Negotiate With Confidence

The key to negotiating is letting people talk themselves, not talking people into it. Have you ever been on holidays to the tourist spots in Spain? Any shops you walk into you find yourself negotiating with the sales assistant straight away. Sales training facilitators will point out that we have all negotiated at some point in our time whether it is with the children to go bed or with the bar man to give you an extra shot.

Many of us find it difficult to confront a negotiation as we are people pleasers. Yet this does not mean that we can not carry through the negotiation with confidence as we possess the tools and tactics that are used on sales training courses to get us to achieving our goals. Some of the tactics used can include;

1. The wince. “AAAHHH, what in the world?!” this overreaction is carried out when your counterpart gets to their point and states their position. Sales training courses will tell you that if you are not prepared for this you will give in.
2. Silence is golden. Use silence if you do not like what they say or if you are waiting for a response. You need to ride out the uncomfortable silence to accomplish your objectives. The chances are that the counterpart will feel compelled to give in.
3. Trial balloons. These are questions that sales trainers will advise that you use to test the waters.
4. The Red Herring. When someone weasels their way out of the principle point on to a smaller matter. They then get tough on the smaller less important matter. This leads you to feel bound into negotiating down even further.

Sales training courses will tell you that half of your work is actually in trying to define the problem. For this reason throughout a negotiation it is necessary for all participants to discuss their problems and what they are expecting to achieve.

Is being on guard a good tactic to use while negotiating? A sales training course will explain to you that it is not. People that loosen their guard are more approachable and therefore more likely to achieve their goals as they look for the similarities they have with the component.

Through sales training courses you can gain great knowledge and experience from others mistakes and contributions. There are hush-hush tips however that can guide you into not making the same mistakes. These mistakes may include;

o Telling your self it is the end of the world if the deal does not follow through. Put simply it is not.
o Believing your counterpart has all the negotiating power. Keep in mind that we are all equal. If you want the truth and a fair outcome go in to the negotiation with a clean slate and no prejudgements.
o They fail to see that there is more than just one option.
o An approach that it is me against my opponent.
o Accept all positions as final. This is not fact take markets for example, they say final yet if you continue persuasively the majority will lower their price again

Sales skill trainers will always stress to remember that when negotiating you are trying to help each other out rather than working against each other.

Job Applications – The Content of Your Presentation

The content of your presentation will be based on a simple formula, one I’m sure you’ve come across in many contexts. The basic format is simple and is always the same:

Tell them what you’re going to tell them

Make your points

Tell them what you’ve just told them

In other words, an introduction which gives an overview of the presentation, followed by a short talk based on the points listed in the overview and to finish, a summary of the points you have just covered.

How you present the material will depend on the audio visual aids available and which you feel most comfortable with. Let’s say you choose Overhead Transparencies (OHTs).

Your overview will be an OHT with a list of topics to be covered.
Then you will have one or two OHTs to illustrate each point.
You can use the first OHT again to summarise, or if you feel it is more appropriate, a new one which sums up the conclusions you have come to in the talk.

Some Tips for using OHTs

Make sure you use the right sort of OHT – there are different OHTs for use with laser and inkjet printers and so be sure to get the type which matches the printer you’ll be using. Otherwise the result could be smudged or blurred.

Font size – don’t use anything under 24 points as this will be difficult to read.

Don’t put too much information on each OHT. About 6 well spaced out lines of text is enough.

Check the Overhead Projector before you begin and make sure you know how it works.

Use a pen or pencil and point to the actual OHT and not the screen onto which it has been projected.

Leave each transparency up long enough for everyone to read it, but if you are talking quite a bit in between OHTs, switch the projector off. This may not be necessary in a very short presentation. Use common sense.

Using Notes

If you have practised in advance and are familiar with your subject, notes should not be necessary. Use the OHTs or other visual aids to prompt you. If you are asked to do a longer presentation and feel you can’t do without notes, keep them brief and leave them on the table for emergencies. Remember, your presentation should never be a reading of your notes. You can read a quotation or figures which you might not be expected to remember, but never, ever simply stand there and read your notes from start to finish. Notes should be a prompt, used only if nerves get the better of you and cause you to dry up.

Prepare to do without Audio Visual Aids

The more technical the aids you use, the more likely they are to go wrong. So always be prepared to do the presentation without them. If you are using PowerPoint, print out your slides and make sure you have a copy for each member of the panel. If using OHTs, a whiteboard or a flipchart make some sort of handout to illustrate your points. It’s not only technology which can go wrong – interviews can be moved to a room without a whiteboard and people can forget to provide a flipchart.

Handouts

A professionally produced handout is a good way to round off a presentation. It gives you a chance to show that you know your subject or have done your homework on the company. Don’t make it too long or use dense text. A short, illustrated and relevant handout will make a good impression and if it’s touch and go between you and one other candidate, might just tip the balance in your favour.

© Waller Jamison 2005

Who’s Afraid of the Big, Bad Presentation? – How the Pros Make Nervousness Their Friend

“There are two types of speakers. Those who get nervous and those who are liars.”

-Mark Twain

Everyone is afraid of a presentation, physiologically. Toastmasters International reports that the following professionals have admitted to feeling nervous when speaking in public: Mark Twain, Ronald Reagan, Carroll O’Connor, Barbara Streisand, Anthony Quinn, Garrison Keillor, Sally Struthers, George Burns, James Taylor, Liza Minelli, Joan Rivers, and… Mary Sandro. I couldn’t resist adding my name to such a star-studded list!

Many presenters fight their nervousness. They deny it or use it as an excuse for not presenting. The first step to making nervousness our friend is to accept that it is normal. I dare say, the more nervous we are, the better a presenter we can be. The rationale for this seemingly ludicrous claim lies in the physiological understanding of nervousness.

Making a presentation is an opportunity and a challenge. Any time we are faced with a challenge, our bodies produce adrenaline. Psychologists refer to this as the “Fight or Flight” response and there is no way to stop it. It is wired into our genetic makeup and our bodies have been producing adrenaline for thousands of years.

Adrenaline is a fancy word for energy. When we are faced with a challenge, like making a presentation, our bodies produce energy. That almost sounds helpful, doesn’t it? In fact, from this point forward we will never call it nervousness again. We don’t get nervous; we have excess energy! All of those nervous symptoms we experience like dry mouth, shaky knees, hyperventilation, and butterflies are nothing more than excess energy getting the best of us. Now, what if we could take that energy and get the best of it?

Energy is a necessary ingredient for a successful presentation. Nervous presenters have a lot of raw energy available to them, which is why I claim they can become great presenters. This is also why I disagree with the advice most often given to nervous presenters, “Just relax.” This advice is counterproductive and almost physically impossible to execute.

When was the last time you went into a performance or a competition relaxed? Maybe the last time you didn’t perform very well. We need energy. Some call this energy the competitive edge. Some call it inevitable. It’s very difficult to fight thousands of years of evolution. If we think a presentation is a challenge, which it is, our bodies are programmed to produce adrenaline or energy. Instead of trying to fight this natural, helpful phenomenon, why not use it?

The difference between a polished presenter and one who seems to be having a nervous breakdown is not that one is nervous and the other is not. Physiologically they both are producing excess energy. The difference is how they use the energy. Polished presenters use the energy positively. Historically nervous presenters can too.

In general, things exist in pairs, on a pole as opposites. For example, there is hot and cold, light and dark. Things on the same pole can be changed into one another. Light can be changed into dark and hot can be changed into cold, but cold cannot be changed into light. The same is true with emotions.

Emotions exist in pairs, on a pole as opposites. For example, there is happy and sad, love and hate, anxiety and anticipation. Happy and sad are of the same pole and can be changed from one to the other. The same is true with anxiety and anticipation. Nervous presenters allow their energy to manifest as anxiety, while polished presenters channel that energy into anticipation.

The same energy that creates nervousness or anxiety can create anticipation or excitement. There are many strategies for shifting the energy to the higher end of the pole. The most helpful are mental strategies. To keep the energy anticipatory and exciting, focus thoughts on positive aspects of presenting. Visualize only success. Imagine the benefits of presenting and focus on the opportunity rather than the challenge.

Another strategy for shifting the energy is to get in touch with the physical feeling of anxiety in our body. Where is the feeling centered? Is it in the gut, throat, or somewhere else? Once located, move it up one inch higher and notice how the emotion changes. This mental and physical relocation will shift the emotion to the higher, more positive pole of anticipation or excitement. Do this exercise anytime nervousness strikes, even just before the presentation.

To summarize, everyone gets nervous when they present, even the pros. Nervousness is nothing but excess energy that we can use to generate an emotional state of anxiety or anticipation. Be gentle with yourself and make friends with the energy by focusing on the positive aspects of presenting. Know that the energy can propel you to great presentations by giving you the necessary competitive edge.