5 Simple Steps to a Great Presentation

7/19/2015 posted in Vistage Open Days, Speakers, Getting Ahead, Employee Motivation, Negotiation

Giving a speech or conducting a presentation is hard for any person to do; you need to engage with your audience and make them forget that they are learning. Do not misunderstand; you should be aiming to teach the audience as much as possible, but in such a way that no one is bored, nobody should feel like getting up and pretending to have heard every word.

From the moment you walk onto the stage, until your closing remarks, you will need to retain the full attention of your audience, and this all begins with the opening. Each audience will be different, which will cause you to change your opening, in order to suit the people you are speaking in front of. You can start your presentation with a quote, story, or anything that you believe will get the audience’s full attention. You will need to know how to get their attention fast, and you will need to maintain their attention – fully. 

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Conflict to Collaboration: Take another Look

5/1/2015 posted in Negotiation, Change Management

A common pitfall is to put forward our own solutions when conflict situations arise. We think we can see a way forward, and we're itching to get our opinion across. But if a friend were short sighted, would we give them our glasses, or suggest they get some tailor-made to their own eyes?

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Advanced Negotiation Skills (4): Dealing with Deadlock

1/8/2015 posted in Business, Sales, Negotiation

Deadlock is many negotiators’ worst nightmare. It happens where there may well be a deal to be done but neither side seems willing to move towards the other in order to bridge their differences. If you are not used to this, it can be psychologically very uncomfortable.

In fact, creating deadlock on purpose is a key part of the armoury of hard-ball negotiators. They do it to make sure they have drained every last drop of advantage for themselves before agreeing any deal.  And, because they do this habitually, they are often very good at it. For them, there is no apparent concern at all about being stuck in impasse. They are only waiting for you to blink first.

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Advanced Negotiation Skills (3): Reading Between the Lines

11/18/2014 posted in Business, Sales, Negotiation


Experienced negotiators know that there is a special ‘language’ for negotiating. It could be very abrasive, perhaps designed to destabilise the other side; or it could be quite emollient, to show how reasonable we can be, and both have their place.

We also know that often, what people say (and how they say it) isn’t always quite what they really mean. So a supplier might say: “We’ve got to have a price-rise”. But does that mean: “otherwise we will stop supplying you”, or “that is our fond hope”? It’s important to know which! Naturally, all good negotiators will make their best hopes sound as if they are the least they can accept. But where does the truth lie?
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Advanced Negotiation Skills (2): The Art of Preparation

10/7/2014 posted in Sales, Negotiation

We all have to negotiate, whatever we do, whether at work, home or play. Most of us learn through bitter experience that if we want to win really good deals, we need to invest time and effort in preparing effectively.

Yet curiously, it seems that many Brits take a special pride in ‘winging it’! I polled some 25 different nationalities on how they perceived the strengths and weaknesses of other nationalities. Most said they saw the Brits as being generally amiable, keen to do a deal and flexible. But, even more said they found us unprepared, naïve and untrained. How shameful is that!

This doesn’t mean to say that this criticism applies to you. But it might well apply to your sales teams or key staff, as a business leader you should certainly be aware that this is how we might be perceived by others.

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