Making a Presentation? It’s Not Just About Your Topic

Jerry Seinfeld once quipped, “At a funeral most people would rather be in the casket than giving the eulogy.” Over 41% of people have this fear of speaking in public – that is, giving a speech, report, or presentation. This can be at a business, in an academic setting, in church, your office, or in any organization to which you belong. But there are times when no matter how you feel about it, you have to do it – period.

Most people feel that once they can control their anxiety about speaking – their racing heart, hyperventilation, sweating, or shaking, they are all set to present. Of course, you need to address your anxiety first because you have to be calm, comfortable, and present with your audience. But that is not the most important thing on which you have to focus. You are going to have to know more for your presentation than just your subject.

You are going to have to know who your audience is, why they are there, and what they are likely to expect from you.

You can use the following checklist to see that you are presenting what they need and want to hear in a way that is most understandable and useful to them to meet their needs.

1. Who is your audience? You need to consider what is relevant (age, generation, gender, ethnicity, and socio-economic group).

2. Why are they there to listen to you? Are they just interested in the topic; are they seeking help; do they want to learn something new to add to their working knowledge base; or have they been told to be there?

3. How much do they already know about the subject? What is their information base, their education level, professional level, or experience – personal or work?

4. What are their general and specific goals in listening to you? Are they personal or work-related?

5. Do they have a current problem (personal or work) that they are hoping you can help them solve? If they do, this should be your primary focus. Knowing and understanding this, you can provide them with necessary information to help motivate them to act on their problem.

6. What is it in concrete, specific terms you are going to offer them? Is it facts, useful action-oriented techniques, new relevant how-to information, perspective, reassurance, support, advice, or feedback?

7. What specifically do you personally want to achieve through this presentation?

8. What role or attitude will give you the best chance of making a successful presentation? Are you there to act as a Teacher, Enlightener, Analyst, Expert, Advisor, Supporter, Problem Solver, Inspirer, or Guide?

Following this checklist will help you scope what you are going to do so you can tailor your presentation to the needs and wants of your audience, as well as enhance your credibility and visibility in the process.

The best places to visit while in Sri Lanka

One of the best places to visit in Sri Lanka is Nuwara Eliya. This picturesque town is located in the central highlands and is known for its cooler climate. If you are looking to escape the heat of the lowlands, Nuwara Eliya is the perfect place to do so. While in town, be sure to visit Gregory Lake, where you can go for a swim or relax on the shores. You can also take a stroll through Victoria Park, which is especially lovely in spring when the flowers are in bloom.

Another great spot to check out while in Sri Lanka is Galle Fort. This fortification was built by the Portuguese and later expanded by the Dutch. Today, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most popular tourist destinations in Sri Lanka. Within the fort, you will find a number of quaint little hotels, cafes, shops, and museums. Be sure to walk along the ramparts for stunning views of the ocean.

If you’re looking for a beach vacation while in Sri Lanka, head to Bentota. This town is located on the southwest coast and is known for its beautiful beaches. Other beaches to visit include Nilaveli, Pasikudah and Arugam Bay. Here you can relax on the sand, go swimming, or try your hand at windsurfing. There are also a number of hotels and resorts if you want to stay close to the action.

Other great places to visit on this tiny island include:

Sigiriya rock fortress.

Dambulla cave temple.

Polonnaruwa, an ancient city filled with ruins.

Kandy, home to the Temple of the Tooth Relic.

Yala, for elephant and wildlife safaris.

Whether you are looking to escape the heat, explore some ancient ruins, or go on an amazing safari, Sri Lanka has something for everyone, and you can either use public transport, drive yourself or even get a car hire in Sri Lanka with a driver. Sri Lanka is a country packed with natural beauty and historical sites. No matter what your interests are, you are sure to find something to keep you busy while vacationing here. So go ahead and book your flight; you won’t regret it!

Seven Steps To Negotiating Successfully

When you negotiate, do you use a system? Do you haphazardly jump into a negotiation without any planning or thought for what you might do if you hit roadblocks? In order to negotiate successfully, good negotiators prepare before a negotiation.

The information that follows outlines seven steps you can use to negotiate successfully.

1. Gather Background Information: When gathering background information, include the style, values, ethnicity, culture, demographics (younger negotiators on/using twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and their way of communicating, versus those that are slower to use these mediums) and other information that’s pertinent to that particular session.

2. Assess your arsenal of tactics and strategies: The more you’re aware of how to use the appropriate tactic with the appropriate strategy, applied at the appropriate time, the more options you’ll have and be able to execute during the negotiation.

3. Create Your Negotiation Plan: Consider the overall strategy you’ll use for the negotiation. Break strategies into tactics. Assess possible strategies the other negotiator might employ. Take into consideration the use of red herrings (Note: Red herrings are items that have little to no value to you that you position as having value, but items that possess real value to the other negotiator). Also consider how you might apply pressure to points (leverage) throughout the negotiation.

4. Engage in the Negotiation Process: Observe body language and mannerisms. This can be done in person, via the phone, and in writing (e-mail, etc.). Note the style in which the other person negotiates (i.e. friendly (let’s get along), reserved (I’m not quite sure how this is going to go and I’m apprehensive), hostile (I’ll show you mine, if you show me yours – the only way for me to win is for you to lose – I’m in the driver’s seat; it’s my way or the highway).

5. Closing the Negotiation: Be on high alert for the conclusion of what you think is an agreement, that serves as the opening of the next phase of the negotiation; in some cultures, this is a common practice. If you’re unsure of the other person’s sincerity, put deliverables into phases of the negotiation.

6. Conduct a Postmortem: Dissect the negotiation. Assess what went right – What could have been improved upon – What you learned from that person about negotiation styles – What lessons should be taken forth into other negotiations – What went wrong – Why did it go wrong – What could you have done differently – What prevented you from using a better tactic/strategy to allow you to gain control of the negotiation).

7. Create Negotiation Archive: Create an archive of your negotiations and store them in a repository. Set up keywords to cross-reference sections, tactics, and strategies in your negotiation write-ups, to be used for the extraction of quick ideas and serve as a resource, for future negotiations.

Whether you’re a negotiation neophyte or a seasoned professional, by using the platform of the “Seven Steps To Negotiating Successfully” as your negotiation foundation, you’ll be considerably ahead of the other negotiator… and everything will be right with the world. Remember, you’re always negotiating.

The Negotiation Tips Are…

• When negotiating, seek advantages that allow you to exploit your strength, but don’t disparage the other negotiator in your enthusiasm to obtain victory.

• When a negotiation outcome is less than expected, learn from the experience. Commit to getting better. Increase your knowledge of how to use the right tactic, with the right strategy(s), aligned with the right situation.

• Make sure you observe and control your biases when assessing the person with whom you’ll be negotiating.