Presentations – Lessons Learned (at School)

In fact this article is a preparation for a next article on the same topic; one that is actually still due.

We are to absorb so much knowledge that we tend to forget what we have learned when we where still at school. Maybe you remember the time when you where asked to read out loud in front of the class.

“Period.”

This period is key. Not only when reading a text, but also when presenting the kind of material in front of a group of people. The technique is the same. You stop because the action has ended end you are stepping into a new area. The period is there to signal this for you as a reader, but in the presentation you are to use this as a pause to check whether your public (readers) is still with you. It serves as a turning point (or a hinge) to turn the past in to the future. The period shows what is done. Up to the next phrase or picture, unless…

Unless there is a problem. That is what you hope for giving a presentation (not always probably), but you would like to interact with the audience, because without feedback you cannot tell whether the story has landed safely.

If nobody argues, then you can continue.
The pause should also give you confidence knowing that what you are presenting is relevant and valuable and maybe passed to your audience.

Before we knew how to read properly, we forgot to wait for the traffic lights; we skipped the full stop and headed to the next sentence. But once we were confident in reading out loud we stopped, waiting for the next action.

We tend to forget these simple things from the past. Or maybe, when we forget to use a pause in the presentation, we are not confident enough.

Perhaps that is the first step before presenting the material – to gain faith in what we will offer.

© 2006 Hans Bool

PS: The article that is still due is part two of – Models that color your presentation. This has been quite a while. This brings me “lessons learnt” – do not pause too long.

6 Negotiating Steps Used By Effective Leaders!

In, my, over four decades, of involved, in, nearly, everything related to effectively, leading, from identifying and qualifying, to training, developing and consulting to thousands of actual, and/ or, potential leaders, to serving, personally, as a leader, on several occasions, I realize, how challenging it is, to be a good leader! Unfortunately, far – too – few, organizations, consistently, use, a well – considered, relevant, professionally – designed, leadership training program, and, even – fewer, are sufficiently trained, and prepared, in all the necessities, needed, to be a quality, reliable negotiator! With, that in mind, this article will attempt to, briefly, consider, examine, review, and discuss, 6 essential, negotiating steps, the most effective leaders, must use, effectively!

1. Know what you seek/ want/ need: Whether, it’s negotiating, for events, important contracts, or seeking a meeting – of – the – minds, for the greater good, if you hope to be a leader, you must, begin, knowing and identifying, what you seek, want, and need, and how your organization, might benefit, by keeping these, in – mind! How can anyone, effectively, negotiate, unless/ until, you understand, what is needed, perceived, wanted, and sought, by your group, and its constituents?

2. Consider options and alternatives, with an open – mind: One must realize, effective negotiations, occur, when two parties, decide, it makes sense, for them, to come to some agreements, based on a meeting – of – the – minds, for the greater good! To do so, one must consider, with an open – mind, a variety of potential options and alternatives, which might bring about desired/ desirable results!

3. Know your negotiating adversary’s goals, needs, etc: Before negotiating, it’s important to do your homework, and, better understand, what your adversary, needs, seeks, and wants! How can you find common ground, without doing this?

4. Effectively listen: Although, for most people, their favorite sound, is their own voice, quality leadership, and especially, negotiating, demands, prioritizing, listening, effectively, and discovering/ understanding things, from their perspectives, in order to proceed, consistently, with the ultimate degree of genuine empathy!

5. Common ground/ win – win: Many individuals, falsely, believe, the objective of negotiations is what they believe, is winning, and/ or, defeating, the other party! However, I have learned, and strongly believe, after over four – decades, and about a thousand negotiations, discovering common ground, and creating, circumstances/ results, where both sides, feel satisfied/ content, in a win – win negotiating, approach, is the needed mindset!

6. Meeting of the minds: The ultimate goal of any, quality negotiations, is bringing about, a genuine, meeting – of- the – minds, for the greater good!

If you hope to be a quality leader, learn, and pursue, being a meaningful, effective, professionally – prepared, negotiator! Are you up to these tasks?

Offline Porn Use on an Office Computer – The Presentation

Most people using company computers for work keep away from accessing pornography on the web. They understand that IT departments can watch what you’re doing online as easy as they can see the history of what you’ve done online. But what about the person who has a laptop, and they’re traveling with it for a week or a few days, and they decide they want to take along a thumb drive with porn they’ve downloaded from their home computer, or maybe they decide at some point to view a pornographic DVD on their computer in their hotel. I actually worked with a guy who was doing just that. He knew that even if he deleted the history of the web browser, it wasn’t safe to surf porn sites on the company computer, because the porn site information is stored in various locations, in different folders, throughout the hard drive. Not to mention what the porn sites can put onto your computer, something that can turn up at any time, much to your embarrassment.

What this guy was doing was accessing porn sites at home on an older desktop computer. He would download images and movies from porn sites to CDs and portable hard drives. Then, when he would travel, he would take his company laptop and simply access pornography that he’d already saved by using the CDs, DVDs, or portable drives with his company laptop.

The night before a presentation to clients, he spent two and half hours viewing pornography on his laptop. He put off much of his preparation, thinking he would finish with the porn quickly, then prepare for the presentation. But minutes turned to hours, and before he knew it, he was exhausted and it was one in the morning. He crammed what he could for the presentation, then got a few hours of sleep before he had to get up at six. When he got to the presentation at 7:30, he was very tired and had trouble getting alert. He drank as much coffee as he could, then set up his computer for the presentation as the people filed in, chatted, drank coffee, and eventually sat down. His laptop was hooked up to a projector so that the room could view his presentation as he talked. The projector turned on and he looked at it to operate his computer. He clicked the Start bar and opened his Recent Documents folder to find the presentation. As he scanned the folder for the name of the presentation, he noticed, along with that presentation, were eleven file names of the porn he’d been viewing the night before. The file names for the photos and movies were blatantly sexual. Heart in his throat, he jumbled to exit the Recent Documents folder, and looked around to see who’d has seen him open it. Most people were talking, but three or four had been looking at the screen. Had they seen the file names? Now, his confidence was shot, and he was embarrassed. His face turned red, and he was not even sure if anyone had seen or read the file names. As a result of all of this and his lack of sleep, his presentation went terribly. He had trouble focusing on the flow of what he had to say, and stumbled over basic questions.

And yet, what this man found was that this situation was happening time and again. He figured out quickly to delete all the files in his Recent Documents folder, but he still procrastinated preparing for meeting clients by viewing porn for hours on end. Eventually, this behavior eroded his ability to do his job. His confidence began to buckle over time, in everyday situations. He would blush for no reason, He would stammer where before he could soar through discussions with clients. Where he was strong, now he was weak. And the weaker he became, the more he depended on viewing pornography to numb his feelings of inadequacy.

In addition, at some point a member of the IT department approached him quietly and told him that they had seen evidence of pornography on his computer. Files he’s missed, things he’d forgotten or didn’t even know about, that he should have scrubbed, but that turned up easily when IT people were working on his computer. And while IT was discrete, the incident further eroded this man’s confidence, and he eventually had to quit his job. He hoped that if he went somewhere new, with all new people, that he could start again, and that he wouldn’t use porn and he would get a fresh start. Except that when he got that next job, and met those new clients, and worked with the new co-workers, he found himself in the same boat in less than four months.

That’s how the damage of addiction, and the damage or pornography works. Slowly. Over time. Chipping away at a person’s success, replacing it with fear, insecurity, and failure. If you find yourself in this position, take action now to build up your resistance to porn, while you increase your ability to succeed, and your ability to deal with challenging situations. The slippery slope to porn addiction is easy; climbing out and building up your inner capability is more difficult, but it pays off exponentially more. Like anything, if you follow a simple process, you’re much more likely to attain your goals.