Presentation Skills – You Don’t Have To Be Perfect To Have An Impact!

Are you worried about giving the perfect speech? Does the thought of having a minor typo on your Power Point slides or saying, “Uhm” once or twice, terrify you?

Don’t worry. You do not have to be perfect from a “speech contest” point of view, in order to make a positive impact on most audiences. Instead, think about the best speakers you have seen. What impresses you about them?

Usually, the best speakers are passionate and care deeply about their message. They may not be technically perfect in their delivery. But, it does not matter. Their passion and connection to the audience makes the difference.

Focus on your message, not your mechanics:

I have studied presentation skills for the past 20 years. I have learned dozens of great techniques. But, I got trapped into trying to be “technically perfect.” I worried about using the perfect gesture or Power Point slide rather than focusing on my message. I became too mechanical. I looked wooden on stage.

I needed to focus on my “message”, not my “mechanics.” Once I started focusing on my audience members, I was more passionate and had greater impact.

Your message is what counts:

Your message is more important than being technically proficient from a “speech contest” viewpoint. What is your message? Why is it important for your audience to hear it? Why are you the best one to deliver this message? Once you answer these questions, your passion will shine through to your audience.

Make a connection with your audience:

One of the most important skills I teach in my “Delivering Persuasive Presentations” seminar is how to connect with an audience. Your passion shows in your eye contact, voice and body language.

Don’t read from a script. Instead, talk to your audience. Don’t hide behind a podium. Instead, step in front of the podium and connect with your listeners. The more passion you show, the more you will connect with your audience.

Go to as many training courses as possible. Learn new skills. Practice your techniques ahead of time so they become second nature to you. Then in front of a group, deliver your message with passion!

Remember, “You don’t have to be perfect to have an impact!”

© 2008 Reflective Keynotes Inc., Toronto, Canada

Negotiation Skills – Importance & Techniques

Negotiation is an important tool, that all of us use at different times, at different phase of our life, to achieve different goals. The first time probably we negotiated in our life, when as a child we kept shouting for mother’s milk. The negotiations are typically tagged with a price, which may or not be expressed in monetary term. For example a marital negotiation has a typical price line of social status, whereas a negotiation in the job interview the price line is clearly money. There can be more than one one price line also, provided there are different areas involved in the negotiation. For example in a union-management negotiation apart form salary, there can be price lines involving working conditions and industrial relations.

To negotiate effectively one must do a proper hoe work on the self strength and weaknesses vis-a-vis the strength and weaknesses of the other side. In the negotiation table, it will all depend upon how one can keep up with the nerve. Thus, it is very important to know the bottom-line of the price where the negotiator can settle. The body language is also extremely important in negotiation.
The price may be social recognition, peer recognition and many others. A negotiation may take place either on 1 to 1 or may involve more than two parties.

It all depends on how well one has prepared about the background and strength areas of the other side. It is also important to know the dynamics of the power game.
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How To Stay Present When You Start Your Day

When we wake up in the morning, where do our thoughts go? Do they run to the things we have to do? Are they filled with memories of yesterday and worries for tomorrow? How we think and feel when we wake up has a lot to do with how we will perceive the day. If we can relax our mind in those waking moments, we will give ourselves time to wake up in a more natural way. If we forgo the thoughts of moments passed and those to come, we will remain present as we wake up. For before we get up, as we are still lying in bed, we have the ability to set the tone of our day with our thoughts and our emotions. All too often, our day is controlled by how we interact with ourselves in those waking moments.

Before you rise, imagine nothing, think of nothing, just lie there and be awake. Enjoy the feeling of nothing to do, only transitioning between sleep and wakefulness. This moment, the one we are given before the day starts, is yours alone to set the pace and the momentum for the day. Take a few deep breaths; relish the new day and all that it has to bring. Do not think of what you need to do, will do, or anything else. Leave your mind blank, just for those few moments. Now in this space, accept where you are in life. Open yourself up to everything around you. Imagine no separateness between you and the rest of the world; feel the connection between the moment you are in and all that is to come. Let go of the thoughts and emotions of yesterday. Let go of tomorrow and what you imagine or feel about it. Instead, be in the moment you are in as you wake up.

Breathe deep and let go; let your body and mind stay relaxed before you pull yourself out of bed. Do not let your mind or your emotions control how you will feel as you start the day. Instead, let yourself be empty; let the day itself be a reflection of how you feel and think. With no thoughts already controlling your mood and no emotions controlling your movements, you can be as you really are. When you do this, not only are you present, but you give yourself the chance to experience the day as it really is. You do not interact with it in the same way as you did yesterday. You do not interact with the day based on thoughts or emotions of the future. You are simply in the moment, free of any control. This intention from the very beginning will help you to stay present throughout the rest of your day. Your body, mind, and emotions will feel relaxed because they are not based on anything yet; you are open and present, free to welcome whatever may be.