing at Amazon. Then you're walking in with a prototype and with competitive intelligence. That's a powerful combination."