Plan to Create the WOW Factor with your Speech or Presentation

“Wow, what a fabulous presentation!” they said as they stood up after your speech. “Wow,” they said as they mingled after the event.

You, yes, you… WILL produce an impact.

What will it be?

Can you make it a “wow”?

Of course you can.

And the first step is to understand that it is not a mystery. It is something that you create. “Wow” is not an accidental by-product of a presentation. You create it deliberately.

The first thing to do is to define what it is that you want to create. What exactly is that “wow”? In other words, you need to define:

How will your audience respond to your speech or presentation?

What will they take away with them and remember?
What will they remember of you?

Why will they think “Wow what a fabulous presentation!”?

Start by defining the purpose of your presentation or speech. What do you want its impact to be?

You need to articulate whether you want to inform, persuade, inspire, motivate, entertain, shock… You may even want to do several of these things – in different parts of your presentation. But they must not be left to chance or you risk creating “Ho-hum… ” rather than “wow!”

Then define the message; the central message of your presentation – what one thing do you want the audience to take away? This message can be called a thesis statement or a theme. It can be given a number of names, but you need to be able to state it in one sentence. That way you will stay focused on that outcome when you are planning

When you have those two things articulated, the things you want people to remember, the impact you want to make; then you can create the structure and the language of your presentation to support them. The whole speech can be organised to reinforce that impact and that message.

The second of the questions was “What do I want them to remember of me?”

Who are you? How will you be remembered after this presentation? Are you professional, poised, articulate? Are you warm, folksy, creative, nurturing? Maybe you want to be seen as ballistic, confronting, no-nonsense, boot camp material. What message will your clothes and your grooming convey? What will your choice of language say about you?

You cannot be someone you are not, when you present, unless you are prepared to be a performer for the entire production. Insincerity will detract from your speech as quickly as a joke in bad taste. But you can present a side of yourself as the highlight – the side you want your audience to remember.

And the most powerful choice you will make is how you get that image to support your message – how you put the two together.

It may be totally supportive, in that the image is unobtrusive; seamlessly part of the message and the complete package – an incredibly effective combination.

Or you may choose to create an edge, a mystique.

Your body language, your facial expression and gestures, your clothes and your grooming all need to work towards the impact you choose to make. And they will contribute as powerfully to the impact you choose to make as a person as they do to the impact you choose for your presentation to make.

This package, this combination of impact, message and image are what people take away from your presentation. They are the wow you create.

But the pivotal word, there, was “choose” – the impact you choose to make, the impact you choose for your presentation to make.

Whatever you may be trying to achieve, don’t let the impact of your presentation be an accident. Right from the beginning, it needs to be part of the planning. When you are visualizing your production, toying with ideas and possibilities and first drafts, make the impact of you as a person and of your performance an integral part of that process. Visualise it and work it into all aspects of your production planning.

Then you have the foundation for creating the “wow” factor.

Impact Presentations for Board Rooms Considered

If you are going to give a presentation to the corporate board of a large company, you have to understand that they’ve already seen many presentations in their career, probably hundreds of them. They’re not going to be easily swayed by tricky lighting, or over-the-top power point presentations. They want facts, they want the reality, and they want you to answer every one of their questions to their liking.

If you fail to answer one of their questions you are doomed, and even if you answer the question, but you didn’t answer it correctly or you misinterpreted it, you will find yourself the brunt of their frustrations, and that could be a deal killer. The tone of your presentation and the tempo are very important, yes it’s important to dress nice, have professional literature, and be clear and concise with your presentation, but there’s more to it than that.

If you have the best product in the world, and you can prove it, even a boring presentation may get more play than a flashy presentation with no substance. However, if you can have the best of both worlds, that is to say an incredible impact presentation, along with a group of incredible folks with an abundance of industry knowledge, you can get to the heart of their questions, and answer them without missing a beat. Indeed if you can’t do this, you shouldn’t be there.

Put yourself in their shoes, if you had to listen to hundreds of presentations over the course of the last five years, would you want to listen to BS, monotone speech, or anyone who couldn’t answer your question? Patience may be a virtue in your church, and in your family life, but it isn’t in the high powered world of corporate boards.

Every question matters and everyone in that room’s opinion matters. So bring on the high-impact presentation, but don’t be naïve into thinking that you can come unprepared. You have to be on your best day, and you had better know what are talking about. Please consider all this.

Use Power Words Shrewdly To Negotiate Successfully

Words have power and in a negotiation, you’re perceived as being more powerful when you shrewdly use words that the other negotiator perceives as possessing strength.

When we speak, our words have an impact on the person with whom we’re conversing. Thus, we affect that person from a negative, or positive perspective, based on what we say, how we say it, and the manner in which it’s perceived. If you want your negotiations to be successful, discover how and when to use power words that influence the other negotiator and implement the following suggestions.

1. Using power words:

Power words are words that convey a stronger commitment to a position than words that would leave the listener in a precarious state of mind, related to a less than stringent perception that he otherwise might have. Some words, convey a less than strong commitment to a position (i.e. maybe, try, might, possibly, I think). In addition, by using such words, you weaken your position, while leaving yourself open to challenges. To be perceived as possessing a stronger commitment to your negotiation position, use words that convey more conviction (i.e. I know, success, will do, guarantee).

Note: To be perceived as being stronger, speak to what you’re for, not for what you’re against. Manage the level of negativity that could seep into the negotiation.

2. Before the negotiation:

Prior to the negotiation, ask yourself, what demeanor you wish to project and how much power you want to convey in the negotiation. If you project an image that’s too strong, or overbearing, you can alienate the other negotiator. Therefore, you have to measure the degrees of power carried by your words. Your words must be compatible with the manner in which the other negotiator is accustomed to receiving such messages and have the same meaning as he understands their conveyance.

3. Body language:

Being able to read and interpret body language gives a negotiator an advantage. Even when you use the appropriate words to match the situation, you still have to deliver those words in a manner that’s perceived as being in alignment with the actions of your body. If the situation does not call for it, avoid the appearance of being perceived as brash. You don’t want to have the other negotiator be in agreement with your position, only to have him back away, because he adopts a feeling of buyer’s remorse, due to a misalignment between your words and actions.

4. Assumptive questions used for power:

When negotiating, there are ways to use questions to gather additional information, to which the other negotiator assumes you already have the answers. This tactic is called using assumptive questions.

Assumptive questions are secondary questions that bypass an initial question that implies you already know the answer to the question that was bypassed (e.g. What led you to lowering your price in the past?). In a non-assumptive question environment, the initial question would be, have you lowered your price in the past?

By asking the assumptive question, what led you to lowering your price in the past, you give the impression that you know the other negotiator lowered his price at some point. When placed in such a position, the other negotiator will go into reflective mode, in an attempt to determine if you’re aware of the fact that he lowered his price in the past. Even if he states that he did not lower his price in the past, you’ve gain additional information about his negotiation position, and thus the reason this tactic is so powerful.

5. Conclusion:

From your words comes power. If you lack the vocabulary to convey your message in a strong and succinct manner, equip yourself with the verbiage that will be required to gain the upper hand. Learn the language of success as it pertains to the person with whom you’re negotiating.

Sometimes, you have to tell yourself, yes I can. Then, believe it. You don’t have to accept the plight of a negative outcome in a negotiation, if you chose not to. If you use the words that convey your negotiation position with power and do so succinctly, you’ll control the direction of the negotiation. In so doing, you’ll lead the negotiation in the direction you want it to take, which will enhance the probability of a successful outcome… and everything will be right with the world. Remember, you’re always negotiating.

The Negotiation Tips Are…

• Words can convey power, but words without synchronized body language can lead to confusion. If you wish to be perceived as being more credible, be sure your words, body language, and actions are aligned with the message you deliver.

• In a negotiation, silence can be golden, but even when being silent, you’re still sending a message.

• When negotiating, sometimes you have to escalate your rhetoric in order to disengage and be in a stronger position for the next phase in the negotiation. In such a position, use words that express power and subliminally you’ll send a stronger message.