As You Negotiate Watch Your Temper to Preserve Credibility

Recently, a JetBlue flight attendant acted out, by engaging in what I’m sure was a scenario he and countless others have thought about for quite some time. After an altercation with a passenger, the flight attendant exclaimed expletives that were directed at the passenger, with whom he’d had the altercation, grabbed two beers and departed the plane via the emergency chute. Through his actions, he conveyed the sentiment, take this job and shove it!

When you negotiate, do you find yourself becoming angered by certain positions adopted by those with whom you’re negotiating? In such situations, do you find that you have to watch your temper, in order to maintain your credibility in the negotiation? By displaying anger during a negotiation, you can lose credibility. If you find yourself in such situations, try a few of the following suggestions to free your mind, preserve your credibility, and maintain the path that you’ve set for the negotiation.

1. Some negotiators reward bad behavior by succumbing to it, while others rail against it, and in turn become defiant. If you wish to use anger as a ploy, know with whom you’re negotiating and the other negotiator’s proclivity when contemplating to what degree you’ll allow your temper to run rampant during the negotiation.

2. If you observe the body language (nonverbal communication) behavior of the other negotiator, you’ll glimpse his inner demeanor. If you’re astute at doing so, you’ll be able to observe the escalation of his anger quotient before it reaches a point of confrontation. Just be mindful to practice equilibrium in the process.

3. Rage is a state of mind that disallows you from thinking in the normal manner by which you deduce situations. Thus, understand what ticks you off and if need be, simulate the situation that might cause such emotional consternation prior to entering into a live negotiation environment. In essence, try to thwart the mindset you might possess that would cause you to become emotionally unstable prior to entering into the situation. Attempt to experience the full range of rage you might experience and allow yourself to be calmed by a thought that mentally centers your thought process.

4. When you’re disgruntled in a negotiation, conceal it. If you allow it to seep into the negotiation, you run the risk of poisoning the environment, and instilling animosity in the other negotiator. Instead of displaying your disgruntled behavior, if appropriate, play the role of someone that’s very pleased with everything that’s occurring. This role can be played internally, which should allow you the time to regain your composure, before allowing the negative conduct to influence the negotiation.

It’s very easy to go through emotional simulations when you’re imagining how you might feel when beset by rage during a negotiation. To become better empowered and to enhance your ability not to lose your cool during such occurrences, practice the techniques outlined above frequently. By doing so, you’ll set your subliminal thought process to pause, before turning negative. The spillover benefit of such actions will manifest themselves in a positive manner in your negotiations. Hence, you’ll have greater control of yourself and the negotiation… and everything will be right with the world. Remember, you’re always negotiating.

The Negotiation Tips Are…

· Sometimes, when you get bogged down in the details of a negotiation, you obtain insight from which to thwart the efforts of the other negotiator to make you go negative. Determine when it’s best to challenge an angry opponent with logic versus imitating his actions.

· Some people make artful statements when negotiating. First, seek to understand their intent before reacting to it.

· There’s always a balance that one has to practice when negotiating. If you’re too obstinate, you’ll alienate the other negotiator. If you’re too quaint, you’ll position yourself to possibly be steamrolled. Seek balance.

PowerPoint: A Powerful Presentation Tool – Part 2

It is very important to fully test ALL the PowerPoint presentation equipment that a speaker will use for the presentation beforehand. Here are some helpful tips to make this a potential seamless process. 

  1. Ask your speakers to come early. Check to make certain their meeting equipment or accessories (CD, DVD, or USB) is compatible with the Presentation Services Audio Visual company’s equipment. Don’t assume the PowerPoint presentation will work on any laptop. Disk failures, software version mismatches, lack of disk space, low memory and many other factors can stop a PowerPoint presentation dead in its tracks.
  2. Make certain the LCD projector is on, working correctly with the laptop, and that the Presentation Services Audio Visual company has replacement lights in case the lamp burns out.
  3. If the speaker is using a wireless slide advance, make certain it works and that the Presentation Services Audio Visual company has spare batteries for the unit.
  4. If the speaker is using their own laptop, confirm that the battery is fully charged. Even with electrical outlets, room configurations can often change the day before the event. Don’t be caught far away from an electrical outlet with a dead laptop. If the speaker is not bringing their own gear, rent a laptop and make certain it is compatible with the speaker’s presentation.
  5. It is important the Presentation Services Audio Visual company know where all the electrical outlets are in the room, have ample extension cords available, and secure all cords to the floor with tape. We don’t want our speaker to fall!
  6. Does the room warrant a microphone and speakers? If so, make certain they are set up, the presenter tests the microphone, and there are plenty of spare batteries for the mic.
  7. If possible, have the Presentation Services Audio Visual company stay in the room for the entire presentation so they might attend to any malfunctions ASAP. Worse case, obtain the cell number of the technician and the office number for technical support if a problem arises.

Business Presentations: 4 Keys to a Successful Dog and Pony Show

The more proper amongst us prefer that it be referred to as “the Road Show.” Whatever it is called, it is one of the most demanding, exasperating and truly frustrating experiences that any entrepreneur will be called up to participate in.

The tension comes from several fronts.

First, this is the hour that truly may make or break your company.

As if that weren’t sufficient, it is also a time when you will be expected to meet and entice a set of total strangers.

It is the time when failed equipment or misspelling in the overheads can spell disaster.

Most importantly, it is the time when the venture capitalists judge YOU. Your idea has already been presented, probably in a well-constructed financing proposal. Something in that proposal caught their attention – you may or may not know at this point what it was that caught their attention.

There are things that you can do to make this harrowing experience work. For instance:

1. Do your homework on the venture capital firm.
Find out everything that you can about this group: its focus, its members, its recent investments, its successes, and its failures.

Research the background of the key players. What boards of directors do the members currently sit on? What is each one’s specialty?

Have any partners recently joined or left the firm?

Has a new investment fund been announced?

What has been the investment trend of the firm over the past 2-4 years?

2. Incorporate your knowledge of this group into your presentation.
If, for instance, one of their portfolio companies would be your supplier or customer, show that name in the flow chart.

If your company’s success is dependent on recruiting from top universities, use the names of the universities that the partners attended as examples.

One young entrepreneur recently asked me why he should mention these names, insisting that the partners already knew this information. Yes, I said, they do know it, and they need to know that YOU know it. Let them know that they are important enough to you that you have devoted a fair amount of time to learn about them.

3 Break away from a PowerPoint presentation.

Don’t get me wrong – I personally think PowerPoint is the greatest piece of presentation software ever invented. I have used it – a lot. And so has everyone else.

Do you have any notion how many PowerPoint presentations your audience has sat through? Mmmm. That’s nothing I would want to do.

So demonstrate your creativity and show your product/idea in a different way. A prototype. A diagram. An image that builds item by item as you talk. Do a brief PowerPoint at the beginning, then break away into a different kind of presentation.

4. Make sure you respond to any questions that members of the group may have.
It may not be possible to bring all your team members to the presentation, but it must be possible to have them standing by in case you need to call for a clarification on a particular issue.

A good technique is to give a “short” response immediately, then promise a more complete follow up. This gives you a definite reason to contact the firm again.

5. Make sure there is a plan for follow up.
Don’t leave the room with issues dangling, or with no clear path for re-connecting with the investors.

Odds are, they won’t offer this re-connection, other than to say, “We’ll be in touch.” It is up to you to provide the steps for follow up. “I understand you would like drill down information on the 2nd and 3rd year projections. I’ll have that to you within 24 hours.” Then do it.