Selecting The Right Presentation Music

There is more to a presentation than words, and the nonverbal content needs as much consideration as the verbal. The right presentation music can create an atmosphere for your piece that helps convey your message. Deciding which music to use is one of the most important decisions facing a presentation producer. Some production designers choose their music in an almost offhand manner. This is usually a mistake. The same designer would never choose presentation graphics at random; the visual elements of a project as carefully selected to enhance and elaborate on the message of each slide and of the work as a whole. Slapping a random track onto the result of weeks of design is risky and unprofessional at best and self-defeating at worst. Music, like every other part of the endeavour, should be chosen as part of the overall effect.

One important thing to consider in presentation music selection is the responsiveness of the target audience. You do not want your audience to think that your project was done poorly. Work targeted at specific religious or academic venues do not mix well with anything that refers to rap or rock music. A funeral home salesman would never use upbeat music to sell his products. Just as images must be selected well so as to not offend anyone, music should be treated in the same respect. People respond to various types of music in different manners. Ensure that the music selected will have a desirable effect. If the plan is to attract people to a booth at a trade show, the style should be attractive and cheerful. It shouldn’t force viewers to want to go somewhere else or not even notice the booth. This defeats the entire purpose. There is a lot more to giving a presentation than simply words. Verbal and nonverbal content both need to have an equal balance. The proper presentation music can provide an atmosphere for your creation that helps to express your message. Choosing the right music is an important decision that every presentation producer faces.

The search for the right music should start immediately whatever loop types you may select. It takes quite a bit of time to find the correct track and to get the rights for it, will take even longer. In certain cases it will be better to utilize specially recorded music for the specific work like in a church or school setting, and proficient musicians can contribute their talents for a reasonable price. Always avoid using material which is copyrighted while recording presentation music. The copyrights extend to tunes and lyrics and not just to the record’s use. Special circumstances may demand the use of such music but all fees should be paid. Producers should find the original music and should also make sure that the copyright on the chosen tune has not expired. It is possible to sidestep issues about copyrights when you purchase original pre-recorded performances which were made specifically as presentation music.

This is by far the safest route as far as the law goes. If pre-recorded tracks are used for a presentation, the next question is where to get them. Commercial music is likely way beyond the budget, and amateur work probably will not achieve any desirable effect. Appropriate affordable music is widely available for download from specialty websites. The free stuff may be of questionable quality, but the many composers working in the field can supply anything from a single loop to an entire CD or music to dovetail precisely with your needs. Ideally every presentation should have its own soundtrack, composed to emphasize the points it makes and evoke the mood its designers envision. While commissioned music is not practical for most applications, the use of carefully selected tracks can provide a very close substitute. This sort of presentation music makes for great impact without breaking the budget. For great music loop go to:

Simplify Negotiations with the Six Rules of Effective Communication

To negotiate effectively, you must be able to communicate effectively. Unfortunately, most salespeople and businesspeople don’t realize the importance of solid communication skills to the negotiation process. As a result, they lose sales or don’t get the best possible deal.

However, as a salesperson, you are not doomed to the mixed messages and meanings characteristic of poor communication skills. With a conscious effort, all business and sales professionals can overcome the communication barriers that block understanding in negotiation. With a little extra effort, you can improve the delivery of your message to your counterparts and work together toward a mutually beneficial agreement.

Use the following six rules for effective communication to connect with others at the negotiating table and in all forms of communication:

Rule 1: Organize Your Thoughts

Throughout the negotiation process, always allow yourself time to organize your thoughts to avoid conveying the wrong message or confusing the issues. Before you start the negotiation process, and even after it starts, take notes and plan what you’re going to say.

To help you express your thoughts clearly when the negotiations begin, outline in advance the main points you want to cover. Planning the gist of what you’re going to say is the most effective way to avoid sending mixed messages, but don’t stop with that. As the negotiations commence, continue to take notes and plan your responses as you go through the entire process. And remember, no law exists that says every statement must be met with a response within five seconds. Take your time. In fact, silence can be one of your most powerful negotiating tools.

Stop talking whenever you feel like you need to reorganize yourself and before you respond to anything that’s said. And make sure everything you say reflects the true meaning of your thoughts. This tactic not only helps you organize what you’re going to say, but it also helps you digest what your counterpart proposes.

Rule 2: Don’t Think About It; Think Through It

Thinking about something leads to confusion, but thinking through something leads to clarity. The difference between these two processes is a crucial distinction in communication. Many times, people approach negotiations with a mindset of, “Tell it like it is, then let the chips fall where they may.” But by processing an idea through to its logical conclusion, you can evaluate the possible responses you may get from the other side.

For example, if you make an offer and say, “Take it or leave it,” what kind of response would that produce? The other party may say, “Okay, we’ll take it.” They could say, “Thanks, but no thanks.” They could say, “We won’t take it, but here’s what we will accept.” Or they might say, “No one talks to us that way!” and walk out of the room.

A range of possibilities exists, and this tactic requires careful reading of the other person’s reactions. But if you feel from your experiences with the person that they will either accept your offer or your counteroffer, it makes sense to speculate and take the chance. So give some thought to your counterpart’s possible reactions to your points before you actually make them.

Rule 3: Recognize that Actions Speak Louder than Words

Experts say that seventy-five percent of communication is nonverbal. This means that the messages negotiators convey have more to do with their looks, their actions, and the way they say things, than with the actual words they say.

The best negotiators practice saying and doing things in ways that send precisely the message they want to send. The bottom line is that the better you become at using nonverbal communication and reading the nonverbal messages others send, the more effective you can be as a negotiator. Realize that everything you do at the bargaining table is part of the communication and negotiation process. So make sure you don’t send the wrong messages by doing something that conflicts with what you want to say.

Rule 4: Be Concise

Most people tune out a majority of what they hear, so you should always be concise and get right to your point. Say what you mean in as few words as possible, without being blunt. If you drone on, people will stop listening to you. To ensure your message reaches your counterpart, always oversimplify your message, and then elaborate as they ask questions. Repeat your main point several times to emphasize what’s most important.

To boost your negotiating power even more, practice saying everything clearly and concisely, then repeat your key points to yourself again and again. One main problem with negotiation communication occurs when your counterpart gets too wrapped up in what they want to say, that they don’t pay attention to what you say. This is why it is so important to organize your thoughts, and say your main points in a concise, compelling way.

Rule 5: Always Translate Your Message into Benefits for the Other Party

People always listen more carefully when they believe some benefit exists in your message for them. In negotiations, focus on that benefit, even when the underlying purpose of the message is in your favor.

For example, when you interview for a new job, you don’t talk about the huge salary the company can offer you. You talk about all the great skills you can bring to the company, for their benefit. You try to convince them that they’ll be ahead of everyone else by hiring you, regardless of the cost.

As a salesperson, you should always highlight the value of your product or service, rather than the cost. Always talk in terms of what benefits the other party receives as a result of the negotiation terms.

Rule 6: Listen Carefully to the Other Party

If you want to reach a mutually beneficial agreement, you must make sure your message are heard and understood. But don’t get so caught up in your own message that you don’t hear and understand what the other party needs to reach an agreement. Use the following tips for listening more effectively:

  • Open your mind and be receptive to the other party’s message.
  • Make a commitment to listen, and follow through with this commitment as soon as they start to talk.
  • Listen for feelings, as well as facts, and consider the other party’s concerns.
  • Eliminate distractions. Close your door, turn of the radio, and tune in to the other person.
  • Respond to the other party with questions that stimulate conversation and clarify your understanding of his or her message.
  • Take notes on the important points the other party makes, and keep these points in mind as you formulate your responses.

As you improve your listening skills, you increase your negotiating effectiveness by collecting more information to use in your search for solutions. Communication is the Key to Effective Negotiation Communication is a two-way street that requires everyone involved to exchange messages. To negotiate more effectively, you must relate to the other party with strong communication skills. By using these six rules for effective communications, you can overcome barriers, reach a higher level of satisfaction every time you negotiate, and win more sales in the process.


Presentations – Get Set!

You’ve got something important to say and an audience that wants to hear it. How could it be any better? Setting the stage before you get there can make a big difference in how your message is received and avoid pitfalls.

1. Google the Group – Find out as much as you can about the group and the leaders before you accept the engagement. You don’t want to be surprised while you’re talking. At a comedy club in a suburban town, a young comic made assumptions. He came from a big and busy city in a different part of the country. He assumed that the audience would be parents and the women would be housewives. His fuzzy pink slippers and curlers in the hair jokes were falling flat. He shifted to jokes about the audience being asleep. A few minutes on the internet would have told them that they were in a suburb where most of the audience was young working couples. They left the stage without having gotten a single laugh. Know your audience!

2. Map It – Make sure you have directions both to and from the location. That might seem unnecessary but your return trip isn’t always as obvious as you might think. Print out the directions and make sure you put them in the car ahead of time. Review them before you leave home and review them at the location where you’re speaking before you leave the building. One speaker knew they could see the freeway they needed to be on to head home from the location but there was no entrance where they headed. Wandering around in neighborhoods with bars on the windows at ten o’clock at night is definitely not the way you want to end a successful presentation. Be sure you know how to get there and how to get back.

3. Visit the Venue – If it’s possible, go to the place you’re going to be speaking ahead of time. Get a good idea about the acoustics, the lighting, how close the audience will be, the available technology. It all makes a difference in how you interact with the audience. Will you be on a stage? Will you be at the same level as the audience? Will the audience be seated in rows that rise and give complete visibility of you and your props? Having a clear idea of how your position in the room relates to the audience can prevent wearing the wrong clothing, using body language that some people won’t be able to see, or having props that won’t work. Sit where the audience will sit and get a good idea of what and how much they will be able to see.

4. Practice with a Microphone – How many times have you been in a meeting where a speaker was introduced and offered a microphone that they declined to use and then started to talk with people in the back yelling that they couldn’t hear the speaker? If you’re speaking to a large group, use the microphone and be familiar with how it works. Know ahead of time if they’re going to have to clip something on you that will limit your movement or require some uncomfortable effort to connect it to your clothing. For a local television show, one woman wound up with her clothing so badly adjusted in the back to make the clips work that she was unable to use movements she planned and had to stand stiffly in one place. Know what’s going to impact your presentation.

5. Practice in the Clothes You’re Going to Wear – That outfit might look great in the store or on the hanger. It might not look as great in front of an audience. It’s not just whether it matches the background. Does it allow the movements you want to make to make your point? What does it look like on? How does it look when you’re moving around the stage? Check it out with a video of a practice session or in front of a mirror. Make sure that there are no odd things going on. It’s not a pretty sight when your shirt pulls up to reveal a spare tire. It might seem long enough when you’re standing still but you want to see how it behaves when you’re performing. Make sure that you know what kind of impression you’re going to make when you’re actually speaking.

6. Dress for Success – An excellent speaker arrived early at an event to check out the venue and see how her presentation would fare. Imagine her surprise when she walked in and saw that the backdrop on the stage was the same color as her planned outfit. Fortunately, there was time to make the necessary changes and show up in clothing that contrasted and allowed her dramatic movements to have the impact they were meant to have. If your presentation is going to be filmed, avoid white or bright red clothing, shiny objects, small checked fabric, or narrow stripes. You’ve seen people on TV in clothing that keeps swimming in front of your eyes and distracts you from the speaker’s message. Avoid the same mistake.

7. Ask Others Who’ve Spoken to the Group – A speaker was invited to do a business presentation to a group after one of the members heard them speak on the same topic. Both the speaker and the person who suggested them to the group were pleased about the opportunity. Ask someone else who has spoken there what their experience was like. You can start out from a win-win and find yourself going in a completely different direction pretty quickly. One speaker discovered that he was expected to remain in the seat he were escorted to when he got up to go to the bar. Two people were there immediately to escort him back. Find out if there are unwritten rules. It’s more than just clear, concise communication.

Conclusion: It pays to check out the group and the setting ahead of time. If you have that knowledge and clear, concise communication you’ve got it made!