Archive for: May, 2023

How To Give Your Presentation Real Impact

May 30 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

Whilst much has been written on the subject of giving a professional presentation, there is one simple key to success – ensure that you leave a positive and long-lasting impression in the minds of those you are presenting to. You may be the world’s leading expert on your chosen subject, and feel confident in delivering a slick, engaging and entertaining presentation, but the overall impact will be lost (if not diminished) if you are let down by technical glitches with visual support equipment, or if your chosen location has the ambience of a dual carriageway underpass.

To be successful you have to be dynamic in the quality of the material you deliver as well being professional in the atmosphere you create. Get either wrong and the impact of your presentation may not reflect what you originally desired.

So here are some simple tips:


  • You may be an expert, but that’s no excuse to use jargon.
  • Senior managers and board directors will require clear and concise information, so don’t ramble.


  • Practice makes perfect and allows you to be perceived as confident and knowledgeable.
  • Make eye contact with the audience – but don’t single out just one person.
  • Don’t let interruptions stop your flow – decide from the outset whether you’ll take questions during the presentation or once it has finished.
  • Prepare for tricky questions and how you’ll handle the answers.
  • Ensure your presentation doesn’t run over time.


  • Create a simple theme that communicates clearly with your audience.
  • Use the best quality visual aids available, but don’t overload slides with too much information.
  • If you must use charts and graphs make sure they are clear and easy to read.
  • Remember, the audience isn’t there to read your slides – they are there to listen to you present.
  • Don’t be afraid to inject some humour into the presentation – this will keep them on their toes and make sure they pay attention.


  • Chose your location with great care so that it supports rather than detracts from your presentation.

Whether you are giving a sales pitch, launching a new product or perhaps leading a training session, choosing the right location is key to a successful and persuasive presentation. In recent years many large institutions that conduct staff training sessions or hold regular product, brand or corporate meetings have found that it is beneficial and less distracting to conduct these meetings off site. Traditionally, businesses have outsourced their meeting requirements to hotels which have conferencing facilities; however, there is a growing trend toward purpose built meeting and business facilities.

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How to Identify the Needs of International Audiences at a Presentation

May 29 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

International audiences can be very intimidating. The less you have prior knowledge of them, the more nervous you might become about how to appear and present before them. But some preparation beforehand goes a long way towards acquiring necessary skills and gaining confidence to handle international audiences.

There are three basic steps to making sure that you get your core message across and affect your audience. The old advice “Know your listeners” works better if you split it into two parts, one about the listener’s needs and the second one about the manner in which they process information. This method will help you get beyond cultural stereotypes with its many shortcomings.

  1. Identify your listeners’ needs
  2. Identify the manner of information gathering your listeners are used to
  3. Tailor your message to suit the needs and learning style of your audience

Identify your listeners’ needs

This is very difficult, as your listeners are not going to tell you “this is my need”. It is up to you to discover their needs in relation to your presentation. Unless they are in love or are consumed by morbid hatred, people usually act rationally. So there must be a rational reason for your audience to come to listen to you.

What is the reason for their giving you their time and attention?

You can start discovering that by inquiring before you meet them “What brings these people to listen to me“? Or “How are they connected to my topic“?

The answer usually is somehow connected to the theme of the gathering or that it brings some added value to them.

It is a bit too simple to assume that an audience has a uniform kind of expectation. People in the audience can have as many kinds of expectations and motives for being there as the varieties of their food tastes. Someone is there with a burning desire to learn new ideas. Another person is there because he found this topic to be the least boring among other presentations in the seminar. Yet another person can be there because she wants to be noticed for asking an intelligent question in an international seminar.

You wouldn’t speak to a board of directors in London in the same way as you would to young nurses back at home, would you?

Different audiences have different needs. One audience might need to learn more details about a new product or service or specific details about a project. Another audience might be looking for reassurance from the head office that their branch is not being downgraded or eventually shut down, while the official topic of the presentation maybe “Presentation of Corporate Annual Report”.

The time concepts of the people you are speaking with also play a vital role. A strict timetable may be realistic in a culture that’s exact and oriented towards immediate action. It may be considered pushy to stick to a timetable running strictly to the minute in a culture that’s more consensus-oriented and more relaxed.

Identify the manner of information gathering your listeners are used to

People have different learning styles. There are three basic learning styles or different approaches to learning. They are

1. Learning through seeing or Visual Learning

Visual learners may think in pictures and learn best from visual displays such as diagrams and pictures, illustrated textbooks, overhead transparencies, videos, flipcharts and handouts. These learners prefer sitting at the front of the room to avoid visual obstructions (e.g. other people’s heads).

2. Learning through listening or Auditory Learning

Auditory learners learn best through verbal lectures, discussions, talking things through and listening to what others have to say. Auditory learners try to interpret the underlying meanings of speech through listening to tone of voice, pitch, speed and other nuances. For them, written information achieves meaning only when it is heard.

3. Learning by doing, moving around, touching or Tactile/Kinaesthetic Learning

Tactile/Kinaesthetic persons learn best through a hands-on approach, actively exploring the physical world around them by touching or trying things for themselves. They may find it hard to sit still for long periods and may become distracted by their need for activity and exploration.

Usually people feel comfortable doing things they are used to doing until the point is reached where they get bored and desire change. So if a person is used to gathering information by reading and underlining text with color markers, she might not feel comfortable listening to a lecture with no handouts or possibilities for note taking. In some cultures like Finland or Japan interrupting a speaker is considered a breach of etiquette and all questions or comments usually are left till the end. In other cultures like Britain or USA presentations are usually interactive with lots of audience input in the form of short comments, jokes, questions or applause.

How interactive a presentation is, depends much on the culture.

Typically English speaking cultures like presentations to be lively and interactive. Paradoxically there are similarities among Far Eastern, Slavic and protestant cultures like Germany and Finland. Presentations there are formal and with few interruptions. Questions are answered either when the presentation ends or quickly as they arise. In Japan it is common to show concentration and attentiveness in public by closing the eyes and nodding the head up and down slightly. You might feel you are putting your audience to sleep in Japan, but don’t worry. Then again, don’t forget to check that you really are not boring them to sleep.

Many Europeans, particularly Scandinavians and Germans prefer to receive information in detail, with lots of supporting documentation. They want their presenters to be systematic and build to a clear point in their presentation. The Japanese business audiences, where senior managers are more likely to hold technical or management degrees are very similar. American and Canadian audiences, on the other hand, like a faster pace. The Latin and many Asian cultures prefer presentations with emotional appeal.

Tailor your message to suit audience needs and their method of information processing

This is where presentation skills matter the most. If your presentation, offering or message caters to the needs of the audience, they would feel energized, eager and responsive. In the best of cases they wouldn’t want to leave. If you know that your facts are shocking or revolutionary, you have to prepare your audience to digest these by guiding them to expect what you are about to give them. By giving examples and connecting your subject matter to their work or everyday life, you have to highlight the relevance for them.

Now how do you go about discovering the learning styles of your listeners? You just can’t ask them or put them through tests. Well, who says you can’t! Try asking your audience – they’ll be flattered.

At the beginning of your presentation, take a few seconds to establish contact with your audience and watch them. See how they behave as you go on.

  • Are they with you and paying attention?
  • Are they taking notes?
  • Are they gossiping with their neighbour?
  • Are they looking at the diagram you are showing or listening to you first?

People who start taking notes right away can actually have three different learning styles and it’s very difficult to know which is their strongest one. People who are gossiping with their neighbour can do for two reasons, either to discuss to topic or because they are not interested at all. So it’s almost impossible that you’ll have an audience with only one kind of learning style.

Your presentation should cater to all three styles of information processing. Use graphics and diagrams along with oral presentations and if possible use methods like rhetorical questions or asking audience members guiding questions to place the topic in their midst. This way you try to appeal to different senses and different methods of gathering information and make the chances to getting the right message across and leaving a powerful impression higher.

Good luck!

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Presentations – Overcoming Nervousness

May 28 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

We have all had moments in life when we have had to deal with public speaking, whether this is an academic presentation or something larger, i.e. teaching a classroom full of people.

A lot of people have been known to suffer from nervousness when dealing with such situations. There are a number of ways to overcome this, which are different for each individual.

The main points to follow for a great presentation are as follows:

  • Be well prepared
  • Do a dry run of your presentation before doing it for real
  • Time your presentation if there is a set time limit involved.
  • Talk around the slides rather than reading from them (add additional information)
  • Try to act confidently even if you are extremely nervous in reality
  • Don’t place too much pressure on yourself when speaking

Being well prepared for a presentation means ensuring that you practice at least once, whether this is on your own or in front of a few people.

Timing your presentation is vital because almost all presentations have a set time limit involved in them. Doing a dry run before hand will help you to gauge the amount of time your presentation currently is, and should give you a good idea of any changes that are needed before the presentation is done for real.

It is also extremely important to give additional information to your audience when giving a presentation. It is not a good idea to simply read from the slides themselves, because the audience can do this themselves.

The point of a verbal presentation is to use the content of the slides as a platform and expand on what they are saying.

For example, if the presentation was about life in the early 20th century, and one of the points on a slide read “The Titanic sank in 1912″, then you would expand on this by explaining to your audience the circumstances surrounding this event, for example, where it departed from, how many people were on board, what was the experience like for the passengers etc.

The most important thing to remember when doing such a presentation is to act confidently, even if you are extremely nervous yourself.

This is vital because acting confident will make your audience listen and trust your presentation more, and this will have the effect of making you more confident when your audience have positive comments to make about your presentation.

Finally, the key to succeeding with presentations, as with any sort of public speaking, is to remember not to put too much pressure on yourself and remember that failure is not the end of the world. If you remember this, and follow the advice given above, you should have no problem in giving a great presentation to your audience.

Article by John Courtenay

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How to Design Engaging Presentations

May 27 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

The lights are dimmed. The auditorium is full. The big screen is filled with bright colors. Then here it comes, the never-ending list of bullet points, which the presenter is reading to you one-by-one. And you? Your eyes are feeling heavy. Your head is dropping slowly, but then jolts up like a yo-yo! Oh, the guilt and shame we feel for falling asleep on what could have been an awesome presentation. We’ve all been there. Once you see the first array of bullets hit the screen, you sink into your seat and brace yourself for a brain-numbing ride. Or maybe this is sounding too familiar. Maybe YOU were the presenter! Queue the dark organ music!

But that doesn’t have to be you! Last year, a good friend recommended a book called “Presentation Zen: Simple Ideas on Presentation Design and Delivery” by Garr Reynolds. It’s an easy read and it absolutely revolutionized the way I think about presentations, and subsequently design presentations. An engaging presentation is truly an art that requires the right mix of slides with the right presenter. Here are six tips on presentation design that I learned from the book and have put into practice. If you think these tips are helpful, I encourage you to buy the book. It will go deeper into delivery techniques and in-depth design strategies complete with before and after slides. You can get it on Amazon for about $20.

Tip 1: One point, one slide    
A single slide shouldn’t carry the weight of the world. You should be able to make your point in about 6 words and perhaps a strong visual. If the visual is strong enough, there is no need for words. And to prevent the scenario in paragraph one of this how-to, don’t write your narrative on the screen…that’s what you are for. Remember that people can’t read and listen at the same time so don’t create an environment that challenges them to do so. If you do need to have more text on a slide, use the 1-7-7 Rule:

  • Have only one main idea per slide.
  • Insert only seven lines of text maximum.
  • Use only seven words per line maximum.

Tip 2: Create a handout
Now that you are down to one point per slide, you are probably wondering how your audience is going to know all there is to know about your topic. Enter the handout. This handout will not be a 3-up or 6-up handout that is generated in PowerPoint. It is a narrative document that contains all of the key facts and figures that you discuss during your presentation. This will allow your audience to pay attention to you and not scramble to take notes that they probably won’t be able to read once they get back to their office.

Tip 3: Go big on imagery
Don’t be afraid to flood the entire page with a single image. It provides depth and visual interest. This will also force you to stick to one point per slide. And each slide doesn’t need to have the same header and footer on every page during a live presentation. This is a presentation after all, not a document. For those of you who are guilty of using PowerPoint Presentations as corporate documents, maybe the next how-to I write will be on designing electronic business documents. Hint: If you’re slide presentation has a lot of content that requires multiple paragraphs and several bullet points, you should probably use a word processor. This’ll ensure that your reader will understand the content, without the presenter being present.

Tip 4: Simplicity is king
The great Leonardo da Vinci said: “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” Think of creative ways to display your charts to help clarify the point, but keep it simple. You don’t need background image fills with a 3-D pie chart fading into the horizon line. A simple flat pie chart can often do the trick. And don’t be afraid of “white space.” Just because you have a lot of space on your slide doesn’t mean that it all has to be used.

Tip 5: You are the main attraction
The center of attention should be the presenter. Be humorous and entertaining. The slides are meant to support what you are saying, and not the other way around. You are the star of the show! You know that you have a powerful and engaging presentation if you can hold your audiences’ attention without slides. If not, you may want to re-plan your presentation. Which leads me to the last tip.

Tip 6: Plan your presentation
People like stories and have learned from parables for centuries. People need to understand facts and figures in context of the larger story. Take some time to plan and prepare your story. Consider using a storyboard to help you lay out the visual idea and key message. I’ve created a simple storyboard for you to print out and write on.

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Effective Presentation Skills – The First Ten Questions

May 27 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

Being asked to give a public presentation can be both gratifying and frightening. The gratification is natural since we can assume our innate talents have been noted, our expertise acknowledged and our humility respected! How rare is that? The feeling of fright is also entirely natural — caused mainly by the uncertainty and the unknown. But a fear of public speaking can be overcome. Indeed it is typically tackled by solid preparation and planning which are the essential attributes for effective presentations.

But putting aside these natural human emotions, gratification and fear, there is an immediate set of priorities that must be started. You should not accept the invitation to give a presentation immediately. Now this might seem an unrealistic expectation when faced with the fiery South West Regional VP for Distribution but if it’s the conference planner from the Distribution Association then you are undoubtedly on firmer ground. They will understand. And if it is the fiery VP it’s worthwhile to emphasise the professionalism with which you approach presentations at this stage.

Our move to not accept a presentation engagement immediately is not a result of coyness. No, we have to find out more. And finding out more at this stage is very important in the context of our later presentation planning and preparation. Before we accept an invitation to make a presentation we need answers to these questions:

  1. Who wants you to speak and which organisation do they represent? There is every chance that the person asking you to present is known to you. But equally they might have contacted you through a third party or via a contact in your LinkedIn network for example. In that case it makes sense to put the contact into context and establish who they work for, whether they are independent or who they represent.
  2. What are their contact details? Even if you know the person who invites you to make a presentation it’s a good idea to confirm the best contact details. Check whether their cell has changed or whether email is preferred. And if the presentation organiser is not known to you then it is absolutely essential that you establish contact arrangements — which are, of course, reciprocal.
  3. What is the planned event? It’s vital to establish what event is being planned. Is it a sales conference or an annual Association meeting? Is it a meeting of technical partners or a product launch? Knowing some simple details of the event allows us to prepare our planning. For example, if we are asked to speak at an Association’s annual meeting we should establish the Association by name and its primary function. It could be a Trade Association or a charity. Knowing these details allows us to picture our potential audience and our likely participation.
  4. When and where is the planned event? Distance is not dead. Knowing when and where the event is due to occur must be identified right away. If the event is local that might make it easier to participate. Alternatively if the event involves significant travel it might be possible to combine your participation with some other activity. Some knowledge of when the event is planned for will also provide some clues. If the event is next week then you can be assured that more than one speaker has dropped out and you are being asked out of necessity. It does happen, unfortunately. Typically presentation planners work to timescales of several months when planning key events.
  5. How many speakers will be involved? It’s a rarity for any speaker to be the sole presenter on the podium. In most instances you will share the platform with several speakers with a budgeted time allowance of some 45 minutes. Perhaps longer. Knowing how many speakers are involved gives you an indication of the event’s importance, its profile within its industry and its potential attendance. And as a tip, once we have established how many speakers are involved we have the means to explore their details in more detail at a later time.
  6. What is the theme of the event? It’s not unusual for event planners to use a theme with which to identify their event. Using a theme such as, Being Best, allows a range of speakers to explore all the essential attributes of customer care, quality management, production quality or people management. It provides a framework for each speaker and importantly, allows each speaker to interact sub-consciously with the rest of the platform. Knowing the theme at this stage is essential for your preparation. And if there is no clear theme you should aim to get this on the presentation planner’s agenda later.
  7. What sort of presentation is expected from me? This might be a purely mechanical question, but it has to be asked. For instance there might be an expectation that you will make a presentation and then answer questions later. Or, you might be expected to sit on a speaker panel, make a presentation in turn and then have questions asked collectively of the panel later. Different formats require different preparation and you should understand the event requirements early on.
  8. Why am I being asked to present? We should take care with this question. If the event is planned for next week you might already suspect the answer! But there is a serious point to be made. If you are being asked to present because you are a respected expert in your field then it’s very likely that your presentation subject is going to be crafted along the same lines. Alternatively, if you are asked to present because of your work in a particular organisation then it’s natural to consider citing relevant organisation case studies and references when you move on with presentation planning.
  9. What visual elements can be supported and will the event be broadcast? We take it for granted that every event supports multimedia content. But if we are asked to speak before or after lunch then the visual dimension of our talk will be very different to a standard podium presentation. This point must be picked up later with the event planner. It’s not unusual for the media to be involved with larger scale events. Knowledge about media involvement at this stage is important since a late surprise might prove a problem. If the media is to be involved then you should ensure that your marketing or PR team is aware of their involvement which could be mutually productive.
  10. Can I call you back to confirm? This is not as hard as it sounds. You will need to check your schedule. Or you might need to check with your partner. Alternatively you might want to see whether anything else in the schedule is moveable to accommodate this event. On the basis of the answers that you have already received this invitation might be a case of…”drop everything and attend,” or an instance of…”try to squeeze it in if possible.” Once you have agreed a timeline in which to call back the planner you must call them back. It’s both polite and politic. You will need their active support and involvement later.

So we have ten easy questions to ask before we agree to give that presentation. In essence they are the first steps needed for effective presentations. By asking them we acquire much of the useful information that will subsequently guide our presentation planning process. And by planning effectively we ensure that we present effectively without the collateral fear of public speaking. Now, should we accept that invitation or not?

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Avoid Credit Card Debt Repayment – Strategies For Negotiation With Your Lender

May 23 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

People try to avoid credit card debt repayment by using liability settlement as a liability relief method. Most of these people end up getting a small discount which does not help in repayment of loan. The current economic situations are such that a huge discount is necessary in order to get repay the loan amount. People do not have enough money to serve their families and take care of the welfare of their families so in such times it almost becomes impossible to repay a huge loan amount even if it is discounted by a small percentage. To get a higher discount it is very important that the negotiation tactics employed are highly professional. So avoid credit card debt repayment by employing professional negotiation skills.

Negotiation is the heart and soul of liability settlement because during liability settlement a debtor negotiates with the creditor for a huge discount. If his negotiation skills are persuasive and equal to the negotiation skills of an attorney then he can not only get a huge discount he can even get relaxation in the reimbursement time frame and interest rate charged on the reimbursement of the loan amount. Once he debtor has decided to go for liability settlement he should remain determined and he should not get afraid by the recovery tactics employed by the creditor. He should straight away go to the creditor threatening him to file for insolvency if he does not stop his tactics. This will put the creditor on the back foot and he would stop his activities at the very moment and he him self will offer the debtor to settle the liability amount.

If the debtor thinks that he does not have the appropriate negotiation skills then he should consider hiring a liability negotiation firm. This firm employs the best professional negotiators and attorneys who work on different cases and get help for different creditors. They use their highly used negotiation skills to get the best deal. Their skills are unmatched to the negotiation skills of a debtor. They have been in this industry for quite some time which has provided them with the tactics required. They have learned certain tactics and certain flaws in the financial sector laws which they use to manipulate the creditor. Due to all these reasons; a creditor will always be ready to provide the debtor with a huge discount.

Keep in mind that creditors are professionals who have entered the industry after taking too much knowledge and have a lot of experience so you require experience to fight against experience.

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Negotiating – Advantage Women?

May 22 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

And it’s time for women to take advantage of this new model of negotiating — one that honors compromising and consensus-building over arguing and making demands.

The new negotiating style is no longer black or white, but creative and flexible. It is win-win versus win at all costs.

A perfect example of a master at the new win-win negotiating is Susan Pravda, managing partner of the Boston office of Foley & Lardner and a graduate of Harvard Law School.

Pravda strongly believes that women have an edge over men at the negotiating table. “We can be more accessible as people, instantly. We usually have a greater ability to befriend the other side and quite frankly, I think most people enjoy the difference. They get a kick out of the fact that it’s not business-as-usual.”

However, Pravda also believes that women only have an advantage if they use it correctly. “You have to ask yourself, ‘Is there something about my status that allows me to use it to my benefit? If you have a great command of French, and you can converse in French, that can be a terrific asset. My advantage is that, like most women, I schmooze pretty well. So it’s easier for me to break the ice and build a better rapport with people. Also, I’ve found that a lot of men actually find it easier to talk to women. And if I can take advantage of that, you better believe I do!”

Pravda thinks there are three major strengths she brings to the negotiating table. “First, I tend to be very creative and that is key to solving problems that come up. Second, I’m tough, but in a different way than what is characteristically considered ‘male toughness.’ I’m tough in that I take tough positions and try to represent my clients to the fullest extent of my abilities.

“But I’m not tough personally at the table. I don’t yell. I don’t slam my fists on the table. That just doesn’t work for me. And the one thing I’ve learned about negotiating is that you have to stick to a style that works for you.”

The third skill Pravda bring to a negotiation, and which she believes is critical to success, is the ability to listen. “I’ve learned both from personal experience and from training a lot of young associates when to stop talking and when to start listening.”

Negotiating checklist

The following suggestions can help any woman be more successful when negotiating, regardless of who is on the other side of the table.

– Do your homework

– Know what you want to accomplish

– Take your time getting what you want

– Determine the other person’s negotiating style, and adapt accordingly

– When you concede on a point, make a big deal out of it (even if it’s not)

– Check your emotions at the door

– Plan to be tested.

– Don’t be afraid of silence — it’s a powerful tool

– When negotiations get stuck and nobody will budge, initiate a review of how far you’ve come

– Close on a high note

In other words, women can benefit when they appear to approach negotiations in entirely different ways than men do. But it is precisely these differences that often give female negotiators an edge.

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Negotiation Or an Argument in Disguise?

May 21 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

When conflict or confrontations occur in the workplace the solution is often sought through negotiation. Negotiation, it is thought, is a simple way to diffuse such difficulties and is easy to engage in. Unfortunately, because many people do not understand the underlying principles of negotiation, what actually happens is that the conflicting parities end up in ever increasing acrimonious arguments, rather than productive outcomes.

To constructively engage in negotiation means that both parties are willing to explore the issues and, by working together, come to a mutual agreement which is acceptable to both. But to do this requires that both sides understand the options and the consequences of the various choices.

If it appears that negotiation is going nowhere, the question that should be asked by both parties is “Are we engaged in negotiation, or merely argument?”

The difference between argument and negotiation is the willingness to resolve the issue. Arguments are putting our own opinion and there is often no willingness to listen to another point of view or even concede the value in their opinions. There is no willingness to concede on anything.

On the other hand, to negotiate means to listen to the other side of the conflict, to understand the basis from which they operate and to be willing to take action that will lead to resolving the issue.

When was the last time that you were involved in an argument? What was the outcome? Did you continue to forcefully put your point of view without any wish to listen to the other side? You may have the authority or power to force your point of view, and if so, you may have walked away with a win/lose result. But I bet the atmosphere was icy for some time. And if you were engaged in an argument where the other person forced this outcome, then remember how you felt, it is not pleasant to recall.

The problem with this outcome is that no-one likes to be a loser, and if you force your own preferred outcome so that you get everything you want, you will force the other party to be a loser. They are unlikely to forget the humiliation; and will inevitably carry resentment long term. Should they then get the upper hand, then watch out. This is not a long term solution and has no place in negotiations.

Unfortunately, another outcome of a bitter dispute is where neither party wins, when neither of them will shift their position nor be willing to look at other solutions that may help resolve the point at issue. If this continues then it’s almost all out war and no one wins anything, in fact it is the classic lose/lose situation and no-one is happy. Again, the willingness to work to resolve the issue is missing and the outcome can be devastating and have much wider implications.

So what about the ‘workable compromise’ ? Here, surely everyone wins? The trouble is that compromise is built on loss, both side of the problem have to loose something to achieve a compromise. And, no matter how the situation is resolved there may be a sense that they were forced into giving up something they did not want to. Compromise looks good on the surface, but resentment can be simmering underneath and when it breaks out it the person will be even more determined to force a win/lose result in their favour.

For instance the original point of contention may be that the employees want a $10 per day rise in wages. The employer offers $2 and they compromise on $6 per day. In this case although a compromise has been reached neither side is really happy. The employees feel that they were forced to accept less than they wanted, while the employer feels forced to give more than they think they can afford. Compromise? Yes, but at what cost.

The above results are often the outcome where argument is used rather than negotiation. Argument attacks the person, the individuals, or the organisation. Those who are acclaimed as “strong negotiators” are more often than not, determined arguers.

The real win/win result comes from a willingness to attack the problem rather than the opposition, and this requires collaboration to reach a consensus. Negotiation means a working together to create an outcome which is acceptable to all and sometimes this means looking at other options to resolve the dispute.

In the example above, if the parties worked together to achieve a collaborated outcome, the negotiated outcome could be that there would be no pay rise, but maybe a radical change of hours, increased bonuses and superannuation entitlements.

A successful negotiation is where both sides accept the result as a good deal for their party. An unwillingness to develop other solutions is not part of negotiations. And that of course is where arguments fail. Arguments mean that I have only one preferred solution: you accept my point of view and concede to my requests; and if you don’t there will be unpleasant consequences.

The skill in negotiation comes from positive communication that focuses on the problem, which is an outcome of cooperation; while argument opens up both parties to confrontation and unresolved conflict. While we will probably never be able to avoid conflicts or confrontation, if we learn the principles of negotiation we have a much better chance of reaching a cooperative outcome and positive results for both sides.

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“Shoulder Shrugs Can Expose Scary Secrets In A Negotiation” – Negotiation Tip of the Week

May 20 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

Have you heard the cliché, “what you don’t know can’t hurt you”? If you have, do you subscribe to it? If you do, you shouldn’t. Because, a lack of knowledge can expose you to scary secrets in a negotiation - secrets that can bite you at the most unsuspecting points in the negotiation. But, there’s one way you can protect yourself. How – by accurately interpreting the meaning of shoulder shrugs when you negotiate.

Shoulder shrugs convey secret information. They expose hidden thoughts of the person that’s attempting to hide those thoughts.

Observe the following shoulder shrug examples. You’ll obtain hidden information that those shrugs attempt to conceal.

When a person displays a shoulder shrug, it can represent a multitude of hidden meanings. It can be a sign of reluctance (i.e. what more do you expect of me) – a sign of protection (i.e. I’m not going to stick my neck out) – it can also be a sign of exasperation (i.e. I’m getting tired of this). Regardless of the hidden meaning, it gives additional insight into the thoughts of that person.

Single Shrug: A single shrug can denote a lack of full commitment in response to a question or statement made.

Leaning Preference

  • When displaying a single shoulder shrug, a person will tend to favor their dominant side. This is important to note – because it adds additional meaning to the shrug. As an example, if someone that’s right-handed shrugs their left shoulder, he may be displaying less of a commitment to the response that caused the gesture. As with everything related to reading body language, you must establish someone’s body language foundation before you can accurately assess the validity of their actions.

Double Shrug: A double shrug (both shoulders elevated) can connote more commitment to a reply or statement. As an example, if one elevated both shoulders while stating, “I didn’t do it”, she’d be displaying more commitment to the statement then if she displayed a single shrug – note: to discern the probability of the truth you should still probe deeper. The act of the shrug is that person’s commitment to her pronouncement at that moment – it can change with further probing.

Leaning Preference

  • When someone performs a double shrug, that person’s hands provide additional insights. As an example, if an offer is made consisting of two items and the recipient says, “I don’t care”, while shrugging with one hand higher than the other, he’s nonverbally expressing a preference for one of the items – the preference lies in the order the items were offered or their proximity to the hand that’s higher.

Additional Shrug Meanings:

Hands: The movement of someone’s hands lends insights into their thoughts. To gather additional awareness per the meaning of a shrug, take note of…

  • hands close to the body – indicates they’re guarded
  • hands palms-up – signals they have less to conceal
  • hands palms-down – they’re less accepting
  • hands palms-up-and-out – says, keep away from me

Head Tuck: To observe how threatened someone might feel when they shrug, note the degree they protect their head when…

  • head extends forward – says, I’ll challenge you
  • head to one side – denotes preference
  • head straight up – states, I’m willing to expose more of myself
  • head tucked – says, I’m making myself less of a target

Of course, the additional shrug meanings can conceal someone’s real intent. That’s because good negotiators can affect this maneuver to add perceived emotional credibility to their effect.

Shrug Time:

Always note the length of time a shrug lasts and the number of times they occur. The length and number of times will indicate a person’s ever-changing degree of angst or determination to get you to back off. In all cases, they’ll be signaling information that you can use to enhance the negotiation.

Action Item:

Start noticing when, under what circumstances, and how frequently people shrug their shoulders. Doing that will increase your attentiveness and skills about this behavior. That will allow you to become a better negotiator… and everything will be right with the world.

Remember, you’re always negotiating!

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How To Prevent From Being Slaughtered When You Negotiate – Negotiation Tip of the Week

May 19 2023 Published by admin under Uncategorized

“What the heck happened in there? They slaughtered us! They out-negotiated us at every turn! Why did we not see that coming?” “I guess we didn’t plan for that type of negotiation with that type of negotiator”, was the reply.

People engage in negotiations because they seek to maximize an outcome. In that quest, some people lose their focus. They use the same negotiation strategies they’ve used in the past and wonder why they get slaughtered when those strategies are no longer effective. To prevent that from happening to you, note the following.


Environment: Know what the best environment is to conduct your negotiation in. That environment may encompass doing so in writing, or phone, versus in person. There are different dynamics that come into play when negotiating in different environments. Know the environment that will most benefit your style of negotiating compared to the negotiation style of the opposing negotiator.

Perception: Everyone has an image of who the person is that they’re negotiating with. That persona is based in part on what the perceiver knows about the other negotiator; that stems from what the perceiver has seen, heard, and thought of that person in the past.

Project the persona warranted for the negotiation. Take into consideration the negotiation style of the opposing negotiator in your calculation (i.e. hard (I’ll crush you), soft (I’ll go along to get along)). The perception you cast and how you perceive the other negotiator will determine the flow of the negotiation. To prevent being caught off guard, about your perception of the other negotiator and him of you, be adaptable as to the persona you project.


Entity: Know who you’re really dealing with (i.e. what force and sources motivates the other negotiator). Consider how he interprets information and how best to message that information related to the messenger (i.e. your persona). Your message may be received more favorably with one persona based on how that persona is perceived.

Leverage: When assembling strategies, assess how you’ll employ the powers of leverage. Leverage is a tool that can embolden you with positional power (i.e. power you have for a specified time), which can improve your negotiation position. Be cautious of how you use leverage. If you state you’ll engage in an action and don’t follow through, not only will you lose the ability to invoke leverage further in the negotiation, you also run the risk of losing credibility.

End Game:

What’s your end game and how will you know when you’ve entered it? You should develop the answers to those questions during the planning phase of your negotiation. The plan should encompass what might trigger the end game phase of the negotiation, how you might promote it to occur if it’s lagging, and what you might do to terminate the negotiation if you discern that your efforts will not get you there.

By having markers denoting possible exit points from a negotiation, you lessen the possibility of staying engaged longer than what’s necessary; staying engaged longer increases your vulnerability by making unnecessary concessions.

Once you arm yourself with the thoughts mentioned above, you’ll insulate yourself from the brutality that could otherwise occur. That insulation will also be a shield that prevents you from being slaughtered in your negotiations… and everything will be right with the world.

Remember, you’re always negotiating!

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