Change Management Presentations – Want to Open Strong? Plan Your Thesis

What’s the biggest problem when presenting data or analysis? The presenter lacks of clarity around his message and what needs to change. The best way to solve the problem is to plan and present a clear thesis to open the presentation. Let’s find out what it is, and how to do it.

A thesis has a three part formula:

1. It states a problem
2. It suggests solution
3. It poses a question.

All good business writing begins with a good thesis. Take this opening paragraph from an article in the economist magazine.

‘WHY is it so many manufacturers cannot leave well alone? They go to great pains to produce exquisite pieces of technology. Then too often, instead of merely honing the rough edges away to perfection, they spoil everything by adding unnecessary bells and whistles and unwarranted girth. In the pursuit of sales, they seem to feel they must continually add further features to keep jaded customers coming back for more. It is as if consumers can’t be trusted to respect the product for what the designers originally intended.’ Economist August 2009.

This is a good example of a thesis, it starts by posing a question, defines the problem and hints a solution.
Business presentations should be no different from business writing in that they should

1. Open with a problem, to get the clients attention
2. Suggest the direction of a solution, to pique curiosity
3. Pose some questions by means of setting an agenda.

Let’s examine each in turn.

1. Open with a problem:
If you’ve done your analysis well then you should be able to state, with pinpoint accuracy, the nature of your client’s problem. Do this right and it’s as if you’ve grabbed the client by the lapels and shouted “Hey you’d better listen up, this is important.”
2. Suggest a solution:
Rather, you state the direction of the solution. You don’t want to show all your cards at once, because you haven’t sufficiently built the problem. If you show your hand too early you are likely to get objections.
3. Pose some questions:
Though what you are really doing is giving the client an agenda for the rest of the meeting. But you are doing it in a more elegant way, posing questions that need an answer.

Finally once you have planned your presentation thesis commit it to memory. This guarantees that a) you will open strong, and b) should the client ask you to cut to the chase, you can give your thesis therefore demonstrating yourself as a clear thinker worthy of another meeting.

Evaluations – Practice Being a Coach to Improve Your Presentations

Do you watch Dancing with the Stars? One of the three judges is Bruno Tonioli. Usually, I have a problem with him. Particularly when he addresses the contestants. It is at that time that he will usually express himself in a manner such as “You need to work on your rhythm. You looked like Shrek lumbering about for your dinner!”

PU-LEASE! Is that type of comment necessary? I hope you will agree it is not. Perhaps, in the style of Simon Cowell, they hope to boost ratings. But let’s take a look at it from a public speaking standpoint.

Tonight, Bruno said to one of the worst dancers, “You were on, you were off, your were on… You had a section in the middle where you were with the music, but you need to work on that. Work on staying with the music.”

Don’t you think that is better than, “You look like a broken juke box! Skipping and jumping and not keeping the rhythm.”

As a presenter, you can learn two things from this. First, connect with your audience. Don’t alienate them. If you can connect with your audience, they are more likely to listen, to consider, and maybe to see it your way. That is true whether you are evaluating them, or whether your are presenting a new business proposal or donation request.

Second, learn from evaluations. Learn from others’ evaluations wherever you find them. And if you can’t find them, do them yourselves. Evaluate people. Do it in your head if necessary. Get used to noticing the things that you yourself need to work on. Maybe even by noticing mistakes in others, you will notice that you have the same problem which you didn’t notice before.

It is similar to when you purchase a new car. Before you bought that car, whatever make or model, you didn’t notice that particular car on the road. But once you bought it, you notice every one on the road. The same goes with any type of expertise. The more you watch for it, the more you notice it, the more easily you pick it up in the future. This can be used to your advantage. Look for good and bad presentation techniques in others and you will start to notice them in yourself.

By the way, there is a term for that sensitivity. I heard it on the radio last month. Do you know what it is?

A Guide to a Successful Salary Negotiation

Whether you are are seeking for a new job offer or asking for a pay raise, salary negotiation is definitely a task that not many are a fond of doing. However, if you want to get the salary that you know you deserve, you have to do it so you might as well know how to do it successfully. With this guide, you will be able to learn exactly what you have to do to get that pay you have been working hard for.

When in talks for your salary, so that you know the right amount to ask for, research on the salaries of others in the field with the same position as you. You can do this by checking out salary surveys, talking to others who have the same occupation, and even by contacting the professional association in your area. Salaries differ by region so your research has to be relevant only to your area of work.

Once you have an idea of what amount to ask, you need to make sure that it can be backed up with your experience and accomplishments in the past. The more achievements you have, the more money you can possibly earn. If you feel that you don’t have much experience, it is OK but you need to be reasonable in the salary that you request for.

It is quite likely that you won’t be granted the exact amount you ask for because the company will always negotiate. Basically you have two options, you can either put a buffer in your request so that when they negotiate you will still end up with the rate you are satisfied with or you can simply compromise and figure out what amount you find acceptable. You can even do both options if you’d like but always be prepared to compromise that is why it is called a negotiation.

When you do a salary negotiation, never talk about the amount of money you need, it is always about what you deserve. What you earn is given to you based on your performance on the job and not because you have all these bills to pay. If you want to be paid well, then you need to work hard and show that you are deserving of such because complaining about your expenses isn’t going to get you anywhere.

Simply following these instructions will be of great assistance to you in achieving a successful salary negotiation. Just remember as long as you deserve it and you are ready to show why you deserve such amount, then you won’t have any difficulty getting that salary.