Impact, Influence and Negotiation – Notice Where Their Focus and Energy Is

Influencing is a social process. To have personal impact and influence you need one or more people to be affected by what you do or say. The only measure of whether or not you have the desired effect – a positive impact and lasting influence – is whether or not the other person thinks, feels or behaves differently.

Interacting is at the heart of the process. This might be through written means by letter or email, over the telephone in a video conference or in person at a meeting. Whatever the channel of communication, consistently successful influencers and negotiators devote part of their attention and thinking to noticing the other person and what’s going on in the interaction. More specifically they collect and interpret data about the other person whilst engaging in the conversation, interaction or negotiation. With this data in mind they choose how to operate, what to say or do to have the most positive impact and the most influence over the outcomes or objectives.

Perhaps the first thing to notice – the first dimension to consider – is how the other person appears to act in social situations. You may know them well or this may be the first time you have interacted with them. If you know them well you need to review your data on them and ask yourself some questions about how they operate:

  • Do they tend to think before speaking or think out loud as they talk?
  • Do they look for opportunities to be interactive with others or are they more self-contained?
  • Do they prefer lively debates and discussions or reflective thinking?

The answers to these questions should guide your thinking on how to approach the meeting, telephone call or even the email interaction. One of the most important distinctions here is where their focus of attention and energy is. This may even change the way you do business with them. The reflective thinker is going to be more comfortable with the time afforded by email than having to think and act at reflex speed in a fast moving meeting.

But if you don’t know them then you will have to do the analysis live – as you talk and interact with them. In live conversations and meetings notice how quickly they speak, and how they respond to questions. Do they think then speak or start speaking and think as they go? How easily do they seem to engage in conversation – are they the ones that initiate new lines of discussion or do they follow others’ leads?

Understanding where the other person’s attention and energy is focussed will tell you how they will operate in interactions and how you will need to behave to get their attention and keep them engaged. These are the fundamental foundations of being able to have personal impact and influence. Your behaviour must at least start by matching how the other person thinks and acts, that means tuning in to their ways of working so that you can gain their attention and interest.

The Difference Between a Persuasive and an Informative Presentation

There are a number of reasons as to why experts host presentations. The main type of presentations held can normally fall into two different categories, persuasive and informative.

What Is The Purpose of a Persuasive Presentation?

Presentations can be held in order to promote a particular service or product, presentations such as these would fall into the persuasive category. The reason for this is that the presentation would be hosted to explain the benefits of the product, message or service. Within the presentation, it would be up to the host to highlight then benefits while still ensuring that rich content that the audience wants to hear is being delivered.

The success of such a presentation can be measured by how many people make a purchase, employs a service or join a cause. Similarly, if the presentation is for a proposal, then the success can be determined as to whether or not you received the approval you need.

What Is The Purpose of an Informative Presentation?

Informative presentations tend to deal with training or education. There can be elements of a persuasive presentation intertwined. For example, a teacher may need to persuade his students that the subject is worth learning about. But the main objective of such a presentation is for people to absorb and retain information.

Research can be another important aspect of an informative presentation. A business may have carried out market research in relation to their business, and a presentation could be held to deliver such information to members of staff. As a result of the presentation, a decision would then need to be made in light of the information. A successful presentation of this type can be measured by the outcome of the decision, and how it was implemented using the information to hand.

The success of such presentations can be difficult to monitor unless there is a test or exercise that follows the presentation. In this regard, if the test results are high, then you can assume that your informative presentation was a success.

Although both presentations are different in what they have to offer, they do share similar characteristics. For example, both should have a clear goal as to what they want to inform their audience about. With this in mind, it is important that the presentation is tailored around your audience and they are able to fully understand your content. If you happen to host a presentation that falls into either category, you should ensure that you encourage the audience to participate by adding a question and answer session, or something similar.

Both types of presentation are also likely to involve a problem and solution section. Within a persuasive presentation, it is likely that the host will present a problem, then tailor their solution with a product or service. The problem and solution section may not seem so apparent within an informative presentation, but there could be a section that focuses on overcoming problems. For example, a business may highlight the problem of poor customer service.

Outlining the benefits of any product or service you are selling is paramount for persuasive presentations. Customers like to have a clear outline of how your product or service can solve their problem and what they can gain from their purchase. Outlining benefits is not at the forefront of an informative presentation, but the content itself may be beneficial to your audience, so in this regard, you would also look to sell the benefits of the very information you are relaying to your audience.

Emotions play a large part of persuasive presentations. In fact, studies have shown that very few people are able to make a purchase without feeling good about it. So when it comes to delivering a persuasive presentation, your ability to ignite human interaction and emotion should be one of your main focuses. Evidently informative presentations can also have emotion involved, but this can differ depending on the presentation.

Trust is the drive behind both types of presentation. If your audience doesn’t have faith in you, then they won’t have faith in your product. As you can imagine, a lack of faith can lead to a lack of sales. In order for the audience to commit to your product, then they must be able to trust the presenters, and feel comfortable that other audience members feel the same. Testimonials, reviews and previous successes are a large driving force behind a person’s trust.

Many presentations will be tailored to a specific audience, so you may find that different presentations may include different factors from both informative and persuasive presentations. Both types of presentation should include a call-to-action towards the end. This could be to buy a product, contribute or for the audience to put what they have learned into practice.

Create My Own Music As a Romantic Birthday Present

Buying gifts has increasingly become a skill that is much treasured. Finding the ultimate gift and buying that perfect present can sometimes drive a person crazy, especially when that guy is a self-declared unromantic realist like me. And unfortunately, I have a girlfriend who buys into romantic ideas of ‘knight in shining amours’ and ‘sex escapades in deserted islands’.

Since most of my friends know that I am possibly one of the most unromantic guys around, I enlisted their help in brainstorming some romantic birthday ideas. My best friend Bernard came up with an idea to write several anniversary poems about our trials and tribulations together. I thought it sounded pretty cheesy.

I thought that buying a gift would be easier and asked them to give me some birthday present ideas. Claire, my BFF, said she had one of the most amazing birthday surprise ideas. Last year, she actually wrapped herself as a present and when her boyfriend unwrapped her, she was actually stark naked.

That cracked all of us up but I was pretty certain I wasn’t going to embarrass myself and parade naked in front of my girlfriend. After another ten minutes of throwing around silly gift ideas and sillier birthday gift ideas, Bernard suddenly jumped up and proclaimed he had found the perfect solution for me.

He said that since I love writing music, I could create my own music and record a CD for her. Claire then chipped in to say that she knew a music-publishing studio where I could record the song and have it published. I thought it was a pretty good idea and Claire immediately called her friend to book the studio. She had heard me perform many times and felt that I could even sell my songs in the future.

A week later, we went to the studio to record the song that I wrote especially for my girlfriend. We met the studio boss whose name was Mark. He was in his forties, slightly balding and looked pretty panicky. He told me that that very day was his anniversary with his wife and he had ran out of anniversary gift ideas. I felt sorry for him because exactly a week ago, I was in his shoes.

I asked him if his wife preferred traditional anniversary gifts but he asked me for romantic anniversary ideas instead. He then proceeded to list all his wedding anniversary gifts by the year to his wife. This was surely a romantic guy and I have to say I didn’t have any more anniversary gift ideas for him. Claire, the ever-brainy babe, suggested that he record a song as well. She told him that I have love songs written and asked him to choose one to sing to her. It would surely touch her heart.