Why Your Audience Wants Bad Things to Have Happened to Their Presenter

Today’s audiences are a jaded bunch. In fact, a Gallup Poll shows that just 16% of us have a favorable opinion of business executives. With all of the Wall Street failures and auto maker bailouts that are currently going on, this number will probably keep going down. What’s a presenter to do in order to cut through the fog of cynicism that we are all existing in?

One way that presenters are doing this is by sharing their own stories of adversity. These stories seem to be able to reach out to audiences and somehow make the presenter much more “real” than just another glib business success story.

If this is what your audience wants, what can you do to meet their needs? We all may not have survived a wild bear attack, but we may be able to find other types of material in our lives that will allow us to connect with our audiences:

  • Audiences Love Adversity: The bigger the challenge that you faced, the more they love it. Erik Weihenmayer is a mountain climber who is blind. He over came lots of adversity and ended up climbing Mt. Everest. His story shows his audience how to overcome adversity in their lives.  
  • Tales Of Survival Match Today’s Business Environment: Today’s business environment is harsh and unforgiving and surviving is what most of your audience is trying do every day. Trisha Meili was assaulted and left for dead in New York’s Central Park. She now speaks to audiences about what she had to go through in order to recover.  
  • Find The Metaphor: What your audience is really looking for is hope. They will be interested in your story no matter what you tell them, but it will have a real impact if they can understand that what you went through is similar to what they are currently going through. The fact that you survived (and hopefully thrived) is what is going to give them the courage to keep on trying.  
  • Tie Your Story Into Business: A great story will keep your audience on the edge of their seats – but what happens when you stop talking? John Amatt survived a mountain climb 20 years ago that killed three of his climbing teammates. The only way that he survived that disaster and made it to the top of the mountain was to  make radical changes to his climbing route and tactics. This story is very well received by business people who are facing major changes in their business environments.
  • Use Humor Where Appropriate: These topics can be pretty heavy – life and death struggles are rarely something that anyone wants to joke about. That being said, if your entire presentation is dark and scary, then your audience will just be happy when it’s all over. Instead, use humor at the start and at the end in order to start and end on a lighter note. You audience will appreciate it and this will allow your message to sink in further.

We have not all faced life threatening situations. However, what your audience is really looking for is a good story that they can relate to. If you look back over your life, I’m sure that you can find points in which you were faced with a challenging situation that looked impossible at the time. Then all you have to do is weave a story that will grab your audience’s attention…

Calico Critters Luxury Townhouse: The Ultimate Girls’ Present For Christmas 2010?

One of the most wanted Christmas gifts for girls from 4 to 8 years old is likely to be the Calico Critters Luxury Townhouse, from International Playthings. Here’s a brief overview of what you’ll get and whether this is a good choice of gift for your little girl.

What Are Calico Critters?

They are the now famed miniature creatures who enjoy living in realistic homes with various items of furniture and accessories. The animals, as well as their habitats, are well known for attention to detail – which is why they are adored by little girls!

The world of Calico Critters has several characters to collect, who live on Cloverleaf Corners. Each character has a unique part to play in the community. They love to be around their family and friends – and the new Townhouse provides the perfect setting.

What Is the Calico Critters Luxury Townhouse?

It isn’t difficult to see why little girls will love this house, which is the perfect home for their Critters. The Townhouse includes four rooms, which can be expanded into five if needed. The whole house can open and close, keeping things tidy when it’s not being played with, and it even features working lights!

The Calico Critters Luxury Townhouse is also a wonderful present for children who like to be creative. The Townhouse is designed to be decorated however your little girl wants. The staircase and extra floor area can even be rearranged to transform the home layout.

What You’ll Get:

* The Townhouse (measures 12x12x12 inches),
* Lights that turn on and off,
* Four rooms plus a room divider to create a fifth room,
* Moveable staircase.

It’s important to point out that this house doesn’t come with any Critters. This has led to disappointment for some little girls, so if yours doesn’t have some Critters already, do buy a starter set along with this Townhouse and she’ll be playing in no time!

Negotiating a Business Contract? Consider the Other Party’s Interests

People in business are constantly engaged in negotiating: with existing and prospective customers; with suppliers and other vendors; and, with others within their own organizations. Those who are successful in business are quite often those who have developed the skill set necessary to become effective negotiators. Good negotiators recognize that a successful negotiation is about more than just making a deal – it is about making a good deal. Good deals are more apt to result when the parties are able to agree to a contractual arrangement that satisfies one or more of the interests of each of the parties.

Interests are the underlying needs and concerns which the business negotiator seeks to satisfy by means of a contractual relationship with another party. Interests are the underlying reasons why a business engages in a negotiation at all. Successful business negotiators approach a negotiation as a problem solving exercise in which the basic problem is devising a solution that satisfies one or more of the underlying interests of each of the parties. By contrast, less effective negotiators tend to approach business negotiations by focusing on the positions they intend to present for the other side’s consideration. The difference between positional and interest based bargaining is illustrated by the following example:

“Consider the story of two men quarreling in a library. One wants the window open and the other wants it shut. They bicker back and forth about how much to leave it open: a crack, halfway, three quarters of the way. No solution satisfies them both.

Enter the librarian. She asks one why he wants the window open: ‘To get some fresh air.’ She asks the other why he wants it closed: ‘To avoid the draft.’ After thinking a minute, she opens wide a window in the next room, bringing in fresh air without a draft.” Roger Fisher and William Ury, Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In (1991), p. 40.

Each of the two men focused on their own positions, and entirely missed a solution that effectively reconciled their underlying interests. As the above example suggests, negotiating over positions tends to lock the negotiator into defending or advancing his/her position to the point that his/her own ego becomes identified with the position. As more attention is devoted to the position less attention is given to the parties’ underlying interests. Agreement becomes less likely and any agreement which results may be merely “splitting the difference” between the parties’ final positions instead of exploring a solution which might have achieved more for each side. That makes for an inefficient process in that both sides tend to begin with extreme positions and give ground slowly and reluctantly increasing the time and costs of reaching an agreement as well as the risk that no agreement is reached at all.

The ability to identify the other party’s interests in the course of the negotiation process can be critical to reaching a mutually beneficial contract relationship. The reality is that if the party with whom you are negotiating cannot satisfy its own interests in a deal with you, then it will either do a deal with someone else or go without. Knowing the other party’s interests will help you to determine what you have or what you can offer that is of value to that other party. That will enable you to craft a proposal that both meets the interests of the other side and makes good business sense for your side as well.

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