Tips, Skills and Tools For Easy Negotiations

Negotiations do vary. But whatever the technique, there is the risk of getting off track. That is why it’s important to arm yourself with the basic skills for negotiation – to prevent communication breakdown.

Learn To Communicate

Being clear on what you want to communicate is the first step in any successful negotiation. Having a strong idea to communicate what you want to say and what the other party wants to know is a good starting point.

Get Your Facts Right

Do your research and collect all the relevant facts. It’s vital that you prepare and rehearse all the details of the negotiations. Such details include issues such as your start date, salary and benefits, and how you will end the meeting.

After establishing these factors, you should strive to figure out what the other party wants in a calm and straightforward manner. You should always make sure that you are listening to the other party – it is a sign of respect, and your opinions will be better appreciated.

You can achieve this by repeating the points that the other party makes and by using positive language and feedback.

Avoid Arguments

While negotiating, you should never forget that it is all about finding a win-win solution. Arguments are the last resort and should be avoided at all costs. If you need to convey that you feel that the other party is wrong, do it in a nice way – this avoids creating bad blood and sending the negotiations south.

Of course, disagreements are bound to arise, as everyone thinks differently. If you have to differ on a certain point, do it in a way that does not demean the person you are negotiating with.

You should always remain emotionally calm, no matter how much you are provoked. You should be prepared to compromise and also try to convince the other party to make compromises. This is best accomplished by being prepared to adjust your expectations in order to meet the needs of the other party. Often it’s good to ask, “Does that sound OK to you?”

Whenever a negotiation involves money, it is wise to let the employer put the figure on the table first. This eliminates the possibility of you quoting a figure that might be either too high or too low.

At the same time, it’s also good to aim high, so that you won’t be exploited. Nothing beats confidence at the negotiating table, and that comes from understanding of what wining the negotiation means to you and your future career prospects.

Flexibility – The Key

You should always remain flexible throughout the negotiations. This is important, just in case the other party decides to change the terms of the deal. Your preparation will help you immensely, as you may need to change your negotiation approach without putting your objectives in jeopardy.

Showing signs of desperation may also prove expensive in some negotiations. It’s better if you indicate that you really want the deal to come through – but not at the price of saying yes to every issue.

How you close the negotiation is important. That means making sure that there are no loose ends left to tie up.

When it comes to your career, negotiation is necessary. Follow the tips above, and you will probably be successful.

My Ideas Model – Create A Dynamic & Structured Presentation In 7 Steps

Listening to a speaker can be very tiring because our minds are distracted quickly due to a low concentration span, attending a presentation is a format we know and this familiarity keeps us less alert and taking in new information can drain our energy. Therefore to know how to grasp and hold the audience’s attention is vital to get your message across. How can you as a speaker make it easier for your audience and yourself?

One tool is by creating a dynamic set-up and a clear structure. This will: help you to stay focused on the message, give your audience a framework to follow your story with ease, support your personal and your audience’s objectives.

Using the ‘MY IDEAS’ model offers an easy to apply tool to develop clear, dynamic and focused presentations. This model covers the following steps:

1. M- Mind the audience;

2. Y- Your goal;

3. I- Inform;

4. D- Demonstrate;

5. E- Exchange;

6. A- Attention;

7. S- Summarise

1. M = Mind the audience. Start with the audience in mind: what are their expectations? Ask yourself:
“What will the audience have learned/observed/experienced after my presentation?” e.g. the use of 5 new tools to find new clients; “Who will benefit from my information?” e.g. international sales people;
“Why is the session important?” e.g. to identify more clients in less time; “Will this be new to them?” e.g. the tools not but the applications are.

Write your speech with the answers to these questions in mind.

2. Y = Your goal. Decide where you want to go, the goal of your presentation, start to ask yourself what you would like to achieve with your presentation: “What is it that I would like my audience to take away from my session?” e.g. knowing that I am an expert in international sales & marketing; “What is my number one central idea or outcome?” e.g My tools save time and money; “What will they have experienced, learned, heard?” e.g. How to use existing tools with my unique application methods; “When do I know that my goal has been achieved?” e.g. on my feedback form the satisfaction can be measured and when I will be referred to other clients or when they will buy my book after the presentation.

3. I = Inform. Throughout the presentation you will inform the audience and you will share details on yourself, your company, products, strategy, research cases etc. Instead of giving a long informative introductions on the sections in your presentation, try to alternate with the following elements.

4. D = Demonstrate. Demonstrating what you described in your informational parts is powerful. It will turn the abstract into something tangible. Show the audience what you speak about by demonstrating the product in the session, by showing the internet sources live on the screen, by hands-on computer study cases if possible, by showing pictures etc.

Demonstration is powerful, engaging the audience is a much stronger tool.

5. E = Exchange. When you speak to an audience, the room is full of knowledgeable people, acknowledge that expertise. Ask the audience questions: “how many of you use tool X?”, “how many of you have been working in sales more than 5 years?”, “Who found an alternative solution to this problem?”. Sometimes you can get this information beforehand, if not, use it to connect with the audience. Ask them to share with one neighbor e.g. what tools they use themselves and to share one problem with that tool. These little ‘exchange moments’ will give you a break as well to drink some water, check your notes, write down some thoughts.

Then you need to draw the audience’s attention back to your presentation.

6. A = Attention. Invite the audience to focus on the next part in your presentation and to share what they learned e.g. “I would like to ask two persons to share your experience what happened during the conversation, what did you learn from each other?”. Giving attention is important to give the audience the feeling they contribute. Thank the persons for sharing, say that these conversations can be continued during the break (networking) and continue by getting the audience to focus on you again by e.g. “Now that I covered my list of tools, let’s talk about my new application method”. You will have them waiting in anticipation with renewed energy.

7. S = Summarise tips. Implement short summaries of your tips and findings throughout your presentation. This will re-enforce your suggestions and ideas and reminds the audience where you are in your presentation. Also include the ideas you received from your audience. At the end mention your number one idea again e.g. “It was my wish to give you sales tools and new application methods. I hope these 5 alternative ideas will save you time finding new clients in the future”.

Alternating between these parts will create a lively presentation. There is no need to strictly follow the MY IDEAS order. Be creative: you can start your presentation by asking a question “Discuss with your neighbor the main bottleneck in your field” (Exchange). And then you continue with “Let’s talk about my tips to resolve these problems” (Inform).

Using the above described ‘MY IDEAS model’ will give you structure and a dynamic set-up for your next presentation. Let me know how you are getting on and if you need any help.

The Number 1 Most Effective Presentation Skill: Rise Above Your Competition and Get Rave Reviews

We’ve all been exposed to a terrible presenter or instructor. The minutes drag by while the presenter seems oblivious to the reactions and needs of the audience. As an educator I know that there are several elements that are essential in creating a successful presentation. One of the most important is pacing. You should strive for a pace that moves quickly enough to maintain interest but allows enough processing time for the audience to comprehend the information. Processing time is the secret that will set your presentation apart from most of your competition.

Let’s use a 50 minute presentation as an example. Unless you’ve been hired as a keynote speaker you never want to spend the entire 50 minutes talking non-stop. Your presentation needs to be broken up into segments. This helps your listeners retain much more information than they would otherwise.

All parts of your presentation are not equal in terms of audience attention and retention. There is a natural ebb and flow to how we listen. We tend to remember best what we hear first, second best what we hear at the end and remember least what comes just past the middle. This is not news. We’ve known this for over 100 years, but like with many things, just because we know the right thing to do that doesn’t mean that we do it!

Talking to a group for 50 minutes or longer is common practice in school and business settings. We know better, yet we continue to do it. There is a better way and one that makes you an in-demand, effective presenter.

When you start preparing your presentation think in terms of dividing it into 3 segments. In a 50 minute presentation there will be two segments of optimal learning and a time when learning is lowest. These are referred to as Prime Time 1, Prime Time 2 and Down-Time.

The first segment is Prime Time 1 when retention is highest. Present new, important information here when your audience is fresh and most receptive. Don’t waste a lot of time talking about the weather, telling jokes or warming up the audience. You do need to create rapport but you can do this within the context of your material. Seminar presenter Fred Gleeck, says he always gives his most important piece of information in the first few minutes of a seminar. After about 12 minutes, retention starts diminishing. At 20 minutes it’s time for something else.

We now move into the second phase: Down-Time. The brain gets full of the new information and the mind starts to wander. Now is the time to have participants put their new knowledge to use. Set up a quick activity that allows participants to process the material in some way- talking to a partner or a small group or journaling. This gives the audience a break from new material, a chance to talk with others and hopefully move around a bit. It also lets your previous information “sink in” so it will be remembered. This activity will last roughly 8-10 minutes.

Now you are ready for Prime Time 2. This is the second best time for learning and retaining material. Use the last several minutes for review and closure.

If you follow this method your audiences will remain interested, retain more information and rave about your effective presentation skills. If you don’t give your audience time to process you will waste their time and your time.