Category Archives: Communication

Better Your Negotiation Skills

Negotiation is a skill that everyone uses in their lives.  It is used in the workplace as well as in our personal lives.  Whether we are aware of it or not, most of us spend a significant amount of time negotiating various issues.  That’s why it is so important to have strong negotiation skills.  Being a good negotiator allows you to build, maintain, and improve relationships in your personal life and in the workplace.  People with strong negotiation skills are oftentimes more efficient, more organized, and more successful.  The following examples display times when good negotiation skills are a must.  Let’s take a look at a few places where the ability to negotiate can help you succeed.


During an Interview

While it is certainly impressive to have a resume packed with experience, it is more about what you say in an interview that will determine whether or not you get the job.  Statistics show that many hiring decisions are actually made in the first 2 minutes of an interview.  For this reason, it is important that candidates be able to come in with strong negotiation skills.  Before leaving an interview you should negotiate a follow-up call or stopping by in the near future to check in.  Utilizing these negotiation skills will show confidence and help you avoid getting lost in the paperwork.


In the Workplace

Most people think that the essential skills needed to get ahead in the workplace are hard work, good communication, and good luck.  While these are obviously very important, another component that is often overlooked is the ability to negotiate.  Negotiation involves the ability to recognize and capitalize on opportunities.  When you are capable of closing the deal for your company, you are opening the door to bigger opportunities for yourself. Strengthening your negotiation skills makes you an asset to your company and helps you accomplish your personal goals.


In a Performance Review

Most professionals are given an annual performance review.  This is the perfect opportunity to use your negotiation skills to get what you want: a higher salary, more benefits, a promotion.  An employee who can negotiate well knows how to showcase their talents in order to further their career.  Aside from salary and benefits, a good negotiator would also negotiate for the tools needed to grow and thrive in their position.  These tools could include a strong support staff, special training, or a new job title.  Knowing how and when to negotiate can help you advance your career and professional growth.


Being a good negotiator is an important part of being successful both personally and professionally.  Good negotiation skills help you to achieve important goals for yourself and your organization.  While these were just a few examples of places where negotiation is important, it is an invaluable skill that will help you in nearly every aspect of your life. Take a look at our training programs at or visit our site to learn more.

Why is the Title Important?

What’s in a title? Attraction! Interest! Engagement! You have a fairly vast subject to present. And everything leads to everything. At our presentation training events, you begin to understand that you old method of approaching presentations, data dumping, is death to the audience.

Your audience is like all humans these days; busier than busy. “Why should I spend my precious time with you?” they ask (subliminally). You better have a clear and solid answer if you want to capture their attention; if you want to be a success.  Presentation training will help you structure a strong message and hook their attention. We will teach you about the 4 A’s – a technique for engagement.

How is your presentation title?  In just 3-5 words, you are setting the direction of your short time together. You are giving them the ‘what’. But they also need the ‘why’.  Why will their time with you bring THEM more success?  A Presentation Training seminar can help you understand this hook.

So brainstorm titles. Have fun with it. Come up with at least five to choose from. Which one jumps out at you that will jump out at them as being a topic that they can’t do without?


Improve Presentation Skills With Training on Pause & Projection – Part 2


Pause involves stopping momentarily for effect in the middle of your remarks. It is a tool that is used hand in hand with variation of Pace. A pause is best used before or after a significant point as a tool for emphasis. Pause is also a tremendous tool for nervous speakers who tend to speak too fast. By stopping at key points, the speaker allows the audience time to process key points before moving on to new material. One easy trick is to underline key points in your notes and then place the word PAUSE in large letters to remind you to stop speaking for a few seconds. Actively playing with pause will have a profound effect on your presentation prowess. Now that we have covered Pause let’s move on to the powerful tool of Projection.


This aspect of voice is by far the most important as it correlates to your audience’s ability to hear your remarks. Even the most intelligent presenter can not have their desired impact if the people in the room can not hear their key points. With projection, everyone can hear your comments without having to strain their voice. However, there is still value in varying your projection to add intrigue and interest to your comments. For example, you might want to soften your voice to emphasize a key point and then later increase the volume for another point. In either case you must ensure that all members of the audience can hear each and every point. Practice projecting your voice by imagining that everyone is sitting against the far wall in the room. Ensure they can hear you and that you are speaking from your diaphragm.

Now that we have discussed Pause & Projection keep a look out for part 3 of this series which focusses on how to improve presentation skills through practice, coaching and training.  If you are looking for free resources you can visit us at or visit us at

For More Information About Presentation Training Institute

If you would like to learn more about the Presentation Training Institute, and its parent company Bold New Directions,  please visit us and view our free resources at or  at

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Improve Presentation Skills With Training On Pitch & Pace

Voice is a powerful tool for presenters. Voice can make all the difference between success and failure when you’re wanting to fully engage your audience. In sales meetings, company updates or technical meetings, it is critical to keep your audience involved and interested in your remarks. Learn how to stretch your voice by understanding the 5 P’s of Voice Control including Pitch, Pace, Pause, Projection & Personality.  We’ll explore the many aspects of voice and its impact on presentation skills in this three part series.  


Pitch refers to the ups and downs of your notes when you speak. We all have the ability to speak from a vocal range – which includes higher notes and lower notes. However, it takes great awareness and practice to notice your own pitch and to change it consciously. Why is pitch important? A monotone voice bores the audience and a bored audience is less likely to recall your key points or to take action. To play around with pitch try thinking of popular characters who have voices at either end of the vocal range then practice speaking (or singing!) like them. For example you might think of Michael Jackson’s high pitched voice and then compare it with Barry White’s deeper tones. You can also simulate the voices of movie actors to start expanding your own range. Over time your awareness and practice with pitch will enable you to vary your voice as you speak – all in the aim of drawing your audience into your remarks. Now that we’ve looked at Pitch, let’s move on to Pace.


Pace refers to the speed at which you speak. Just as monotone is boring so is mono-pace. A good speaker knows the value of changing the pace as they speak. For example, when you are introducing a topic that is exciting you can speed up the pace of your voice. On the other hand, when you want people to focus their attention you may slow down for emphasis. The overall point is that variation is the key to success here. So play around with your pace next time you speak to see the impact on your audience. Now that we have explored Pace look for the next article in the series that will look at Pause.  See our website at for more information or see our main site at for free tools to improve your presentation skills and overall impact.

For More Information About Improving Presentation Skills

If you’re looking to boost your presentation skills through coaching or training look at our website at for information and free resources.  Want to download a free report on overall communication skills?  Visit our main site at 

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How Solving Conflict Boosts Management Skill Set – Part 4 of 4

Start building new management skills in conflict management

Self-awareness is one of the most important management skills there is. Self-awareness is the first step to diffusing conflict. Think about your style of managing conflict. Do you avoid? Acquiesce? Compete? Compromise? Collaborate? 

Which one of these styles do you perceive to have the most value? And given that, which one will you begin to practice more and more?

What else can you do to boost your self awareness and in turn your management skill set?  Try reflective activities, talking to open-minded colleagues, and reading books that guide you towards more awareness.

For more resources about how to increase your management skills through management training, managing change, or free reports on building team effectiveness, visit our website at or learn about management training at


Adapted from Managing From The Inside Out by Jim Hornickel, Director Training and Development, Bold New Directions



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Is Conflict Management An Essential Management Skill? – Part 3 of 4

This is part 3 of the 4 part series on Conflict Management & how is it an essential management skill.  One of the important steps in conflice management is to Identify the true source of the conflict. 

When you are feeling in a calmer and more objective frame of mind, turn your attention to identifying the source of the conflict. Most of the time you’ll find that the topic of disagreement belongs in one of four main areas:

A. Power struggles based on ego: Some people respond to the demands of their egos by needing to have and exert power. Don’t take it personally. Accept that this is their story and it’s not about you. By disentangling yourself from someone else’s emotional needs, you’ll be able to listen more objectively to what they have to say. You might even feel centered enough to respond to the other person with empathy. While this is not easy to do (and takes practice), responding with acceptance and understanding may encourage the other person to set aside their ego and join with you to solve the conflict. Through management training, participants get the opportunity to learn and practice these types of new responses to conflict.

B. Poor Communication
Communication is deeply influenced by factors like language, gender, culture, age, skills, personal experience, etc. With so many distinctive ways of communicating, it is inevitable that conflicts will arise due to misunderstandings in communication. An essential cornerstone to all our management training seminars is practicing and learning effective communication skills.

To raise the level of your management skills, always be aware of the challenges of communication and how easy it is for us to misunderstand one another. When addressing a disagreement with another party(s), be sure to ask yourself what you would like to get from the discussion. Then ask the other party(s) what they want to get from it. Be aware of your assumptions and check them out. Exercise great curiosity about what the other person wants to communicate. Be that person’s ally and you both will benefit from your good intentions to bridge communication gaps.

C. Personality Differences
How many times have we been miffed at someone because they seemed just too different from us? When personality differences produce conflict it would be worth your while to invest some time and a little money in searching out a personality or behavioral styles assessment. There are many, including the well-known Myers Briggs Personality Type Indicator. The basic benefit of these inventories is the reminder that people differ in how they approach life. These assessments help people understand their own personality styles and how they can work with co-workers whose personalities and temperaments are naturally different from their own.

D. Differing Needs – (What’s in it for me?)
“What’s in it for me?” is a question that each of us naturally asks ourselves consciously or unconsciously. In our management training seminars we stress that, as managers, we must be aware that there are always needs in the picture or at stake. When there appear to be differing or opposing needs, first look to define what those needs are; what do you or the other/s truly want? Then, look to see what strategy options there are. Brainstorm until you run dry! Be extra creative! And negotiate from an attitude of win-win. Actively look for ways that will bring each of you more of what you want. If it feels like too much of a compromise is going on, step back and look for options that will bring greater mutual satisfaction.

Watch for Part 4 in this series on Management Skills and Conflict Management.  For more resources about how to increase your management skills through management training, managing change, or free reports on building team effectiveness, visit our website at: or learn about management training at


Adapted from Managing From The Inside Out by Jim Hornickel, Director Training and Development, Bold New Directions


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How is Conflict Management An Essential Management Skill? – Part 2 of 4

This is Part 2 of a 4 Part Series on how conflict management is an essential management skill.  If you do not feel confident in your conflict management skills, take heart.  Conflict management can be learned through management skill training courses.  An essential element involves increasing your self awareness as a key step in preventing and decreasing conflict. 

One of the most important managements skills: self-awareness

Many of us become riled up when faced with a conflict. You may already have discovered that when emotion takes over, whatever actually triggered the conflict tends to get lost in the commotion. High Emotion=Low Intelligence! In our management training seminars participants learn that self-awareness is the first step toward de-escalating conflict. If you are facing a conflict, notice if you are beginning to feel emotionally overwhelmed or angry. If so, be honest with yourself about your feelings. Then take the time you need to calm and center yourself.  Make improved self awareness a goal.  Read books, write in a journal, reflect, talk to others – all these tools will grow your self awareness and your conflict management capacity.  And that in turn will enhance your ability as a manager. 

Join us for parts 3 and 4 of this series on Conflict Management  – An essential management skill.

For more resources about how to increase your management skills through management training, managing change, or free reports on building team effectiveness, visit our website at: or learn about management training at

 Adapted from Managing From The Inside Out by Jim Hornickel, Director Training and Development, Bold New Directions

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Conflict Management – An Essential Management Skill – part 1 of 4 part series

Conflict Management: one of the most essential management skills


As managers we know that, for good or for bad, conflict is part of the workplace. On the good side, it sometimes takes an outright conflict to uncover a problem that’s been simmering beneath the surface perhaps for some time. While most of us would rather acknowledge problems in more thoughtful and intentional ways, an outburst or confrontation may force us to face a problem squarely and find a solution.

1) To manage conflict successfully encourage empathy and openness to others’ views

Often, however, conflict means that people who disagree get stuck in a mind-set of “I’m right and your wrong”. Rigidly holding to a view that prevents us from trying to understand someone else’s perspective can result in continuing and disruptive conflict.

Successfully resolving conflict calls for dedication from all sides to find a resolution that meets some, if not all, the needs of everyone involved. To understand those needs, we need to give up rigidly adhering to a single view, and be willing to explore other people’s perspectives with empathy and openness. In our management training seminars, participants practice management skills to help themselves and others avoid inflexible attitudes and to listen to each other with curiosity and a receptive frame of mind.

For more resources about how to increase your management skills through management training, managing change, or free reports on building team effectiveness, visit our website at: or learn about management training at


Adapted from Managing From The Inside Out by Jim Hornickel, Director Training and Development, Bold New Directions

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Boost Presentation Skills With Training On How To Bookend Your Remarks

Bookends Boost Presentation Impact

Have you ever wondered how to start your presentation? Lots of people struggle with how to open up their remarks. Even more worry about how to have a powerful close. Learn how bookending your presentation takes the stress of both these problems away. Bookends are simply communication devices and presentation tools that you use at both the opening and closing of your comments. They can range from a story, to a quote, to a combination of statistics and questions. The point is to use powerful hooks at the beginning of your presentation as your first bookend. Then re-use the same hooks at the end of your presentation comments, but with a closing twist. These bookends really work well with questions. For example, you may start by asking your audience a powerful question then close by asking them the question again.

For example, you may start by saying:  "Did you know that less than 10% of professionals have set aside enough money for retirement?". Then in the middle of your presentation remarks outline a plan for saving for retirement successfully. In closing, to use your bookend again for reinforcement by asking "And how many of you would like to be in that 10% of professionals who have signficant retirement savings?". 

As a powerful presenter, your presentation remarks will emphasize all the audience has learned in between the opening and the closing bookend.  If you want additional information on how to hone your presentation skills visit our website to get a free copy of report on how to Master Your Presentation Skills at or at



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Take a Solution Oriented Approach in Presentation Skills – Part 2 of 2

Let’s see how the W4H1 Approach Works to bring solutions to your audience in your next presentation.

For example, let’s say that you were talking to a group of professionals who were concerned about upcoming layoffs. After first tapping into the pain and anguish this is undoubtedly producing in a group of staff, you could discuss how you successfully prepared for and transitioned through a lay off experience by starting your own consulting business. Let’s look at the W4H1 approach and how it would apply to this example of starting a consulting business. Notice that the questions are also written in an audience focused manner by dealing with what THEY can do, rather than a pure history of what YOU yourself did.


– What Can You Do?

 – Where Can You Find Customers?

 – When Should You Start Your Business?

 – Why Promote Your Services?

 – How Can You Promote Your Services?


By answering each of these questions in a clear and concise manner you are directing your audience to solution oriented steps that they can take to resolve their issue. Your audience will thank you for not only connecting with their dilemma, but for explicitly helping them to understand a solution and take action! Still not sure how to get started? Visit us at or at for more tips and tools.

 For more information on how to communicate with your audience visit our website at where you will learn about presentation skills training, business communication seminars, and presentation skills intensives. You can learn more about improving your presentation skills independently by checking out our free report available at or at



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