Pink Converse Boots As a Birthday Present

It is my cousin Lisa’s birthday on the 24th of this month and it took me five days to decide on what to give her. She is like my dear younger sister because we grew up together. We are also neighbors that are why we are very close to each other because she always comes over to my house and we do stuffs together like studying, cooking, chatting, etc. I just could not believe she is turning eighteen this month. It is just like yesterday when she still played with her Barbie dolls but now she likes to go out on a date with guys her age already which is pretty normal. Funny isn’t it? But I guess that is just life. And anyway, I went to the mall yesterday and bought her a brand new pair of pink converse boots.

For weeks, I saved my allowance just so I could buy a present for her. Being a student is tough because financially speaking you is still dependent on your parents and you cannot do something about it. Yes, part time jobs sometimes can help you with money but your salary is still not enough to prove to them that you can do it on your own. When I was sixteen, I told my father that I wanted to get an apartment for myself and live independently. He just laughed at what I said so I just forgot all about it. I guess I will just wait until I graduate from college.

With Lisa, I acted like her older sister because I am three years older than her. Her mother is a journalist and her job requires her to travel a lot. Her dad does the “mother” job most of the time. She loves fashion just like girls her age and one time I saw her drool over a pair of converse boots worn by a model in the magazine. That was when I decided to buy her that as a birthday present.

To end the story, as expected I am kind of broke now and I ruined my own surprise present for her. She came to my house this morning and unfortunately I was unable to hide the paper bag that contained the boots. When she saw the bag, she opened it and I saw the look on her face as she drooled over her birthday present just like the first time I saw her with the same reaction over those boots in the magazine. I did not need to explain anymore because she knew that the pink converse boots are definitely for her.

Non Verbal Communication in Presentations

Presentation skills, conversation skills and writing skills are the three keys to effective communication. In this post, I’d like to focus on some tips for using non verbal communication to improve your presentation skills.

Eye contact helps indicates your interest in the people in the audience. It increases your credibility. When you make eye contact with people in the audience, you increase your chances of getting your message across. Eye contact helps you establish a connection with the audience. When you make eye contact with people as you are speaking, you build one to one bonds with them.

Smiles are powerful – I always try to keep a smile on my face when I am speaking. Smiling makes a speaker more warm, likable and friendly. When you smile, people see you as happy — and this makes them more receptive to you. People react positively to smiles. When you smile, the audience smiles. And a smiling audience is a receptive audience. Smiling will help you get your points across and accepted.

Gestures are another important form of non verbal communication. But you have to be careful with gestures. I practice my talks in front of a mirror. As I’m speaking, I watch my natural gestures. Then I enhance them. Usually, I amplify my gestures, because big rooms demand big gestures. However, sometimes, I tone them down — depending on the audience. Regardless, I focus on making my gestures natural and reflective of what I’m saying. I try to avoid choppy, sudden gestures when I’m speaking. Instead, I focus on making my gestures fluid.

Posture and body orientation – I always stand up straight and look directly at the audience. Standing straight and looking directly at the audience indicates confidence. I use posture to make points though. If I am speaking about confidence and want to give an example of an unconfident person, I slump my shoulders and look at the floor. Spend most of your time oriented toward the audience. If you’re using slides, speak to the audience, not the slide. It’s OK to look at a slide — especially if you want to draw the audience’s attention to it, but always turn back to the audience after a few seconds.

Proximity - Unlike many speakers, I like to get away from the platform and walk the room. This means that I get up close and personal with people in the audience. I have a wireless device to advance slides, so I am not tied to my computer. I find that audiences like it. As I walk the room, people feel that I’m more a part of them, having a conversation with them, rather than talking at them. This doesn’t work with very large audiences — which I define as over 100 people. However, even if you are speaking to a large audience and need to remain on the platform, I suggest using a wireless device to advance your slides. You won’t be tied to your computer, and you’ll appear more natural.

Your voice - Be animated — avoid speaking in a monotone. Show excitement for your material with your voice. I always practice my talks out loud — that way I hear my voice and the words I am using. This helps me modify my delivery in ways that will improve my impact with my audience.

If you use these non verbal communication ideas you’ll become someone whose presentations carry an impact — and you’ll be on your way to career and life success.

Negotiation Tip of the Week – The Affinity Principal’s Hidden Value To Winning More Negotiations

In your negotiations, do you consider the affinity principal’s hidden value to winning more negotiations? Are you familiar with the affinity principal, understand its power, and how it can captivate someone’s devotion, and have them acting like your automaton? If you’d like to understand how to use this powerful silent source of persuasion, read on!

Affinity Principal:

In a negotiation, the affinity principal factor is invoked when someone has a degree of appreciation and/or affection for the opposing negotiator. The reason for such emotions can be either known or unknown by the receiver, per the feelings they possess. It’s akin to feeling good about being in that person’s presence. Part of the reason that such good feelings are experienced is due to the level of oxytocin released in the brain of the receiver while in the presence of the initiator. That good feeling is attributed to the initiator and the receiver wants to experience more of that good feeling and will seek to please the initiator to do so.

The Role of Likeability in the Affinity Principal:

People like people that are like themselves. Thus, in a negotiation to enhance the affinity principal, you must be liked by the other negotiator. This can occur via body language signals you send (i.e. smiling, nodding in the affirmative when appropriate, given the other negotiator the proper space, etc.), and by displaying a pleasant demeanor as you engage in the negotiation. Suffice it to say, the more likeable you’re perceived as being, the more grace you’ll be given when/if you encounter challenging times in the negotiation.

The Role Perception Plays in Likeability and Truthfulness:

During a negotiation, silent signals are conveyed, received, and misperceived. Therefore, a good negotiator is always very attuned to body language signals sensed during the negotiation. By synchronizing your words with the appropriate body language gestures, your words take on a more consistent meaning, which enhances the perception of the truthfulness of your words. Even if you state that you’re not in agreement with one aspect of the negotiation, by being consistent with your words and body language, you’ll still maintain more likeability and believability than what would otherwise be the case. Thus, if your words are not aligned with what’s expected to be seen by your body language at such times, your words will be viewed with possible apprehension and you’ll decrease the opportunity to enhance your likeability.

Perceived Knowledge and Ability to Deliver:

You can be the greatest negotiator in the world, with the highest levels of likeability, and if you’re perceived as lacking knowledge per what you’re negotiating for or the ability to deliver, you won’t be trusted. You’ll be liked, but you may hit an invisible wall and not know why such has occurred.

To enhance the affinity principal, you must be perceived as being knowledgeable about what you’re negotiating for and be believed per being able to deliver on what the outcome might be. If either of those factors are missing or called into suspect, your negotiation deal can fall by the wayside.

The Value of Saying, “I’m Sorry” – Showing Humility:

Someone once said, sorry is a sorrowful word. It was meant to convey disdain. In a negotiation, saying you’re sorrow for some perceived aggression humanizes you. Since we all make mistakes, apologizing for a perceived depravity will endear you to the other negotiator and make you all the more likeable, while enhancing the affinity principal.

To win more negotiations, consider the value of the affinity principal. Use it appropriately and your affinity factor, along with your negotiation win rates will soar… and everything will be right with the world.

Remember, you’re always negotiating!