Mind Mapping For Business Negotiations

There is no doubt about it, negotiating effectively is a skill and one that needs to be mastered if you are going to be successful in business.  It is also a very good skill to have under your belt in daily life as well.  According to some negotiating experts, you could save as much as 10% on your household bills and shopping if you are willing to negotiate.  So it is worth investigating how you too can become an effective negotiator.  This article isn’t going to teach you everything about negotiating, in fact in won’t teach you much more than the basics but what it will do is show you how you can apply Mind Mapping to your Business Negotiations.  So this article is for you if you have some experience of negotiating and want to get a better handle on what you are already doing.

The process of negotiation can be divided into three broad areas: preparation, negotiation and follow up.  Each of these can be enhanced using Mind Mapping so I will take each in turn and explain how you could use the Mind Map.

1.        Preparation

This is probably where the success or failure of a negotiation is decided.  Preparation is such a key stage and the clich├ęs like “Fail to plan then plan to fail” and “Preparation prevents poor performance” hold true in effective negotiation as well.

During your preparations you will need to gather all of the relevant information to support you in your negotiation and of course using a Mind Map is a great tool to use for this.  These days it is likely that you will have multiple sources of information across different media types and by hyper-linking to those documents you can access them from one place.  This is one of the most useful features of great Mind Map software.

The other thing that Mind Mapping is extremely useful for once you have gathered all of your supporting information, is to review and consider your current position, the place you want to be at the end of the negotiations, your opponent’s position and where they are likely to want to be end.  Whilst you can never fully know where your opposite number stands and where they really want to be, thinking about that ahead of time will allow you to consider the various options and alternative stances you may need to take.

When you lay these various options out and explore them using a Mind Map you will start to see themes and connections and potential win-win positions that you may not have seen before.  I am aware of no other thinking tool that can handle multiple what-if scenarios and “if they say then I’ll say” options so well without you becoming overwhelmed or lost.

2.        The Negotiation Itself

During the negotiation itself, a Mind Map can be applied in a number of different ways.  It can be used for the meeting agenda to set things up.  You can use it to personally keep track of the twists and turns of the talks or you can create a shared Mind Map that everyone can see evolve and is used to capture what has been agreed.  Much of the groundwork for the negotiation will have been done in the preparation stage and so you may need to refer to the Mind Maps you put together before the meeting.  In more proactive and dynamic negotiations Mind Mapping can be used to present your position, consider alternatives and even generate new ideas and solve problems.  It is such a powerful tool that it only enhances the thought process you apply it to.

3.        The Follow Up

After a negotiation has taken place, it is important to follow up and ensure what has been agreed is actually implemented.  Keeping track using Mind Mapping is one way of doing this.  Sharing the maps generated during the negotiation is a good way of ensuring everyone has the same record of the meeting and the decisions taken.

Presentation Introductions — They Can Make or Break You

When you have been asked or hired to give a presentation, you will usually be introduced to the group before you present. Often, the person chosen to introduce you is not a seasoned speaker. The introduction, therefore, by this well-meaning person can turn the audience off before one word comes out of your mouth. How can you avoid this?

Write out your introduction!

  • Prepare a short and snappy introduction to hand to your introducer.
  • I often send one ahead also. This helps the group to have pre-presentation information for a flyer or newsletter.
  • Even if you send one ahead, bring a copy with you.
  • When you arrive, ask who will be introducing you and give him/her the copy and take a couple of minutes to point out pronunciation of any words that might be difficult or unfamiliar.
  • Another note is to double space, use a font of at least size 12, and do not use all caps, which are hard to read.

What to include! When I wrote “short and snappy” I meant it. If the introduction drags on or is too praiseworthy, it will turn the audience off before you stand up. Just include the pertinent facts in the description — facts that are interesting and make the listeners sit up and take notice. The only time I include my college background is when I feel I need it for credibility.

What is your topic? Include words in the introduction that position you to speak on the topic you are presenting. What is it about you that gives you the expertise to talk about this topic? For example, if you are talking about running a successful home business, do you, yourself, have a home business? If not, you might want to reconsider speaking about home businesses.

A little humor goes a long way! One humorous fact can help any introduction to warm the audience. However, don’t depend upon pacing or delivery from the person who is reading your introduction. You can even add a line at the end that leads into a quick note of humor for your beginning comments.

What to do while being introduced! Often, while we are being introduced, audience members can observe us (we may be up on a stage or platform, or sitting at a table in full view). Make sure that you look lively, prepared and professional (I’ve seen presenters with their heads down, looking completely bored or practically asleep). As soon as the introducer is finished, be ready to jump up with enthusiasm and shake his/her hand.

Presentation Skills & Public Speaking – 10 Tips to How to Design & Prepare for a Presentation

Top 10 Tips to help you Plan and Design and Prepare for your Presentation

Next time you are faced with the daunting prospect of having to write a presentation, try out these tips from Skillstudio and you’ll be surprised at just how effective they can be at helping to design and prepare for a presentation.

  1. Prepare Prepare Prepare – The more time you spend preparing your presentation beforehand the more confident you will be on the day.

  2. Get to know your audience. Put yourself in their shoes. What’s in it for them? What understanding do they currently have? Do they want a detail or strategic level talk from you?
  3. What’s the one key goal you want to achieve by giving this presentation? Make sure that this is clear to your audience at the beginning and end of the presentation.
  4. Split your presentation into a beginning a middle and an end. Use the middle section to develop your ideas.
  5. Remember the power of three. Wherever possible think of things in threes. eg three key points to make at the beginining, three key points to develop further in the middle and three key points to make at the end. Your middle can further expand on the three points with three additional points each. etc
  6. Brainstorm the likely questions you will be asked by your audience. Prepare answers using the Power of three.
  7. Try using a mind map to help you organise your ideas into logical chunks. The clearer your thinking is the easier it should be to understand when you are presenting.
  8. Avoid the trap of preparing for your presentation at the last possible minute. It will only mean you lose a night’s sleep – on the night before you have to present!
  9. Lead your audience through your presentation using sign-posting. Recap on what you’ve just covered and then use rhetorical questions to move onto the next section. Always summarise your main points just prior to the end of your presentation.
  10. Plan to end your presentation with a call to action, a request for a decision to be made, or whatever you believe is the most appropriate means to achieve your overall goal.