Presentation Power – The Courage to Be Brilliant

If you are in sales, you present. Sometimes it’s a one-on-one across a desk. Sometimes it means standing at the front of a big room before a discerning audience that has assembled to decide who wins the sale. But no matter the arena, no matter the product or service you offer, your goal is to capture your listeners from the very first word and have them happily follow you right through to the end–and buy.

You can do what you always do–thank your audience for allowing you this opportunity, tell them you’re so happy to be there to inform them about whatever it is you are selling, introduce them to your team, tell them about your company, and make your pitch. Or you can open with power, have the courage to be brilliant–and win the sale.

It’s not as hard as you might think. Yes, it takes originality and intelligence–but you’ve got that in spades, right? So, here’s what to do.

First, decide on your message.

Your message is the most important thing you want your audience to remember if–at the moment you began your pitch–the world were to come to an abrupt end. It’s the key thing that gives your audience a reason to buy. To articulate your message, describe in one or two simple sentences what it is you are selling, its key benefits and why it is better than anything else in the marketplace. Polish it, refine it and make your message shine.

Next, identify the theme of your message.

Is it about change? Innovation? Technology? Financial savings? Improving something? Simplifying something? Magic? Whatever it is, you will use that theme to drive your presentation.

Finally, create an opening that leads to the theme of your message.

I’ve listed a variety of interesting ways to open below, and whether you choose from my list or invent an opening of your own, the point of your opening must be clear and lead directly to your message. If you’re really clever about it, your opening leads to a message whose theme you can use throughout your presentation. When you can do that, you’ll not only wow them from the start, your audience will be engaged throughout your delivery.

At the end of your presentation, restate your message, then tie it all together by returning to your opening.

So let’s summarize. Begin with an intriguing opening that leads to a clear and compelling message. State your message. Deliver your content keeping your theme in mind and referring to it from time to time. End by restating your message and returning to your opening–which is now a clever close.

Here are a few ideas for brilliant openings. Begin with:

  • a personal story
  • a quote from a famous person
  • a quote from your CEO
  • a magic trick
  • a musical introduction
  • a story from the news
  • a reference to a topic of national interest
  • a game or contest
  • a demonstration
  • a reference to a story with great emotional impact
  • a mind-reading act.

You won’t differentiate yourself from the competition by sounding like everyone else. To grab your audience from the very first word, you’ll need a memorable approach, a dynamic style, and the courage to be different. That’s brilliant!

Negotiate Shrewdly by Using Misdirections

Recently, I watched a colleague make a presentation. At the beginning of his presentation, he pulled a small red foam ball from his pocket. He then said a few magical words as he placed the ball from one hand into the other, opened the hand the ball was placed in only to have the hand absent of the ball when he opened it. Everyone in the audience suspected a sleight of hand had been used to create the illusion. That could have been the end of the ‘red ball trick’ had my colleague stopped at that point, but he went on to ask a gentleman sitting several rows from the stage to look in the top outside pocket of his jacket. A hush came over the audience as everyone anticipated the red ball appearing in the gentleman’s pocket. When the gentleman, with hesitancy, felt the pocket and exposed its content, he extracted a cell phone, but no red ball. Everyone laughed and my colleague continued with his presentation, with a much more attentive audience.

‘Misdirections’ throughout a negotiation can prove to be very beneficial if used appropriately. It thus behooves savvy negotiators to know when and how to use ”misdirections’. Questions might come to mind such as …

When should you use ‘misdirections’? What value can be achieved from the use of ‘misdirections’? What are the pitfalls to using ‘misdirections’ in a negotiation? Below are ways and answers that will give you insight into how this dynamic tactic can be applied and how its use as a strategy can be employed during a negotiation …

· Planning the use of ”misdirections’ in the development of your negotiation plan

- By now, if you have been following these lessons for some time, or if you’re several levels into becoming a savvy negotiator, you’re aware that you should always plan any negotiation before entering into it. In your plans, you prepare for ‘what if’ scenarios and the path upon which you envision the negotiation traveling. As you contemplate that path and weigh the ‘what if’ scenarios and the influence they may have on the negotiation, consider how you might misdirect, redirect, the negotiation, if it goes in a direction that is unfavorable to your position. In essence, give consideration to how you will respond to ‘what if’ scenarios by providing the perception of a more favorable position for your opponent, if he follows your suggested path. That path should be one that is advantageous to the negotiation and your position. As an aside, a good ‘misdirection’ creates the impression or facade of being more advantages to the other negotiator and to the overall outcome of the negotiation, without giving the appearance of being advantageous to your position.

· ”Misdirections’ in the form of red herrings

- Red herrings are ‘things’ that have real perceived value to the other negotiator, but marginal value to you. In order to use this tactic effectively, you have to convince the other negotiator that the red herring has immense value to you. To use a ‘misdirection’ coupled with a red herring, you should first give value to the red herring by making a ‘big deal’ in your desire to acquire it. Then, momentarily direct the attention of the negotiation onto another point. As you go about agreeing on the other point, revert back to the red herring and raise the stakes; do so by making a bigger deal about the other negotiator conceding on the point of the red herring. When he begins to protest, couple the immediately agreed to point with this new request. To the degree you can couple other agreed to points, to the red herring, the concession on the point of the red herring becomes more tolerable to the other negotiator. You run the risk of creating animosity, anxiety, and breaking rapport with the other negotiator, which could be detrimental to the negotiation. So, be cautious when using this tactic.

· Answering questions with questions is a form of ‘misdirection’

- By answering questions with questions, you can redirect, and thus misdirect, your responses to an informational gathering tool. In general, when negotiating, the person asking the questions is the person with the greater degree of control. By asking questions with questions, you continuously gather information, while not divulging information. The more information you gather, the more information you’ll have to improve your negotiation position. The next time someone asks you a question, respond by asking them a question, instead of replying with an answer. Try this tactic in a ‘fun’ environment and observe how much more information you gather. Then, when it’s time to use this tactic in a negotiation, it will feel like the fit of a hand inside a perfectly sized glove … and everything will be right with the world.

The Negotiation Lessons are …

· When you’re in the midst of a negotiation, sometimes things will become hectic, people will become angered, and they’ll be times when impasses will appear. By applying the strategy of ‘misdirection’, you can alter the other negotiator’s perception, change his opinion, and get the negotiation moving in the right direction. Never overlook the value of this tool.

· The use of ‘misdirections’ in a negotiation can be a very powerful tool. One of the ways to enhance its use is to use it when it’s least expected. Then, build upon the ‘misdirection’ by taking it a step further than what is expected, by misdirecting the negotiation in yet a different direction. If you wish to employ this tactic in an even more demonstrative manner, alter between the two ‘misdirections’ as the other negotiator thinks he’s closing in on settling one of them.

· ‘Misdirections’ in a negotiation can be powerful, but be cautious not to overplay your hand. If used too much, you run the risk of giving the other negotiator the perception that you’re playing games with him. If he senses such intentions, he may become belligerent, ambiguous, and unreceptive to other offers you might make. In essence, you will have created the impasse in the negotiation that you were trying to avoid.

If Arsenic Drinking Water Contamination Is Present – Use A Home Water Purifier

Arsenic drinking water contamination is a problem that has received a lot of attention recently. Recent studies have shown that exposure to even moderate levels of the poisonous metalloid greatly increases a person’s risk of heart disease. Here are some FAQs about the subject.

Why Is Arsenic In Water?

In some cases, it is naturally present in groundwater because of underground mineral and metal deposits. It is an element of volcanic ash, which means that surface water may be contaminated with it as well.

In fact, there is so much of the metalloid in our waters that the most common source of exposure is through eating seafood. Like mercury and other contaminants, arsenic-traces build up in the tissues and organs of fish and seafood. They build up in our bodies, too.

The compound is also found in wood preservatives, rubber, insecticides, fungicides and anti-bacterial agents. It is commonly added to animal food to prevent disease and stimulate growth. For example, about 70% of all chickens grown in the US are fed roxarsone, an arsenic-derivative.

Compounds derived from it are used in medicines, traces of which end up in our waters. It is sometimes present in plumbing fixtures and as the fixtures degrade, the poison is released into the tap-water.

To think that some amount of the poison would not be present in our freshwater and our homes is naïve. It’s everywhere.

What are the Risks of Exposure?

At high doses, it causes death. It’s a poison. Symptoms of poisoning include headache, vomiting, diarrhea, confusion and convulsions.

Contact with pesticides containing it can cause brain damage. When it becomes airborne and is inhaled, it irritates the lungs.

Consumption of small amounts over the course of one’s life increases the risk of high blood pressure and heart disease. The same is true of the heavy metal lead. The long-term risks of exposure to the two are similar.

In areas where there is known to be arsenic in water supplies, the cancer rate is higher. The World Health Organization has estimated that some 57 million people are at risk, because the amount present in their drinking water is higher than 10 parts per billion, an accepted standard for safety. Other estimates say the number of people affected is closer to 80 million.

A study conducted in Wisconsin, where the natural concentration is relatively high, showed that exposure to the compound was accompanied by an increased risk of skin cancer, even at levels below 10 parts per billion. An increased risk of bladder cancer is also associated with consumption.

The concentration of arsenic in water commonly found in the US suppresses immune system function, making people more susceptible to viruses and other kinds of infections.

What Can We Do to Protect Our Families?

If poisoning is suspected, one should see a doctor immediately. Chelation therapy can remove the metalloid from the body.