5 Simple AV Tips For a Flawless Presentation

Have you ever been in a meeting where something went wrong with the A/V?  Most of us have, and may God have mercy on you if it just so happens to be YOU!  Nothing is more mortifying than standing in front of an audience trying to get your audio-visual equipment to behave itself or trying to overcome some technological short-coming.

With all this complex technology we use during presentations, you’d think it was something electronic at fault for most A/V snafus and faux pas.  Ironically, it’s just the opposite.  It’s the simple things that’ll kill you… or worse yet, your audience.

The following is a short list of some things to keep in mind when you’re coordinating the A/V needs for your next event or meeting:

  1. Overamplification is a common mistake.  Volume will not compensate for improperly mixed sound or poor audio equipment – it will only draw more attention to the issue.
  2. Screen Size should correspond with room size, set up and attendance.
  3. Images on the large screen might appear distorted and discolored on the large screen.  Be sure to test your presentations prior to the meeting to avoid this common mistake.
  4. Don’t forget about rehearsal time.  Make sure a technician from your A/V company is available to attend rehearsal.
  5. Don’t take the house lights down too much that it becomes a hazard for your guests.  Not to mention it puts them to sleep.

This is far from a complete list of things you can do to help make your presentation a success.  If I had only one tip to provide, it would be to practice, practice, practice with the equipment and in the venue you plan to use.  If this isn’t possible, arrive with plenty of time to iron out the bugs. 

If all else fails and you’re thrown into a presentation without prep time, all I can suggest is that you say a prayer before stepping on stage and simply hope for the best.

Effective Negotiation Strategies – Being Prepared

On numerous occasions, I have participated in negotiations as a technical consultant on behalf of clients. In order to save time and money, the client often prepares for these negotiations themselves. Through many previous bad experiences, I have learned to ask clients in advance what their idea of negotiation strategies and being prepared actually is. Their answers often show, however, that they are not yet ready to begin an effective negotiation session.

Inexperienced, lazy, or naive negotiators believe that being prepared means ‘knowing what they want’ out of the negotiations, which generally implies that they have decided on terms that they would be happy with. They may even have given some thought to their worst case scenario, but that tends to be the extent of their negotiation strategies and preparations.

Knowing what you want from a negotiation is only a small part of what it takes to be prepared. The key to success is knowing how you are going to get what you want. Success comes from having effective negotiation strategies that convince the other side that what you want is actually fair and reasonable – or, at the very least, inevitable.

Ill-Prepared Negotiators

Most negotiators do not prepare appropriately. Even when large amounts of money are involved, people typically rely on past or similar situations to determine negotiation strategies. They expect to use their wits and develop a strategy on the fly. At best, planning for an effective negotiation session is one-sided and incomplete.

Skilled negotiators love ill-prepared opponents because their negotiation strategies are easier to manipulate. The lack of effective negotiation preparation on the part of their opponent makes their job much easier and allows them to overwhelm the other side with a higher degree of knowledge, preparation, research, and hard-hitting demands.

Being prepared requires that you have some idea of the other party’s desired outcomes. A plan is only realistic if you know what the other side wants, and you’ve figured out a way to give it to them (while getting what you want) or have figured out a way to change their minds to agree with your demands. The more you know about what the other team wants the less there is to negotiate and the easier it is to get an equitable agreement through a stream-lined, effective negotiation session.

Determining Failure or Success

Success is determined when a mutual agreement is met and both sides are satisfied without any hard feelings. To achieve this, you’ll need to consider the other side’s needs as well as your own.

After all, an effective negotiation should not be a winner-take-all type of contest. The vast majority of negotiations take place with people who you will need to work with after the negotiations have come to a close. If they feel cheated or resentful about a deal that was struck, the working relationship will be harmed.

Failure is judged in terms of potentially damaged relationships or by a deal that you are unhappy with. A failed negotiation might very well be the one in which you got everything you wanted (or thought you did) but ended up damaging your working relationship with a colleague, supplier, or competitor.

It is not uncommon for the purchasing department of large companies to squeeze small suppliers and contractors to the point where there is no profit (or incentive) in the contract that is ultimately signed. The result is a contractor that provides minimal or poor quality service and products. In this context, who is the winner of the negotiations? No one is. Everyone loses.

Successful Preparation Tactics

When planning effective negotiation strategies, it’s best to develop a list of objectives for ourselves and imagine what the position would be for the other side. Are they likely to agree to our terms or not? If not, why not? What would they agree to? Taking a win-win approach to effective negotiation strategies creates allies not enemies.

For an effective negotiation session, strategize with the big picture in mind: focus on long-term objectives, not short-term. Preserve relationships even if at the cost of short-term victories. And remember that the next negotiation begins the minute the last one ended. Being prepared means knowing how you are going to get the other side to agree and be happy with the deal you want or need. Being prepared requires planning, strategy, and tactics.

Strategy is developed from your analysis of what are reasonable targets and objectives. Your negotiation strategies are your approach to how you are going to convince the other side to agree to what you want. Tactics are specific, identifiable manoeuvres that implement the negotiation strategies.

Consider this example – a car salesman wants to sell cars for as much as possible. You want to pay the least. But does the car salesman also want you as a long-term customer? Do they want a trade-in car from you? Do they want to provide financing and maintenance? Is there anything other than low price that can be negotiated with a car salesman?

If the salesman only wants the highest possible selling price, your only bargaining chip is knowledge about prices at other dealerships. If, however, the salesman is interested in other aspects of the deal, then there are more details that can be negotiated in order to get you the lowest possible price.

Knowing what the salesman is interested other than just price allows you to develop more sophisticated, effective negotiation strategies and related tactics.

Preparation Checklist

  • Your targets: Identify objectives and justifications along with their relative priorities.
  • Their targets: Identify what you expect the other side’s objectives, justifications, and priorities to be.
  • Strategy: Create an effective negotiation plan for convincing the other side to agree to the terms you want, keeping in mind a long-term, big picture view.
  • Tactics: Specific approaches to how you will present your arguments (i.e. negotiation strategies) in a convincing way.
  • Response to tactics: Predict the other side’s tactics and plan your reactions and counter-tactics.
  • Room to move: Be prepared with some pre-determined options to provide you with flexibility in what is asked and offered.

Be Prepared

Negotiating is the art of convincing the other side that you should get what you want. Being prepared for effective negotiation involves a lot more than just knowing what you want. Effective negotiation strategies mean knowing what you would settle for and how you are going to convince the other side to give it to you.

Comprehensive negotiation strategies include prepared reactions to the strategy and tactics of the other side. When you take the time to predict what the other side is likely to want and do and then integrate these predictions into your negotiation strategy, you are among those rare individuals who truly are prepared for negotiations.

Negotiation is a contest. Fortune favours the prepared mind (and negotiator). If you want to be a winner, be properly prepared.

Commercial Real Estate – Listing Presentation Tips For Agents

The real estate listing presentation has to be specific to the property and the local market. Generic listing presentations are not worth the paper they’re written on. Far too many real estate agents use generic presentations which do not deal specifically with the property or the current economic climate.

If you have been invited to prepare a listing presentation for a vendor, the following list of topics will assist your presentation process and format. They are in relative order although the order may change to suit your business focus and the property.

  1. The executive summary should appear at the front of the document. This should be no more than two pages in length and should include the key attributes of the following proposal.
  2. A property brief should be included here to explain the requirements of the client and the sale as you understand them.
  3. A description of the property in detailed format is required at this point. This will require a search of the property title, leases, encumbrances, rights of way, and any other orders or notices that can have impact on the property sale. It is also appropriate to attach indicative plans of the premises and the tenant mix.
  4. A summary of the current market trends is important at this point. The client needs to understand the location of of any existing comparable property with which they compete, the current price evidence from other listings and sales of recent time, time on market for recent sales, and the enquiry type that is being recorded in this market.
  5. A summary of the target market that you wish to tap into will give the client a solid understanding of the property as you see it. When you define the target market correctly, you can define the marketing campaign and its individual elements.
  6. A summary of property changes and alterations that should be adopted and required prior to the releasing of the property into the market place. Give due regard to the tenant mix, any vacant areas, the exercising of any lease options and rent reviews, the improvements on the property, legal documentation, and operational costs.
  7. The recommendations that you wish to make to the client regards the pricing of the property given the existing comparable sales and other methods of price analysis that you adopt. It will be necessary for you to use evidence of other sales in this process.
  8. The recommendation that you wish to make regards the method of sale to adopt with the subject property. Not every method of sale will be appropriate in a given market. It is necessary to explain to the client the best method of sale that you believe is relative to the marketing campaign.
  9. Details of the marketing campaign to be used in the property promotion process. That should include costing’s, selected media to be used, a draft adverts, and examples of other campaigns where the client can make choices of format and layout.
  10. Testimonials and other information regards the staff and your office involved in the sale process will be relevant but should only be inserted at the back of the document. Most clients find this information tedious and irrelevant.

When you prepare a comprehensive document to support your listing presentation, the client can see that you are totally aligned to the opportunity that the property presents. This property market requires agents that are innovative and proactive.

Listing of a property for sale is the first stage of a strategic and comprehensive sale process. That is the high value the real estate agent brings to the clients in this market.