Did you know that one of the least used, but most effective, strategies when it comes to negotiations of any kind … is silence. Why you might ask, well because silence gives you a number of advantages.
1. Learn From The Experts
What do the best negotiators generally have in common? They will always make their opponents wait for an answer.
When we are nervous or eager we have a tendency to jump in right after the other person has spoken. And the result? It looks like we’re nervous, insecure, or even worse, that we haven’t been listening.
2. A Well-Placed Silence Can Build Relationships
If you’re silent and wait, it conveys the impression that you are listening and thinking about what the other person has said. And, of course, it also sends a signal that you are weighing your answer carefully.
3. Silence Buys You Time
Silence buys you the time to prepare a response. The appearance of thinking, also buys you a few seconds to think.
Being chatty in negotiating is not very powerful, and it usually doesn’t achieve the desired result but the art of creative silence takes practice. Sometimes it takes concentration to simply do nothing.
Try practicing getting used to silence when you’re not under pressure.
These three reasons are why silence is one of the best negotiating tactics you can learn.
What do you think are great negotiation tactics?
Leave a comment below!
For more useful tips and ideas check out our other blogs here or contact us to see how we can help you to transform your voice and your communications.
Whilst you are here you might enjoy some of these:
https://www.confidentspeak.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/ocean-biggshott-97W2bKSvyAw-unsplash-1.jpg20003008adopt15https://www.confidentspeak.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/logo.pngadopt152019-10-25 13:04:502019-10-25 13:04:423 Reasons Why Silence Is A Powerful Weapon
Have you ever overslept, and rushed into a meeting or a webinar, or maybe it was a last minute conference call; or phone call from your boss ? Even if you are lucky enough to be one of those people who snap into alert mode as soon you wake up – I wish I was one of those people!! – we’ve all had moments where our voice seems to fail to catch up with our brain. It’s sometimes referred to as our ‘Bed Voice’
You know what I mean, that flat, heavy, sluggish voice we have first thing!
A client I worked with, on one of our 121 programmes, had to speak regularly on early morning radio. I always remember her being very conscious of her “bed voice”, and was keen to know how to shake it off.
So, in a nutshell, here is how you do it;
Step 1 – Quench that thirst!
One of the primary reasons for this “bed voice” is simply down to the fact that you (and your voice) are dehydrated after sleep – hence muscles work a little slower and a little more sluggishly. Drink a glass of water, drinking coffee (although it may be more tempting) will do little to help your voice.
Step 2 – Good Vibrations
Place your hands on your head – and hum a gentle ‘mmmm’ sound. Put the focus of the hum into the top of your head until you feel vibrations in your head. Repeat a few times.
Step 3 – Get humming
Gently hum up and down your pitch range. So just like the scales on a piano, start on your lowest note and gently and slowly hum/glide your way up to the highest note you can go (without pushing or forcing) Repeat a few times.
Step 4 – Luscious Lips
Place your finger tips on your lips (palm faced in) and again gently hum a ‘mmmm’ sound. Feel vibrations, or a tingly sensation on your lips and the surrounding area. Repeat a few times, and feel your bed voice start to disappear.
Step 5 – Massage
Give your entire face a massage – your cheeks, lips, forehead, nasal area. In other words awaken your face, stretch your mouth and have a good yawn!
Check out this great talk from Julian Treasure on how to warm up your voice
So remember these five tips next time you need to get rid of your bed voice and enjoy the work out!
For more useful tips and ideas check out our other blogs here or contact us to see how we can help you to transform your voice and your communications.
Whilst you are here you might enjoy some of these:
https://www.confidentspeak.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/image-from-rawpixel-id-427737-jpeg.jpg8011200adopt15https://www.confidentspeak.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/logo.pngadopt152019-10-11 11:47:032019-10-11 12:14:445 Steps To Get Rid Of That Dreaded "Bed Voice"
https://www.confidentspeak.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/Cumberbatch.jpg553726adopt15https://www.confidentspeak.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/logo.pngadopt152019-09-02 16:17:192019-09-02 17:13:46Improve Your Public Speaking Skills With Lessons From Great Actors
It can be difficult to keep your audience engaged during business presentations. How do comedians keep their audiences engaged? Some of us are naturally funny. Others think that being funny is a gift from birth that only the chosen few are blessed with, and that the rest of us should stay far, far away from trying to make people laugh. The fact is, being funny is a skill like anything else, like driving a car, learning a new language, or learning presentation techniques.
Comedians spend years crafting and honing their content and delivery, making them one of the few public speakers that clock upMalcolm Gladwell’s 10,000 hours that he says make a master.
Performers learn a lot the hard way. there’s just no other way to do it. You can practice, practice, and practice until the cows come home but at the end of the day you have to get up in front of a real audience to test it out.
Here are a few interesting presentation techniques from the world of comedy to help speakers in the business world master the art of keeping audiences engaged.
Rock It From The Start
Everyone knows that getting off to a good start sets the tone for the rest of your journey. When you’re practicing your speech or presentation, the first 30 seconds will make or break you.
A killer start to your presentation will set the tone for the rest of your talk and keep your audience engaged. So practice this, hone it, and know it until you can do it in your sleep.
Know Your Timing
When you’re practicing, breakdown the sections of your content.
First 30 seconds
Numbers of key areas
Time yourself so you know how long each takes and how much time the whole presentation will be and when in doubt, keep it short. you will keep your audience engaged, and they will thank you for it.
Don’t Wait To Work The Room – keep you audience engaged from the get go!
Comedians are clever at working the room. They ‘cast’ someone in the audience so they have instant familiarity with the room. Introduce yourself to people as they come into the room; don’t wait to find common ground with your audience until you start your talk.
Break the ice with them from the outset, greet them as they come in, have a bit of banter with them. You’ll automatically have back story with them when you start your presentation.
Warm Up First
All performers warm up and do something to get them in the ‘zone’ as TEDTalk presenter Julien Treasure talks about here. Stretch your arms up over your head before you step onto the stage, take some deep breaths, loosen up your muscles or do some articulation exercises. Whatever you do, do something. This will help calm any nerves and also get your body and mind focused on the task at hand.
Whenever you get the chance to present or speak in front of an audience, always film or video yourself. Always. It’s so easy now to do it now with phones and tablets. Get a friend or someone you know will be there to video you so you can watch it back and see exactly what you’re doing and sounding like. Performers and comedians love this because it gives them instant feedback on everything they’re doing and how they are keeping audiences engaged.
No one feels comfortable around people who seem like they’re perfect all the time. We connect with people we trust, who feel familiar to us. Really funny material comes from comedians who know it’s not necessarily about making people laugh; it’s about making people think, it’s about showing them that you know what it’s like to be human. The audience finds something in you that resonates with them. Comedian and writer Ricky Gervais talks brilliantly about this here.
As a public speaker, take heed of some of these techniques from comedians and see if they help in your performance. Comedians face the toughest audiences in the world so they know what they’re talking about.
Remember, good preparation and practice will pay off in dividends when it comes to getting up in front of an audience and delivering the goods.
Great communicating is learned; no one is born a great speaker.
Remember that you’re a human being in a room full of human beings and every audience loves to see people succeed.
They want you to be great! It makes their job of listening so much easier.
https://www.confidentspeak.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/Laughter.jpg57314506adopt15https://www.confidentspeak.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/logo.pngadopt152019-05-21 13:05:032019-05-23 10:32:096 Presentation Techniques You Can Learn From Comedians To Keep Your Audience Engaged
Mark Twain once said ‘There are two kinds of speakers in the world: Those who get nervous and those who are liars..’ And he wouldn’t be far off. Everyone gets a dose of presentation nerves, some just hide it better than others! Even the greatest orator in history Marcus Tullius Cicero once ran from the forum where he was set to speak because he was terrified with nerves.
TED coaches, CEO’s of Fortune 500 companies, even presidents get nervous. But the trick is to look and sound cool, calm, and collected even when you’re not feeling the love.
Cicero knew that you have to “fake it ‘till you make it”, but it’s actually more than that; it’s fake it until you become it. Unless you’re soaked in sweat and physically unable to speak, audiences don’t know what you don’t tell them.
The ancient Romans and Greeks invented this kind of thinking; they called the art of oratory actio as in ‘acting’. A speaker is an actor, and the best actors are the ones who are most truthful, convincing, and authentic on stage.
These ancient orators also knew about nerves and that they can be an important part of pumping up your energy before you go on, and, if managed properly, you can channel that energy to give your performance passion, charisma, and memorability.
People won’t be able to take their eyes off you and they may not even know why. Here’s Cicero’s 5 Cannons and how they can help you knock it out of the park even when you’re feeling like you can’t even suit up to bat.
The 5 Canons
Cicero, that great orator, came up with five aspects of giving a great speech or ‘Canons’. There’s no substitute to combat presentation nerves than being well prepared and he was the king of relentless preparation and practice, as he was taught by his Greek tutors.
Cicero’s canons are thus:
Invention, Style, Memory, Arrangement, Delivery.
1. Invention: The Hook
This is the nugget of what you want to say. It’s the distilled essence of what your speech or presentation is all about and why people should listen.
It’s usually around 40 words or less and about 12 seconds, roughly the length of a human breath, and it is one sentence. But that’s it!
Brevity is beauty. Keep it simple and keep it short and audiences will love you for it.
2. Arrangement: Road Map The Journey Of A Presentation
Before you open PowerPoint, sit down and map out your story. Every speech or presentation is a story that has a beginning, middle, and end, and once you’ve got that clear, it’s time to open PowerPoint and see what you need to support and illustrate your message that will add colour, texture, and memorability.
Story first, PowerPoint after. This will ensure you are clear in your journey and will help you avoid using PowerPoint as a report or crutch.
3. Style: Channel Your Inner Obama
Everybody has their own style and in order to develop that style, watch as many people as you can give presentations and speeches. What are they doing well? Using pace, pause, pitch, volume?
Observe what they’re doing that works and, equally importantly, what doesn’t. Steal from the best and leave the rest. As you practice and video yourself, you’ll begin to discover and develop your own style.
No two speakers are the same so don’t worry about being like someone else. Remember, it’s about being the best YOU, not becoming someone else.
Great sources are Youtube, TEDtalks, and people at your own company or place of work.
4. Memory: Build Your Palace! It Helps Reduce Presentation Nerves
Presentation nerves are often brought on by that fear of forgetting. Mnemonics is the learning of techniques to aid in human memory. A mnemonic device could be an acronym or image that helps you to associate information and recall it more efficiently.
The Roman orators often used the image of a palace or great house with many rooms where they attributed sections of their speeches to different rooms in order to remember the information better.
5. Delivery: Bring It On, Superman
After you do your warm up (and everybody does something), the last thing you do is stand with your feet wide apart and hands on hips a la Superman/Wonder Woman and smile (master of all your survey)
It will help banish those presentation nerves and give you a sense of expansion, positivity, and being grounded.
Then, picture your audience and send out a thought of generosity, ‘I love you guys!’ and make it all about them, not you.
So take it from the guys who started it all and use the five canons and take heed of Cicero;
‘Whatever you do, do it with all your might.’
It’s all there for the taking so practice, practice, practice and give it your best shot. The worst thing that can happen is you try and fail, so try and fail again, and then try again.
“ConfidentSpeak is a Voice and Communications consultancy based in Dublin, Ireland. We have worked with leading Irish and international companies and executives. Contact us for details on our range of corporate/private programmes for executives, sales teams and technical professionals.”
https://www.confidentspeak.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/5-canons.jpg7681024adopt15https://www.confidentspeak.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/logo.pngadopt152019-03-25 15:58:362019-03-25 15:58:36Cicero' s 5 Canons Of A Great Speech Still Relevant? Try Them To Help Banish Presentation Nerves
https://www.confidentspeak.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/gem-lauris-rk-vocal-problems-voice-damage.jpg6661000Olivia MacDonnellhttps://www.confidentspeak.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/logo.pngOlivia MacDonnell2019-02-05 13:35:082019-03-12 12:21:47How To Deal With that JERK In Your Audience!
Have you ever sat there before a presentation and felt so nervous that your stomach is like a washing machine, and you wish the fire alarm would go off so you don’t have to open your mouth? Well you are not alone. Presentation nerves affect almost everyone who has ever stood up to give a speech […]
https://www.confidentspeak.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/Excitment.jpg21911460adopt15https://www.confidentspeak.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/logo.pngadopt152018-11-26 10:33:282019-03-12 12:22:18Presentation Nerves Or Excitement In Camouflage? 5 Ways To Use Nerves To Your Advantage
We’ve all felt that surge of panic or anxiety when standing up in front of a group of people, about to talk. Your body is smart, it reacts to stress, panic, or fear and tells you that something is way out of your normal, daily realm of existence. So how do we turn this around so that what the audience see is a composed presenter oozing physical presence;
‘Yikes, I am not in Kansas anymore’
Public speaking – like physical training and sport – requires training and practice; You need to put in the time if you want to take advantage of those speaking opportunities when they come up and really knock it out of the park so you get the result you want.
So where to start? The answer lies in our Physical Presence
Our physical presence is one big piece of the presentation skills puzzle. Combined with vocal presence, it helps establish an emotional connection with the audience along with the words we say. In this, our first of two Amy Cuddy TED Talks, Amy speaks about the impact our body language has on our chances for success.
Listen To Your Gut
We’ve all been guided by our ‘gut instinct’ at some point and with good reason. Our bodies are intricately and acutely sensitive to how we react to the outside world. The brain and gut are connected by an extensive network of Neurons and a highway of chemicals and hormones that constantly provide feedback.
Most of the time we make decisions from our brain, our intellect, and forget about what the ‘other brain’- our gut, is telling us. Have you ever felt ‘butterflies’ in your stomach? The ones you might feel when you’re in the first stages of love or attraction? We feel the same butterflies when we’re nervous of a talk we’re about to give. So the next time you’re stuck when you’re preparing a presentation, ask yourself, ‘What do I really want to talk about? What is my gut saying?’.
What Do You Want Them To Feel?
The impact of non-verbal messages are much stronger than words because the audience remembers them more and for longer. So, ask yourself what you’ve seen recently that made a speaker memorable? Was it the words they said or how they made you feel? Remember, what you feel up there as a presenter is what the audience gets. It’s like a mirror: What you feel, they feel. If you want the audience to feel excited, then find a way to manifest that in your own body. If it’s happy, then embody happiness.
Fake It Till You Become It
We’ve all heard the old adage ‘Fake it till you make it’, but it’s actually ‘Fake it till you become it’. Amy Cuddy did another TED Talk about physical indicators and gives scientific evidence supporting the theory that what we do physically effects how we feel. For example, smiling instantly makes us feel better. Even if it’s a fake smile manufactured by holding a pen between our teeth, we still get a release of positive energy. On the other side, slouching can make us feel defeated or depressed. Standing in a grounded, aligned posture with shoulders relaxed, feet hip width apart, and chest open elicits feelings of confidence and positivity and you will immediately exude physical presence
See It And Feel It
Michael Phelps won a gold medal at the Beijing Olympics because he was able to complete his heat without being able to see. His goggles filled up with water and he couldn’t see where he was going but because he had visualised that race over and over beforehand, he knew every stroke before he even got into the pool. This helped him be prepared for anything and when he couldn’t see, he didn’t panic.
In your preparation for a speech or presentation, sit down and breathe, close your eyes and see yourself giving your presentation See the room, feel where you’re going to move and when. See yourself smiling, see the audience. Go through every move so that when you actually present or go into the meeting, the situation is already familiar.
Prepare For Your Worst Case Scenario
This is a great one for dealing with nerves as well. Think of your worst case scenario, ie. losing your place or not remembering what comes next. Imagine it happening, and list the things you can do to deal with that situation. This way, if you feel prepared and can deal with the worst thing that could happen, then you be ready to handle anything else that comes along as well. Remember, it’s okay to make a mistake! It won’t effect your physical presence, in fact audiences are known to respond well to vulnerability. It makes you seem more human and helps them to connect with you.
Don’t wait until you step into the room for that high stakes meeting to prepare and put skills and techniques into place. Implement small changes beforehand and as you practice and prepare and you’ll reap the benefits tenfold. You’ll establish physical presence from the offset, be more able to connect with your audience, share your ideas, and get the results you want.
“ConfidentSpeak is a Voice and Communications consultancy based in Dublin, Ireland. We have worked with leading Irish and international companies and executives. Contact us for details on our range of corporate/private voice and communications programmes for executives, sales teams and technical professionals.”
https://www.confidentspeak.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/k-218-chim-00039-id-13316-jpeg.jpg33215699adopt15https://www.confidentspeak.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/logo.pngadopt152018-08-29 10:54:572020-01-13 21:26:08Trust Your Body: Physical Presence Is Key To Great Communication
When I think back to my college days and my first presentations I remember one tutor very clearly and to this day he is my public speaking guru, he’s my ‘Tony Robbins’! If it weren’t for Mr. Rutland, I wouldn’t have got the wake-up call I needed to get the focus of my presentation where it belonged: Off me and on to my audience. I want to share the strategies for great presentations which I learnt from the wonderful Mr Rutland with you.
Here’s the scenario:
I had to give a final presentation in one of my college courses. I was acting and performing regularly so I figured I had a pretty good shot of dazzling my unprepossessing tutor.
Mr. Rutland patiently sat through my 15 minute presentation. There were a lot of slick slides my friends had helped me with. I had some funny jokes, flashy body and hand movements, and a few sarcastic comments, all the bells and whistles!
When I finished, I was beaming, waiting for my tutor to tell me how brilliant I was. He smiled, nodded, and then he said the words that would stay with me until today,
‘Stop trying to be interesting to the audience. Be interested in the audience’
How could I have gotten it so wrong? Wasn’t I entertaining, polished, and prepared? Didn’t I do all the homework ?
The answer is yes to all those, however I was missing
One fundamental truth that drives all the best speakers, speeches, and presentations: It’s not about you. It’s always about the audience.
So here are a few strategies for great presentations to help you to take your attention off yourself and focus it instead, on the audience during your next presentation or keynote.
Put yourself in your audience’s shoes
You need to ask the question your audience is asking themselves, ‘What’s in it for me?’. Audiences consider their time important so they want to know it’s going to be well spent listening to you. They want a reason to listen. This is probably one of the most important strategies for great presentations, so PLEASE give it time and thought. You have to give them that reason in the first 30 seconds or you’ll lose them. Here’s where a strong ‘Hook’ comes in; have a strong hook right at the start and give them what they want – you tell them exactly why they should listen.
Great vocal delivery can make or break a presentation
Audiences are always looking for a reason to tune you out so don’t give them one. By using vocal techniques and skills like pace, pause, pitch, volume, and articulation you can change up the audio and keep their ears interested. These are the pallet of colours and textures you have to create great vocal delivery and they work, so it’s worth learning, practicing, and using them.
Make eye contact – make them the centre of your universe
Audience’s love to feel like they’re the center of attention so show them that they are the centre of your universe for those minutes by making eye contact. By using eye contact, open body posture, or hand gestures you can make an emotional connection with your audience that will keep them listening.
This TEDTalk from Daniel Levitin is an example of good eye contact
Never underestimate the power of a smile
Smiling makes you feel good and tells your audience you are happy to be there. It has to be more than just words so face them, connect with them, and show them through your delivery how important they are.
What do they know and what do they feel?
When you begin to map out your presentation (and you should do this before you even look at Powerpoint) ask yourself these questions:
(1) What does your audience know before you present and what do they feel?
(2)What do you want them to know and want them to feel afterwards?
This will help form the framework for a presentation that engages them.
This, along with a good, strong hook, will create the bones of a presentation that puts your audience’s needs first.
Remember the word GENEROSITY
When you get nervous and feel that urge to start ‘performing’ or even worse run away, just remind yourself of one thing:
“it’s not about you. It’s all about the audience. Whew!”
Take the pressure off yourself. How generous can you be with the information you have to give? How can you be of service to your audience in that moment? Take the focus off you and turn it instead, on to what you can do for your audience.
Audiences don’t want to do any work, they want you to take them by the hand and show them how important they are and all the great stuff they’re going to get out of your presentation. They want to feel good after you leave the stage. They want to get the sense that their time was well spent.
So remember, take the spotlight off yourself and turn it on the most important people in the room: Your audience. Through great delivery, give them a reason to listen: Look and sound confident and engaged, get into your audience’s mindset and do your homework on who they are and what their challenges might be, and above all be generous. If you remember it’s always about the audience, you’re halfway there to a knock out delivery that will get you the results you want and keep everyone wanting to hear just a little bit more.
Confident Speak is a Presentation, Voice and Communications consultancy based in Dublin, Ireland. We have worked with leading Irish and international companies and executives.
Contact us for details on how we can help you build great strategies for presentations.
https://www.confidentspeak.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/tim-marshall-114623-unsplash-1.jpg34565184adopt15https://www.confidentspeak.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/logo.pngadopt152018-08-13 13:37:302018-08-13 13:49:225 Strategies For Great Presentations Which Might Surprise You!
We’ve all been there. You’re sitting in the conference room for a business presentation and you start to nod off. You zone out, you’ve stopped listening to the person up at the top of the room giving the presentation. Here are five key business presentation skills you can learn so that you can captivate your audience of staff or potential clients when it’s your turn to give one.
By Olivia MacDonnell, ConfidentSpeak
You know what a boring business presentation is like to sit through.
When the speaker’s voice has become so dull and annoying that it starts to sound like a mosquito buzzing in your ear.
But are you aware of the pitfalls so that you can avoid them next them you stand up to deliver a presentation?
Follow these five steps to avoid the Death by Monotony presentation.
First: How to Know What Makes a Boring Business Presentation
So what’s happening?
Most of the time this unfortunate situation arises because the presenter has fallen into the Monotony Trap.
They speak from one place in their voice in one rhythm and don’t vary either one at all, and this happens without them even knowing it.
Now, this could be someone your know. It could—let’s face it—even be you and you don’t even know it.
A monotone vocal delivery is one of the worst sins and most common mistakes you can make when it comes to public speaking. Luckily, there are lots of skills and voice coaching techniques you can implement to prevent it.
Here are just a few tips you can use to stay out of the monotony trap and keep your audience interested and engaged.
The Five Key Business Presentation Skills, 1: Vary Your Pitch
Here’s one basic fact of physiology.
The ear needs to be entertained and kept interested
So first off, vary your pitch.
Pitch is your vocal range, it’s the movement in tone between the top of your vocal range and the bottom and everywhere in between. (We’ve written a whole article on pitch range and its importance here.)
As children, we naturally have a varied vocal range. As we learn to speak we explore the range of sound our voices can make.
Then as we grow older, something happens. We start to have opinions and start editing ourselves. We start to become self-conscious.
One big mistake we make is thinking that a deep, weighty, monotonous tone for credibility, maturity and gravity.
In short, we stop using the full range of our voices.
Experiment with your vocal range—it’s there for a reason. Remember that the ear needs to be entertained and kept interested so change it up, vary your tone, and use the full range of your vocal pitches.
Here’s a great example:
The Five Key Business Presentation Skills, 2: Do Not Underestimate the Power Of Articulation & Pace
Next, make sure you’re articulating and speaking clearly and slowly.
It may seem obvious but do not underestimate the power of clarity.
We may have heard our message a hundred times but we forget our audience is hearing it for the first time. Everyone can afford to slow down their delivery.
We often rush and end up mumbling our words together because we want to get through the material as quickly as possible or are afraid of forgetting what we have to say next.
Think into your consonants, breathe, and you will slow down. This eliminates rushing and your audience will thank you for it.
The Five Key Business Presentation Skills, 3: Use of Pause
Pause is perhaps the most effective and underused of voice coaching techniques.
https://www.confidentspeak.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/Boredom.jpg12801920adopt15https://www.confidentspeak.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/logo.pngadopt152018-07-09 13:14:452018-08-09 11:17:27Avoiding Death By Monotony: The 5 Key Business Presentation Skills You Need