The Art of Negotiating Deals

Do we pass any single day without negotiating for something or the other, with someone or the other? No. Everyday we parley and bargain for things, big and small. Similarly, negotiating deals is almost an everyday affair for entrepreneurs too. The art of deal negotiation is a very old one and can be equally lucrative, if done properly. Contrary to common belief, far more is negotiable than entrepreneurs think; they just have to know how to do it and how not to. Mostly the ploy of the representative lawyers is to say that the deal presented is final, and to take it or leave it. However, this even after this it is possible to negotiate a deal further to suit one’s needs and demands.

Roger Fisher and William Ury in their book Getting to Yes define negotiation as a “back-and-forth communication designed to reach an agreement when you and the other side have some interests that are shared and others that are opposed.” It is but natural that in a deal negotiation, both parties would want to forward certain self-interests without compromising too much. Negotiating deals is not a process of quibbling over what each party wants or one where either side is a runaway winner. One cannot stubbornly stick to his ground without giving any breathing space to other players. Most likely such a deal will not come through, apart from the fact that it will be an unfair one even if it does.

A successful deal negotiation is one where both parties leave the table satisfied and believe that they have made the best of deal. In this, neither party wins or loses. Such deals are definitely possible to negotiate. Fisher and Ury focus on a method known as ‘principled negotiation’, a method developed at the Harvard Negotiation Project. ‘Principled negotiation’ asserts that the purpose of negotiations is “to decide issues on their merits rather than through a haggling process focused on what each side says it will and won’t do. It suggests that you look for mutual gains wherever possible, and that where your interests conflict, you should insist that the result be based on some fair standards independent of the will of either side.”

To this effect, the following points should be kept in mind while negotiating deals:

1. The people are separate from the problem.

2. Focus should be on interests, not positions.

3. Generating a variety of possibilities and options before deciding what to do is a good idea.

4. The result of negotiation should be based on some objective standard.

The idea is that neither side should be pushed on the defensive; both party would want to work with each other. During negotiations each side is sizing up the other. They will evaluate negotiating skills, intelligence and maturity demonstrated by each other. If the entrepreneur somehow gives an impression that shakes the confidence or trust of the investors, they will withdraw from the deal. Similarly, if the investors show arrogance, rigidity in seeing the entrepreneurs’ needs and points of view and deals with them in a high-handed manner, the entrepreneur will do well to opt out of the deal. The point is that if each side treats the other in which they would want to be treated, most likely each will be successful.

A Career in Negotiations

Earning your MBA can give you career a great boost, but earning an MBA in negotiations will teach you vital skills in the world of business. As a negotiations specialist, you will need to know how to handle difficult people and situations, and ethically and effectively come up with a resolution that will satisfy both parties.

In your career, you will be constantly negotiating and resolving conflict as you do in your personal life. Most businesses and organizations need to have some structure when it comes to negations and conflict resolution. Professionals who specialize in negotiations and conflict management can ensure that there are clear boundaries of responsibility and authority within an organization. Negotiation skills are among the most important determinants of career success, and having professional training in negotiations will but you at the top of your career. While negotiation is often considered an art form, there are precise techniques that people can learn through study.

Understanding specific negotiations techniques and skill development can be a critical component of your career and personal success. Earning your masters degree in negotiations will teach you the theory of conflict and how you go about resolving the situations. You will learn all about dispute resolution such as arbitration and mediation. Courses in negotiations programs will focus on how to influence and negotiate effectively in the face of complicated situations. You will learn optimal tactics and strategies for working with individuals or with groups. You will also learn how changes in the negotiation situation will impact the outcome. You will also be trained in communication strategies to help you work more effectively with multiple groups, and cultural situations. Some core skill that you will learn will involve working and managing teams, verbal and non-verbal communications, ethics, and influence skills.

Creating Engaging and Powerful PowerPoint Presentations – New Year’s Resolution for PPT Presenters

Whether you are a professional or an amateur presenter, one thing that could possibly ruin your performance – the poor quality of your PowerPoint (PPT) presentations, which many presenters have neglected its potential to engage with their audience. Due to lack of enhancing PPT presentations, your audience might feel distress about your insensitivity of displaying “lousy” or “irritating” PPT slides to them, and that would cause a minor snag in your performance.

Thus, you need to have a strong resolution on this coming New Year – Making as many engaging PPT slides as possible in order to gain good rapport from your audience. It is also a great long-term plan for many areas – for instance, you could boost your sales when you are describing products to your clients, or maybe you could receive certain recognition from your audience by outsmarting other presenters who did not take advantage of the presentation tools.

Here are a few steps that you should follow to work on this resolution:

1. Find a suitable mentor – You need to get some inspiration from famous presenters such as Steve Jobs, Randy Paush, Ken Robinson and etc. If you could find the right one – then, you should start looking for one immediately via Ted.com, by watching fascinating talks by remarkable speakers.

2. Always think or see things from your audience’s perspective – Avoid being a “selfish” presenter by neglecting your audience’s perspective. For example, you need to take note of your audience’s visibility, in that case, you need to increase the font size, select the right colors of the font, and slide layout.

3. Being simple is simply enough – Try to restrict yourself from putting too much texts and animations into your slides as it could create unnecessary distractions. Your main aim is to engage with your audience with your presentation with less distraction, not making things harder for your audience to perceive.

4. Break the “tradition” – Do not be tempted to use the default PPT templates repeatedly in your presentation. Hence, you can either purchase new PPT templates or download them for free on the Internet. Other than that, you can hire a designer to design a new template based on your preferences.

5. Add-in some laughter and interaction with your audience – Your build rapport with your audience by making your audience laugh during intervals. Certainly, if you have any jokes to share among your audience, it has to be relevant and straight to the point as it can a good way to lighten the atmosphere.

It is time to bade farewell to “worse” PPT slides and embrace this New Year with enhancing PPT presentations!