Rapport – The Key to Any Great Presentation

Rapport can be defined as an intangible, invisible “link” that exists between a speaker and his audience. It is that comfort zone where both parties start to enjoy each others presence and a sense of trust develops. No matter how content-rich or persuasive one’s presentation is, a presenter would never succeed in communicating effectively with his audience without this presenter-audience relationship known as rapport.

So how do you tell whether rapport is lacking between you and your audience? The following would reveal some signs that things may not be going well during your presentation.

1) Excessive small talk among your audience members

2) People dozing off intermittently

3) Facial expressions of boredom

4) Languid body language

5)People excusing themselves repeatedly to leave the room

Conversely, when good rapport is established, communication between both parties would reach an optimum level. This is the point where you would notice your audience members giving you and your presentation full attention. Considerable eye contact is made and heads nod in agreement with the issues you raise. People would be laughing at your jokes appropriately or even applaud you for a valid point made. In fact, when questions start rolling from the audience, it may not always be a bad sign because audience members are participating in a fruitful dialogue with you or with other members, which shows that interest in your presentation topic is sustained.

But how does anyone create rapport with his audience?

The secret to this million-dollar question lies in subtle techniques that almost every great speaker or presenter employ whether consciously or sub-consciously. The number one trick-of-the-trade would be the effective use of humor. Everyone loves to be entertained and a presenter with a great sense of humor would often spark off rapport with witty one-liners or amusing life experiences. However, jokes should be threaded on carefully so as to ensure that they do not breach political, gender, cultural or racial boundaries.

Furthermore, considerable eye contact would help in creating rapport even without your audience knowing that this is a deliberate effort by you to do so. Why? Because eye contact with the audience conveys sincerity. Think about it. If someone goes up to you and strikes up a conversation without looking at your eyes and keeps glancing to the sides, how would you feel?

Get my point? It is logical, isn’t it?

However, do also take note that although a steady sequence of eye contacts would reveal your confidence in your subject, staring right at someone would definitely imply rudeness or hostility. This is merely a social skill taken into the context of public speaking. As a rule-of-thumb, a three-second eye contact with an individual would be more than sufficient.

Lastly, as a presenter or public speaker, you should use your body language to “win over” your audience. This means that one should first adopt a confident, open posture when presenting, since such a physical gesture would suggest self-assurance and optimism. No one would want to listen to a speaker who appears nonchalant and seems like he does not even believe in his subject matter. Thereafter, wear a smile regardless of situations since this is the most effortless tool in creating rapport. Not only is it the easiest but it is the most effective, especially when you open your presentation with it. In fact, we use more facial muscles frowning than smiling. So by conveying positivity to your audience members with a sincere smile, you would have instantly created preliminary rapport with them, thereby ensuring that you have won at least half your presentation battle.

Thus, building rapport is critical to any presentation and it is often this indefinable element that distinguishes a great presentation from an average one. Time and again, we tend to take such subtle techniques for granted as we focus excessively on our presentation content and material. However, by bringing these skills into our conscious minds, we would be able to communicate successfully with any audience.

Negotiator Win – Know How To Turn Weakness To Power – Negotiation Tip of the Week

Have you ever employed the initial appearance of weakness as a tactic in a negotiation? It can be a great way to gather valuable information. When the other negotiator sees you in a weakened position, that’s the time when you can turn your perceived weakness into a source of power. Observe the following to do so.

The Opening – setting the stage:

To set yourself up to be perceived as weak, consider the following strategies.

  • At the opening of the negotiation, offer a weak handshake; this positioning is enhanced by allowing your hand to be on the bottom of the handshake (i.e. the other negotiator’s hand on top of yours). That will subliminally signal subjugation on your part.
  • Project a sense of slowness to grasp points. Don’t overplay your hand. Remember, you’re playing the role of someone that’s not sure of himself.
  • Allow yourself to be maneuvered by making concessions quickly when doing so is not detrimental to your position.
  • Refer to having to consult a higher authority when pushed too hard for a concession; that’ll convey a sense of powerlessness.
  • While engaging in the processes above, seek to uncover the other negotiator’s source(s) of power. You can use that as leverage against him later in the negotiation.

Mid Game – the turn:

This is the point at which your demeanor transformation begins.

  • Know the strength of your resources compared to your opponent. That will be your source of power. It can be used as leverage during the negotiation to thwart his efforts.
  • During the negotiation, be prepared to refer to a higher authority that trumpets the other negotiator (e.g. him – we reached a multimillion-dollar deal with company x last year, you – we know that and they’re talking with us this year; I guess they didn’t like the results of your deal.)
  • Create a false sense of value with red herrings as chits that you can trade later for items and concessions of importance.

End Game – the closing:

This is the time you employ tactics that display, you’re no longer a weakling.

  • Begin to use the red herrings you set up in the prior phase to enhance your negotiation position. Be stubbornly diligent when making concessions at this point. Your efforts should send a subliminal message that indicates, you’re going to be a tough negotiator from this point on.
  • Once you’ve engaged in the strategies above, be cautious. You will have transformed yourself from the weakling you initially appeared to be into a titan. The other negotiator will realize that he’s dealing with someone that’s more astute than he originally thought. That will cause him to raise his guard. He’ll also be seeking ways to adjust his negotiation strategies to match his new reality.

The timeframe and phases mentioned above still have to be accompanied with the negotiation strategies that are appropriate for the type of negotiation you’re in. Thus, the outline above should serve as a foundation to which you can add more specifics steps to fit your situation. By using this outline, you’ll be well on your way to creating a roadmap that leads to more successful negotiation outcomes… and everything will be right with the world.

Remember, you’re always negotiating!

3 Benefits Blogs Present Businesses

One of the best things that you can work with online is blogs. There are several benefits to having these set up, especially for businesses that are looking to gain marketshare in even the hardest of niches. By simply pushing information forward, you will find that you can gain steady traffic and information to any website or online project. For those unfamiliar with the benefits of these sites, it’s important to look at them as stand alone marketing websites. The collateral that can be created can be unique, informational, and possess a certain amount of publicity that would otherwise be lost in today’s busy internet landscape. Consider the following 3 benefits that are presented with blogging.

Content – When it comes to the online world, no matter what you’re trying to accomplish the old adage of “content is king” still reigns true. If you want to get anywhere on the web, you have to absolutely provide unique and relevant content for others. If you can somehow bring a fresh take on any subject matter, you will gain a flood of targeted users that will not only help your business grow, they’ll subscribe to your sites and promote your brand across their social media pages.

Search Engines – Search engines love blogs, and they continue to index them at a rapid rate. Your average website might be floundering one day, but add a blog component to it, and you will get indexed faster, more often, and get serious attention that would otherwise be lost.

Authority – When it comes to marketing on the internet, one of the best things that you can do is establish authority. Whether you are trying your hand at affiliate networking, or you’re trying to sell products on your own, you can gain a sense of authority by simply writing about different aspects of your business. Showcasing to potential clients that you’re competent and know what you’re talking about when you sell something is one way to bridge the gap between potential buyer and merchant. Do this properly and you will convert more revenue than ever before.

The aforementioned benefits of blogging for business are just a few things that you should consider. There are a great deal of other benefits that come alongside the above. If you’re working on a marketing strategy, you have to use these content management devices to help build connections with others that would otherwise not manifest. Test the waters, and you will see that you can create a lasting impression on the web.