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IMP Hot Tips

Aggressive or Assertive?

Assertive is putting forward positively and with confidence your thoughts and ideas, even in the face of adversity.  Aggressive is putting forward your thoughts and ideas in a combative readiness state. The difference between the two is that being assertive allows others to see where you clearly stand BUT also allows them to feel justified in having an opinion or thought that differs. While being aggressive comes off as it is “your way or the highway” and can often make others feel “wrong” to have an opinion that differs from yours.

So how can you tell the difference?  If you are being aggressive, people will remain silent after you talk or they will move right to arguing with you.  If you are a manager, you will shortly find yourself surrounded by “yes” people.  If you are assertive, people will be thoughtful, ask questions and challenge you but you will rarely see them square their shoulders, lift their chin and stare defiantly at you.

Also, if you fall in to the “aggressive category” you most likely are a Producer.  Producers desire to have control over their area and at times inflict themselves on others inappropriately. 


If you want to check out your personality style take our quiz at It will show you your exact personality style and you can see how others perceive you.

At meetings, are you the first to speak up? Do you often interrupt others? Do you make body signs that show you disagree with another person? (These body signs would include grunting, tapping a pen, shuffling papers while the other person is talking, rolling your eyes, crossing your arms, looking away, glaring or crossing your arms)

If you do, try:

  •  Listening with your head titled to one side, as this will increase your listening and make the other person feel accepted and not judged.
  • Asking for others opinions BEFORE offering your own
  • Offering your thoughts and ideas prefaced by “What if we…?” or “Could we look at it from...” “I was thinking…” This will allow others to take in what you are saying without feeling shut off.
  • If you disagree with someone, “Tell me this...” “How does that fit with…?” “Can you share with me how...?” “I understood that we were trying to do… and if that is true then, how does…..?”
Anne's Hints

If you find yourself thinking of others in the following terms: idiots, incompetent, irresponsible, morons, etc.  This means that you most likely carry an INTERNAL MEASURING stick that you judge others by.  Most likely you are hard on yourself and equally hard on others.

In order to reduce your stress and anger one of the things you need to do is get rid of this internal measuring stick as you will get frustrated by people who don’t measure up and people that excel past you will cause fear in you because YOU suddenly are the one that doesn’t measure up.

Get rid of the stick by believing that people are not trying to do things to you but rather they are doing things to PROTECT themselves.  Your goal is to add value to others.

For more insights on how to “get rid of the stick” read Anne’s article on Outcome Thinking® : Getting Results Without the Boxing Gloves. You will find this article on the website, under the Resource tab, Articles, Outcome Thinking® , or go to

Asking vs Dictating

Do You Ask or Dictate?
There is definitely a certain finesse to doing things that either magnetically pulls people to you or repels them away. So why do some people tick you off with the way they handle things and others don’t offend you at all? Is it the intent behind the words? Is it the judgment?
Any good and kind deed you do should make the other person’s life easier, not more complicated. You want to always remember that people aren’t like you and you need to do what is best for them, not you.
1. Look over your last emails. Do you take power or equal it out?
2. Look at projects you assign. Do you let people develop the key areas and assign themselves or do you just assign? If you do assign, do you do it in a way that makes them feel good?
3. Look at your relationships. Do you OFFER assistance or do you INSIST on it? Do you ying and yang well with others?
Think of it like the advice Mom used to give you. When it was solicited, it was great and brought you comfort. When it was unsolicited, it was seen as criticism, and it ticked you off.
Take action: How do you know if you are not coming off the way you would like? Watch the replies you get. If the other person starts defending their position it is a clue that what you wrote or said offended them. Over time you will notice that you automatically make a conscious effort towards thoughtful communication.
Join us at our public Outcome Focus® Approach to Managing Your Message Seminar to learn how to “come off the way you would like.” Register for the session that fits your schedule! Click on the Seminars tab, Presentation Skills

Assumptive Close

Here are some examples of assumptive closes: "It sounds like you've already made the decision to go with an open classroom format, so based on that, will you be having everyone attend one session or will you be doing multiple sessions?" Or,” It sounds like immediate delivery is of primary importance. Are you looking to change the type of paper you utilize or just the color brightness of the paper?”

As you can see with both of those statements, it makes the assumption that what you have inferred from the other person is factual. This allows them to backtrack or change facts and figures without feeling foolish. This also allows you to sound as though you are a partner with them rather than contradicting what they said.

For more on closings take a look at Anne’s book, Outcome Focus® Approach: How to be Authentic in Your Delivery. Go to the Products tab and click on Books.

Awkward Question

If a person asks you an awkward question that you feel does require an answer in front of the audience, first try to clarify the question. You might say to them, "So your concern is…?” Or, “How does that relate to …?” Or, “Are you asking me …?”

With these questions you often find that what you thought they were asking and what they are really asking are two different things.

There are a few exceptions to this, however. To find out about these exceptions you can join us at our public Outcome Focus® Approach to Managing Your Message Seminar. Click on the Seminars tab, Presentation Skills.

Bad Decisions

Emotions make you act. Logic makes you think. Notice the order I put those in.

Most people think they act out of logic but the reality is that you act out of emotion and you justify your actions by logic.

Understanding this fact is key to your success to stop making bad decisions. In order to make a good decision you need to manage the emotions rather than have them manage you. In order to do this you need to remove judgment from your thinking and get clarity on the facts.

  1. Remove judgment by looking at the problem from ALL sides. Write down what you are thinking as you ponder the problem from your point of view, then from all other parties point of view. Put these written thoughts down in columns so you can see them side by side.
  2. Next go through and cross out all opinions, and judgmental words so all you are left with is concrete fact.
  3. Scan the facts from all angles. If you need to buy some distance and time from the problem so you can get clear thinking.
  4. Write down possible solutions that each party would want. Again cross out any judgmental or assumptive words.
  5. Look at it and try to come up with a solution that embraces all sides.

You will be surprised how often you cloud your judgment by being assumptive about why people do what they do or by taking a fact plus opinion and turning it in to a different fact.

Take Action: This week take a problem you are facing and try this method to see if you can see new insights you didn't see before.

For more insights on how to make decisions click here to read Anne’s article on How to Make a Decision That Sticks Rather Than Gets You Stuck

Beliefs That Block

The majority of people handle conflict poorly. This stems from three fundamental beliefs that block you in handling conflict.

  1. In conflict you must get the person to see and, best case scenario, agree with your side in order to resolve the conflict.
  2. You must get the person to understand where they are wrong and you are right.
  3. All conflict needs to be resolved so we are at peace as a team.

For more details on these three beliefs that block click here to view Anne Warfield’s article Three Beliefs That Block Your Effectiveness With Conflict.

Best Timing for Q & As

If there is a high amount of resistance, it’s better to table questions until the end, but voice what you believe to be the resistant questions in your audience’s mind. For example: “Today we’re here to talk about a new payroll system. Now many of you may be thinking, ‘Why do we even need a new payroll system? Why does management keep complicating things?’ I’m going to share with you why we’re doing a new payroll system, what the benefits are to you, and how we will put it in place. After I’ve shared that I will open up the floor for any questions. If you think of any questions while I’m talking, please hold them until the end so I can make sure I honor the time constraints for everyone in the room.”

If you are a person that hates to have questions, I highly recommend that you always let your audience know you will take questions at the end of the presentation. The key is to say this in a tone of voice that doesn’t sound as though they’re bothering you if they ask questions in the middle.

When you learn how to present properly, you will find that the questions you get are very thought provoking and add to the presentation because the audience understands your messaging and how to interact with you.

Check out another HOT Tip for how to handle a Difficult Question when confronted during a Q & A period.

Body Language

To be a better communicate you need to understand the nonverbal signs you give off and how to read the person you are communicating with.

Remember to ready body language in clusters. This means you have to discern the meaning of all the signs in the context of each other, not just one sign on its own. Here are a few…

  • Men nod when they are in agreement. Women nod to show they’re listening.
  • Hand supporting the chin shows boredom.
  • Arms and legs crossed shows defensiveness.

More information on how to read body language is found in Anne Warfield’s book Communicating More Effectively. Order Your Copy Today!

Boring Information

There is nothing worse than knowing you will probably put your audience to sleep with all the facts and figures you have to give. Yet is there anything else you can do when your material is complicated?

Yes, there is. Here are a few quick tips to help you jazz up and shorten what you have to say so the audience stays engaged.

  1. Start with the audience not you. Too many presenters look at the information they have to share rather than looking at what the audience needs to be able to do BECAUSE of the information you are sharing. There is a big difference in these two goals.
  2. Reduce the amount of writing you have on PowerPoint. If the information is on the screen then the audience assumes they should understand all of it. Therefore, they will ask you a lot of questions and may go in to areas you don't wish to go in to. Keep in mind that the more you read your slides the less intelligent you appear to your audience.
  3. Reduce how much you put on graphs and charts. Put on less words and then click on key things as you talk and have the other information fade out so you don't overwhelm you audience.
  4. Use a few key colors well placed. Many people try to jazz up their presentations by using a lot of animation or clip art. People are more impressed if you keep it simple, to the direct point, and make it relevant to them. A lot of color or graphics can distract from what you are saying.

Remember it is not about how intelligent the audience sees you, but rather how intelligent you make the audience feel.

Want to get rid of boring information? Join us at our public Outcome Focus® Approach to Managing Your Message Seminar. Click on the Seminars tab, Presentation Skills.

CEO Messages

As an executive you are the driver of corporate culture. If you are a manager then you drive the culture of your team. So if you don't like what behaviors you are seeing in your corporation or team, look at what messages you may be sending unknowingly that are allowing these behaviors to happen.

What you may be doing: What message it may send:
Not enforcing start times of meetings
Deadlines are not important.
There are exceptions to all rules.
Not getting back to staff with answers.
Not getting right back to their questions within 24 hours.
No need to get right back to their questions within 24
hours. They may feel you do what fits your timeline.
Lack of systems for procedures
Order and process are not important. Thereforee you are
encouraging mistakes and lack of critical thinking.
Giving 2-3 solutions for employee
When you continually solve their problems, you encourage
them to rely on you rather than on their own thought
process. You need to teach them how you think through
the situation rather than spending your time on sharing
what the solutions are.

Remember it is not so important to train your team on what to do. It is far more important to train them on who they need to be in order to do what they need to do!

If you're interested in exploring how to transform the way you communicate so your messages - verbal and nonverbal - are congruent no matter who connect with: your team, other executives, potential clients and peers click on the Solutions tab to find out how you can display a positive Executive Presence.

Clarity Openings

Clarity in your opening lets the audience  know EXACTLY why they are there and how your information will be relevant to them.

In order to ensure you have clarity in your opening ask yourself, “Did I share in ONE to TWO sentences why this is relevant to them and what they will be able to do with this information?” 

These have to be SPOKEN sentences, they can not be implied.

Statements that have clarity include:

“You will leave here knowing how to handle client complaints in a proactive manner.”

“In this time you will be able to see why we can’t continue to operate the way we have and how this new system will help you be more productive and less stressed.”

Learn more about openings. Anne’s book, Outcome Focus® Approach: How to Structure Your Message so They Hear It has a lot of examples on openings, closings and everything in between for structuring your message to get the best outcome. Go to the Product tab and click on Books.

Clever Openings

The first few minutes in front of the audience are crucial.  The more enticing you are the more they will be captivated to hear what you have to say.

Being able to share an event and then twist the ending can draw them in.  For example, you may share a story by starting with, “Imagine if…” and at the end you say, “Now what if that was true. What if I told you that was what happened to me.” This way you have brought them in to the story, let them experience it as though it is happening to them and then let them know it is a true story and it happened to you.

Take an everyday occurrence and relate it to what you are talking about.  This moves them from fighting against what you are saying to seeing the logic of it.  The ironic part is that they “see” this logic because they “felt” it in your opening.

An example of this would be “In America we put stoplights at intersections and you have to wait to get the green light so your side can go.  In Italy they have roundabouts.  So when you hit a spot where four or more roads come together in the middle is a circle.  You drive around the circle until you come to the road you need to exit on and you just continue driving.  With the Italian roundabout you never have to stop and you can circle as many times as you want until you get the correct direction. 

In the past our projects have been run like American stoplights where you have waited for the green light to go.  Now we will be running them like the Italian roundabouts where you will see continuous movement and many areas coming together for a brief time before they all branch out. Today what I am here to talk about is how this new process will work, why we are doing it and how it will benefit you.”

Learn more about openings. Anne’s book, Outcome Focus® Approach: How to Structure Your Message so They Hear It has a lot of examples on openings, closings and everything in between for structuring your message to get the best outcome. Go to the Product tab and click on Books.


When people are overwhelmed with details, they’ll tend to take no action.

Logic makes people think. Emotion makes people act

If your audience is asking a lot of “how” questions, you didn’t set up the “goal” well enough.

For more on closings go to the HOT Tips: Assumptive Close and Closing Examples.

Closing Examples

Let's imagine a different scenario. You are presenting to your management team why they ought to fund your new project. You should begin by clearly telling them what to expect out of the meeting with you. You might say something like, "If our company is to reach its projected profitability, then we need to look at whether our website is hurting or helping us. I believe that our current website is actually hurting our business and I’ll share with you today why we need to invest in a brand-new website."

At the close, because you've had in-depth interaction with them throughout the presentation, you should recap the key buy buttons you saw the group latch on to and then say, "Looking at the four reasons I just gave, it sounds like we are all in consensus that we need to go ahead and tackle a new website. If we can just sign off today on the new plan for the $150,000, I can get started on it immediately."

What this close allows you to do is to get your project immediately approved. It also ensures that all objections are raised right now at the table, instead of after you leave the room. Therefore, you now have the advantage of being present to handle any objections.

And the best part is that you're going to use their logic and their reasons for the new website to combat any objections.

For more examples on closings take a look at Anne’s book, Outcome Focus® Approach: How to be Authentic in Your Delivery. Go to the Product tab and click on Books.

Closing Sales

Many sales people get caught up in the paradigm of “This is who we are, this is what we do, and this is how we can help you” even before they understand their prospect and his needs.

Try approaching your meeting from the client’s point of view.  What day and time works best for them.  What are their needs and concerns.  Listen carefully, and you will be able to gather the information you’ll need for your scheduled “closing” meeting.

Morning seems to be the very best time, and Friday is the best day. Your prospect is ready to take action and produce results. Therefore, they will be more likely to want to take action and sign the deal.  On Fridays people want to get things off their plate, so they are more likely to make a decision and not ponder over the weekend. So, make sure you have laid all of the ground work before your “closing” meeting.

Stop and ask yourself, “What questions do I need to ask of Mr./Ms. Prospect first?”  “What research should I do before I set the meeting time and day?” Once you get comfortable with being the person who asks lots of probing questions, you can focus on your closing strategies.

When closing a deal, do not use the standard watereddown phrases of ʺSo what do you think?ʺ or ʺSo how do you feel about that?ʺ Instead, make sure you have set up in advance what the goal of your time together is. That way you can refer to the agreed upon goal in your closing. For example, “John, if we are able to help you develop stronger leaders, would you be able to sign on that today; or who else would we need to have involved?”   If you do not have all the dealmakers at the table, it is best to suspend the conversation until you do.

Go to the Resource tab and click on Articles and Sales to find a selection of Sales articles that have more information and tips that can change the course of your business and increase your sales.

Clueless Questioner

If, during your presentation or meeting, you have someone who interrupts you with questions there is a way you can deflect answering until a more appropriate time. You can do this by saying something like, "Due to the time constraint, I will hold questions until the end of the session. For any of you that would like additional coaching, I will remain afterwards and we can set up a time to work one-on-one. This will allow us to keep the pace for the entire group and also to respect the needs for each individual. I appreciate everyone's cooperation with this."

For more on handling interruptions, difficult questions and more take a look at Anne’s book, Outcome Focus® Approach: How to be Become One with Your Audience. Go to the Product tab and click on Books.

Comfort Level

There are several things you can do to improve your comfort level when presenting:

1.  Speak to your audience as if you were talking over a cup of coffee.  Remain professional but relaxed.

2.  Don't try to impress.  If what you say is relevant to the audience, they will want to listen to you.

3.  Take a deep breath and slowly exhale before you begin speaking.

4.  Take a moment before you speak to make eye contact with individuals in your audience.  Look straight into their eyes; don't sweep your eyes over their heads.  You will find it helps your comfort level to feel your audience's warm eyes upon you.

5.  Remember, your audience doesn't expect perfection, but they do expect value.  So make sure what you say is about them, not you.

For more on handling interruptions, difficult questions and more take a look at Anne’s book, Outcome Focus® Approach: How to be Become One with Your Audience. Go to the Product tab and click on Books.

Communication: Men vs Women

In general, there is a difference between how men and women communicate. Men communicate with status in mind; they seek to solve problems. Women communicate with connecting in mind. These are two very different ways of communicating and neither way is better than the other. In order to be a more effective communicator, you do need to understand the differences.

Women will often come back to the same issue over and over again, not to find a solution, but just to air their feelings. Men like to bring something up once, resolve it, and move on. They close that mental file and move on to the next. This difference in communication style can result in women concluding that men are cold and withdrawn while men often find women emotional and irrational. These differences come through in body language.

Head Nod- Men will generally only nod if they agree with what you are saying. Where women will often nod to show they are listening, not to signal that they are in agreement. So it is very important that you clarify, with a question, whether or not a person agrees with you. Don’t assume the head nod means “Yes”!

Does learning more about body language interest you? Then get Anne’s book: Communicating More Effectively: How to Read What a Person is Thinking But Not Saying! Go to the Store tab and click on Books.

Communication Styles

When communicating with the four different communication styles, try to think from the person's perspective, why they may not be open to new ideas, and address it before they do.

Start the meeting by creating a safe environment for people to let go of old ideas and latch on to new ones. You may start with something like this: "What I would like us to do in today's meeting is to embrace some ideas that may feel uncomfortable, radical, or even impossible. I believe our greatest growth comes from our ability to let go of the past and use it to leapfrog into the future. Making this shift can be uncomfortable. So I ask all of you today to be willing to let go of the past and to listen to some new ideas. I want to take these ideas, spin them around from different perspectives, and see what we need to do to embrace them and move forward."

By saying something like this, you are letting the group know right up front what you expect of them and how you’ll proceed. This will help keep most of the "naysayers" more positive.


If you would like to learn what your communication style is and how to work with the other styles take our quiz at It will show you your exact communication style and you can see how others perceive you.


Communication Tips

Learn to speak visually. Make it easy for your audience.

Always acknowledge emotions that are present.

People rarely do things to you with their communication. They’re usually protecting themselves.

Generally…men communicate with solving in mind; women with connection in mind.

More information on how to communicate more clearly is found in Anne Warfield’s Q & A book How to Structure Your Message so They Hear it. Order Your Copy Today!

Continual Interrupter

If all else fails, the next time you are interrupted simply say, "You have some great questions and I want to make sure I respect and answer each of them. So why don't you see me afterwards and I’ll give you some more in-depth answers. Now let’s move on and keep the flow going." Most likely they will not come to you afterwards because their whole goal of interrupting was to shift attention from you to them.

Check out the HOT Tip Clueless Questioner for another example on how to handle someone who interrupts.

Creating Balance

The following are some simple steps you can take to create balance between work and family:

  1. Determine the lifestyle you want then build your career around it.
  2. Know the two or three things you need to do to keep yourself sane, and stick to those.
  3. If you don’t enjoy doing it, figure out how to get rid of doing it.
  4. Find a way to express talents you don’t use at work.
Credibility Two

The two people whose emails I open are Jack Canfield and Jeffrey Gitomer.

Jeffrey's because I know he always hits on hard content, value and has no fluff.  His information is designed to help you, period.  Jack Canfield because knowing Jack personally I see the integrity with which he does all things. 

Therefore, I know if he sends me something it is something he has read or done, not just something he is endorsing because someone asked him to.

Ask yourself, if your emails, newsletters, or letters have the kind of content rich information that make people WANT to open it!

For more on emails go to the HOT Tips: Email Communication and Email Techniques for tips on clarifying your email communications.



After every meeting, whether it went the way you wanted or not, you should debrief using a fine tuned process. We walk clients through a 7 step process to debrief after their meetings, presentations, and negotiations so they can assure themselves better success next time. My theory is, if you don't learn from your mistakes what is the use in making them? They are a ripe ground to learn, grow, and stretch. Sometimes it is something as small as the word choice you use that throws off the deal. Changing a word from "critical" to "strategic" can sometimes suddenly make what you are saying meaningful to them.

In most companies you don't celebrate the failures and mistakes, only the successes. This means people learn to NOT make mistakes but not to IMPROVE on how they do things. If you are improving you will be making mistakes and correcting as you go. Thus all in your office should be open to DEBRIEF all that you do so you continue to move toward WOW status.

Now you also need to have a formal DEBRIEF for the successes as well. You need to be acutely aware of what drove that success in the first place. If you don't document and analyze it you will learn create a repeatable, scalable process that others can use to ensure consistent results.

Remember 'what you do not measure, you can't understand. And what you can't understand, you cannot change." Take action and start learning from mistakes and successes.

Deceit Signs

Take these signs with a grain of salt. You want to watch the gestures that accompany these signs or you will erroneously assume that everyone who scratches their nose is lying to you.

If someone uses these gestures while talking to you, it may indicate lying or withholding of information. If they do these gestures while you are talking to them, it may indicate they are skeptical of what you are saying. Either way, these are important gestures to watch for.

If they are deceit signs, generally you will see the gestures accompanied by some of the following: squirming, breaking eye contact, shifting of eyes, shifting of body, turning the body away from you, voice level rising in volume and pitch. In a negotiation this lets you know whether they are serious about the offer or if they are going to just keep pressing you to give in more.

  • Eye Rub. According to Desmond Morris, if it is a big lie, a woman will rub lightly and look at the ceiling. A man will rub vigorously and look at the floor. Either way, the gesture is intended to avoid eye contact with the other person.
  • Nose Touching. Look for a slow rub by one finger just under the nose.
  • Ear Rub. This may be a finger behind the ear, in the ear or rubbing the back of the ear.
  • Collar Pull. This signifies that the person suspects they will be caught.
  • Neck Scratch. When a person lies a tingling sensation may pass up the spine so a person will scratch exactly five times to relieve the itch.
Decision Maker

If for some reason you cannot get the decision maker in the room, then the next question you need to ask is, "So thinking of Jody, what are some of the questions and challenges she will throw at you in regards to (list what you are trying to implement)?”

This will get the person you are meeting with to think from Jody's perspective instead of their own, and ask you some more challenging questions. It will also give you a good chance to learn what Jody may be like and offer suggestions on how to proceed.

For more examples on closing sales take a look at Anne’s book, Outcome Focus® Approach: How to Open Doors and Close More Sales. Go to the Product tab and click on Books.

Delivering Difficult News

Delivering bad news to senior management doesn't need to be a scary proposition.  Senior managers want to know when things go wrong so they can be practiced in fixing them.

The best way to deliver bad news is to be straightforward.  You need to clearly explain to them what went wrong, what you're doing about it (or what options can be taken to deal with it), why it went wrong and lastly, how to prevent it from happening again.  

Most people make the mistake of wanting to explain what went wrong, why it went wrong, and then leave the problem in the management's lap.

Management just wants to know that you understand the problem and that you're proactive in dealing with it.  What they don't want is to have you whine about the problem.

Make sure before you go in and speak to senior management that you believe they will find you as a more credible leader by being straightforward about the problems being faced.  This will allow you to confidently stand before them with both the problem and the solution.  It will stop you from defending why the problem exists.

To learn the best way to deliver news or information join us at our public Outcome Focus® Approach to Managing Your Message Seminar. Click on the Seminars tab, Presentation Skills.

Developing an Ally

If you try to push for a decision with a person who is not the decision maker, they could feel boxed in and ultimately never present your information to the levels above.  You want to get to the decision maker as fast as you can.  You want to treat the contact at all times as an ally, because you never know who will advocate for you.

Your audience (whether on the phone or in person) wants to find out what you are presenting in order to either introduce you to the right person internally or basically block you from moving forward.  They see it as their job to “screen” all new offers.

The big question that begs to be answered here is: Why are you talking to the person who is not the decision maker? I realize that you can’t always get directly to the decision maker, but you do need to know right up front what decisions the person you’re speaking with can and cannot make.

If you are not able to meet with the decision maker because the person you are meeting with made you believe that they were the decision maker you need to softly turn things around so you can get to the decision maker.

The best way to do this is to simply ask the person, "Who would we need to run this by as a courtesy in order to get it implemented?" You will find at this point they will usually give you a name because they do not feel you are trying to pull authority from them.

Once you have that name say, "So if we are going to run this by Jim in order to get it implemented, what is the best way for us to get him involved right up front? I want to do what will make this the easiest for you to ensure your greatest success, and I have found from past history that it works best for us to get Jim involved early."

I know that almost every sales and presentation book tells you absolutely to deal only with the decision maker. But the reality is, in today's world, you can sometimes make the person with whom you're meeting an excellent internal candidate and salesperson for you.

Check out the HOT Tip Decision Maker for another example of how to work with the gatekeeper in order to reach the decision maker.

Difficult Question

If a person dwells on a question, and you really don't want to go there, simply say, "That's a great question. Because I want to respect the time constraints that we have here today, what I will do is go ahead with the presentation and answer that question for you in the back of the room at the end of the session. For now, let’s continue with..."  People will often try to stop you with difficult questions solely because they want to have airtime. They will rarely meet you in the back of the room afterwards.

Read more on how to handle difficult questions by looking at the article How to Handle the Disruptive Person That Asks Lots of Clarifying Questions. Click on

Disagreement Signals

The following gestures give a more negative connotation and can put the other person on the defensive.

  • Crossed Arms can indicate defensiveness.
  • Hand Supporting the Chin shows boredom.
  • Hands Clenched Together is a sign that the person is frustrated.
  • Picking at Imaginary Lint means the person disapproves of the opinion or idea stated but feels constrained in offering an opinion.
Effective Decisions

The following steps will help you make more effective decisions.

  1. Ask, “If we do this, what is the worst thing that can happen?”
    1. How likely is it that will happen?
    2. If it does happen, how can you handle it or can you do anything that will reduce the chance or eliminate it from happening?
  1. Ask, “If we don’t do this, what is the worst thing that can happen?”
    1. Can you afford to let that happen?
    2. Is the risk to you here GREATER than the above risk
  1. Put together your thoughts in a logical manner.  Use a Ben Franklin Formula with columns laying out the risks, mind map, or graph the pros/cons.
  1. Decide which way you believe the company should go and why.  Present it from that perspective.  Share what risks you see with that choice as well as how you see they can be overcome or what chance there is that it will really happen and the CONSEQUENCES if it does happen.

Remember to try and come from your listener’s perspective, not yours.  We all make mistakes.  The most important thing is that you know when to jump and when to hold on so you can be most effective!

Effective Networking

To be effective in today’s business you need to network by “personality partnering”.  Remember you are not trying to only reach the person you are speaking to, you want to have access to all the people they have an influence over.  Let your networking be defined by your personality and life style, not by your work.


When you go to your next networking event, use it as an opportunity to find others who think, feel and act similar to you.  Begin with your personality and lifestyle in mind and let work be an afterthought.  The more you practice this, the more the other person will be asking for your card without you even suggesting business and you will make business partners as well as friends.

Effective Staff Meetings

Here are additional tips for running Effective Staff Meetings:

Before the meeting begins, tell them what the key areas are that you’ll be covering. This will be the roadmap that gives clarity to your meeting.

If you have just stated something and you realize you have not clarified it for the group, follow it by saying, “The reason this is important to you is...”

Keep in mind that most staff do want to participate in meetings. The problem with 90% of staff meetings is that they are in a lecture format rather than in an interactive format. Always ask yourself, “Why do they need to know this, and what format is best for them to remember this information?”

Anne’s book, Outcome Focus® Approach: How to Get Your Message to Cascade Down has a techniques, tips and examples to get the best outcome. Go to the Product tab and click on Books.

Email Communication

Don't write an email in order to get things off your chest. Instead, think about how the other person needs to use your information, what kind of time limitations they have, and that you respect them.

·         Questions must be separated and put in individual lines so it is easy for the reader to see all the questions they need to answer. If you put questions embedded within a paragraph, they'll be easily missed and you will end up playing email tag with this person.

·         Any time you reply to an email, change the subject line to indicate what you are sending back to them or what you expect of them. This ends the cycle of e-mails in your inbox that have subject lines like: “Re: Re: Project Johnson.” You can see how having multiple e-mails with just “re:” in the front of the subject line will not help you when you need to retrieve one in a series of five e-mails. You may write an e-mail that goes to a person with the subject line saying, “What I need for the Johnson project by September 12.” They may e-mail you back with the subject line, “Re: what I need for the Johnson project—2 answers and one question for you.” You can see that when receiving this, you would know right away that you need to answer two questions and that they still need some information from you.

Anne’s book, Outcome Focus® Approach: How to Structure Your Message so They Hear It has a lot of examples on openings, closings and everything in between for structuring your message whether it’s written, verbal or nonverbal to get the best outcome. Go to the Product tab and click on Books.


Email Techniques

Here are a few techniques to make sure your emails are opened, understood, and responded to:

  • Make sure you use the subject line to tell the reader what you expect from them or what they can expect from your e-mail. Subject lines such as “November program,” or “Case study customer,” or “Project Johnson,” have no meaning to the email reader. It does not tell them what you expect of them, and it is not easy for them to quickly skim their emails to decide on its priority.
  • Don't brain dump in your email. If your email looks like one big long paragraph, I guarantee that you are brain dumping.
  • Use lots of white space in your email so it is easier for the reader to see your thoughts.
  • Put questions on separate lines so that people can easily see what they need to answer.
  • Avoid sarcasm. Assume your email will be read defensively and get rid of any language that may be seen as negative, condescending, sarcastic or reprimanding.

Anne’s book, Outcome Focus® Approach: How to Structure Your Message so They Hear It has a lot of examples on openings, closings and everything in between for structuring your message whether it’s written, verbal or nonverbal to get the best outcome. Go to the Product tab and click on Books.

Embrace Change

In a presentation where you're trying to get people to embrace change, start the presentation by talking about their world as it is today. Then talk about a time in your life that was made more comfortable by a change or a time when the company made a change and significant results were achieved. This allows everyone in the audience to realize that you understand their situation, but you're also acknowledging that change must happen.

Redirect them from focusing on if they like the change or not, to focusing on how  we will get the change implemented with the least disruption to all. Always keep in mind that people aren’t trying to resist you or the change; they are trying to remain competent and keep their world under control.  So help them see how this change will be a minor disruption but a real assistance in the long run.

To explore more on helping others embrace change you can join us at our public Outcome Focus® Approach to Managing Your Message Seminar. Click on the Seminars tab, Presentation Skills.


Executive Body Language

Here are five quick tips on how to be perceived as a strong and confident leader:

  1. Strong Stance- your weight should always be evenly balanced between both of your feet and your shoulders should be strong yet relaxed, not sloped.  Your head should be straight on or as you listen it should be tilted and turned slightly. 
  2. Consistent Caring Eye Contact- you should make eye contact about 70% of the time with people.  If your eye contact is more than that you may be seen as stern and not flexible.  If your eye contact is less than 70% of the time, people may see you as weak and uncertain.
  3. Reflexive Engaging Smile- if you are always smiling people will find it to be insincere.  People expect you to make eye contact with them and then smile- hence the reflexive engaging smile.  People should see it as a genuine response to a person or an event.
  4. Encompassing Head and Eye Movement- When you speak to a group they want to see you look at each person in the room and draw people in to your eye contact as you ask questions.  When you look straight on and make no head movement or engaging eye contact, it comes off as though you already made up your mind and that you don’t care what the people in the room think about what you are saying or sharing with them.
  5. Powerful Walk- Your walk should show that you know where you are going and that you are confident about the direction to take. This means you need to walk with a slight swing to your arms and a strong powerful stride.  If you walk with your head down, it will be seen as weak and unsure.  If you walk with a huge stride and lots of swinging of your arms it will be seen as cocky and arrogant.  So the balance is in creating a stride that others can easily walk with you but has an uplifting swing with the arms and the shoulders squared with the head up.

Once you are perceived as a strong leader people are more willing to look for the good in the decisions that you make and allow you the grace of time to work things out to fruition.  When people lack this confidence in the physical appearance of their leader, they begin to question EVERYTHING their leader does and scrutinizes it all under a microscope.

Match your executive body language with your message by reading Anne Warfield’s book How to Get Your Messages to Cascade Down.

Order Your Copy Today!

Fig Leafing

Fig leafing is when you clasp one hand within the other and then drop them down the front of you till they rest at full length.

It got its name because it is similar to Adam and Eve holding the fig leaves in front of them to hide their nakedness.

When you fig leaf, your shoulders naturally slope down and you look less confident.  Keep your shoulders relaxed but strong when speaking.

Does learning more about body language interest you? Then get Anne’s book: Communicating More Effectively: How to Read What a Person is Thinking But Not Saying! Go to the Product tab and click on Books.

Follow Up

One of the hardest things to do is to accurately gauge the effect of your meeting.  Most people do an evaluation at the end of the meeting which really only finds out if people "liked the meeting" but doesn't find out what they've learned from the meeting.

So the first thing you need to do is to think about why you want to follow-up and that will determine what follow-up is best to do. 

If what you want from the follow-up is to find out if people liked a new format you use to then an evaluation at the meeting can be adequate.

If you are looking to find out how people are applying what you taught at a meeting, then you're better off to do an e-mail, phone call, or face-to-face evaluation of week or two after the event.  This will allow you to ask how they are applying what they learned, what difference there seen that make, and what additional questions they have said they have been utilized in the new knowledge.

If you just want to make sure at the end of the meeting that people know how to utilize what you shared, you can break them into groups two and ask them to share with each other what they learned and how do they expect to apply it when they leave the room.  Then pull the group got together is a large group, gather their information, correct any misunderstandings people may have had, and summarize the action they are to take. 

The biggest mistake most people make is not thinking about why they are doing the follow-up so they make sure they get what they want out of the follow-up.  So always ask, "What is the primary purpose of my follow-up and what will best help me achieve that goal?"

Anne’s book, Outcome Focus® Approach: How to Structure Your Message so They Hear It has a lot of examples structuring your message to get the best outcome. Go to the Product tab and click on Books.

Grabbing the Audience’s Attention

Most speakers begin their presentation by saying one of the following: "Good afternoon, my name is...," or "Thank you, I'm glad to be here today.”

Your credibility is established for the audience not through your credentials, acronyms, or high intellectual conversation, but rather through the audience’s perception of the value you offer them.

As a person in the audience, you simply stare, waiting for the presentation to begin. The above opening does nothing to engage you, entice you, or draw you into the presentation. This means that you need to make the audience immediately feel that you understand who they are, the challenges and pressures they face, and that you will be open and honest in the time you have with them.

You can either share a common situation that you have seen them face, something that you understand about them, a fun story that relates to the topic you are going to share, or by telling the audience how they will benefit from your presentation.

As soon as the audience knows that you understand them and their situation, your credibility will skyrocket.

To learn more on grabbing your audience’s attention and much more take a look at Anne’s book, Outcome Focus® Approach: How to be Become One with Your Audience. Go to the Product tab and click on Books.

Interrupted Phone Conversation

Some reasons that the person may hang around your doorway or cubicle while you are on the phone:

o   She might not think you see her so she stays in view. 


o   She might have something on her mind that she feels is urgent. 


o   She might be oblivious to proper etiquette and not know that she should walk away and come back.

How to handle: First of all, acknowledge the person.  If you don't she will try even harder to get your attention.  If you will be off the phone in 5 minutes, look at the person, smile, raise your hand up to indicate five minutes and then point to her cubicle.  If she doesn't leave, wave good-bye.  Then when your conversation is over, go right to her cubicle.  At that time say, "Sorry to keep you waiting but I had to finish that conversation.  In the future, just peek in and if I am in the middle of a conversation and can't be interrupted, I will signal you and then when I am free, I'll come right over to your office.   If I'll be right off, I'll motion you in.  If it's really urgent, jot me a note and hand it to me.  So, what can I do for you?"


By using Outcome Thinking® you’ll discover a whole new way to communicate by adding value to everyone you connect with. Read more about in Anne Warfield’s book Outcome Thinking®: Getting Results Without the Boxing Gloves. Order Your Copy Today. Go to the Products tab and click on Books.

Interruption Dialogue

Those first eight minutes when you establish rapport with your audience is the time when you need to tell them how to interact with you with questions. If you do not want interruptions during your talk, you should say something like, "For the next 45 minutes I will be sharing with you how to take Six Sigma back into your organization. I have saved the last 15 minutes for any questions that you may have. So please, if a question comes up just jot it down and I will commit those last 15 minutes to answering questions."

If you want the audience to interrupt you freely with questions then say, "Please feel free at any time to interrupt me with your questions. I commit to making sure that we stay on time so if there is any question that requires too long of a reply, I will briefly answer and then ask you to see me later so I can give you more details. This will ensure that everyone can ask questions and no one will feel they're holding the group up.”

Need more examples on handling interruptions? Go to the HOT Tips: Continual Interrupter and Interrupted Phone Conversation for additional tips on people that interrupt.

Interviewing: Examples of Nervous Habits

Examples of nervous habits seen when interviewing include:

  • “Deer in the headlights” look when a question catches you by surprise
  • Widening of eyes when trying to put emphasis on things being said
  • Thumping of foot or knee
  • Fidgeting with a pen, your fingers, hair, mustache or beard
  • Fidgeting with clothing, watch or rings
  • Excessive swallowing
  • Licking corner of mouth
  • Rolling of eyes
  • Breaking of eye contact with difficult questions
  • Nervously tugging at any pieces of clothing
  • Trying to appear too relaxed and lounging when sitting
  • Stuttering or repeating what you said
  • Speaking in circles without a clear beginning or end

And these are just a few of the examples!

Record a practice session. By recording, you will be able to truly see how you respond during an interview with your entire body.  Remember that approximately 60%- 90% of everything you say is interpreted through body language, so it is crucial to be aware of your body language when interviewing.

The Outcome Focus™ Interviewing System is designed to teach you what interviewers look for, how to communicate your value, how to help them INTERPRET your value, how to build stories that continually point out how you are the right candidate for the position and how to make sure your body language aligns for you. Order Your Interviewing System Today!

Interviewing Quick Steps

The biggest problem most people run in to with interviewing is that they see it as “will they like what they see?”  This leads you to view the interview as a judgment session rather than a “let’s get to know each other” session.

Here are some quick steps when interviewing:

1.    Pretend you are just out to coffee with this person.  Your goal is to show this person how you can add value to his organization while at the same time finding out more about him and his company.

2.    Don’t just answer the question asked- think of what they are trying to find out with that question and answer that. 


3.    Practice your interview in to a tape recorder AND a camcorder.  You will be surprised at your fidget signs, your eye contact, and how you answer questions you are not prepared for.  Have a friend sit across from you and pepper you with questions to see how you do.

4.    DON’T SCRIPT out your answers.  Remember this is a dialogue between you and another person.  If you script your brain will stumble over words, go in to remote robotic mode, and if they word it slightly different than you practiced, your brain will try to shut down on you.

5.    REMEMBER to tie your personal self and professional self together.  So many people try to just talk about their work accomplishments but in reality they want the whole you.  Tastefully weave in dialogue that shows you as a full person are the best one for the job.

6.    Lastly, if you think they might see you as over qualified for the job.  What that means is that they might see you as “Here today but gone tomorrow because the job won’t keep you satisfied.”  It is your job to tell them why you want this job.

For example, “As you can see from my resume I have 6 years in this area which is even more than the requirement for the job. I am really excited about this opportunity because I know, based on my experience, that I can hit the ground running for you.  It will also mean less travel for me which my family will value as well.  I would love to work for Capital City Company as your Project liaison.”

For more on interviewing go to the HOT Tips: Interviewing Quick Steps for 6 steps to keep in mind when interviewing.

Key Negotiating Principles

Negotiating does not have to be a sweat session.  Matter of fact, if you use these key principles, negotiating becomes a fun event.  The four key things are:

  1. your attitude going in to the negotiation
  2.  your focus on an outcome instead of the process
  3. your ability to read the other person’s thoughts through their body language
  4.  and your ability to speak and think positively from the other person’s perspective. 

More details for successful negotiations are found on Anne Warfield’s CD Success Negotiation: Less Stress, MORE YES!.

Order Your Copy Today!
Listening & Absorbing Body Signs

Hand on Cheek show evaluation and genuine interest.
Chin Stroking is the person making a decision. Don’t interrupt!
Seated Readiness shows excitement and agreement.
Head Tilt shows interest.

The one telltale sign that a person can never control is Dilated Pupils. When you are interested in something your pupils will dilate up to four times their size which shows excitement and interest.

See real life examples of these and more body language signs by picking up Anne Warfield’s DVD Communicating More Effectively: How to Read What a Person is Thinking But Not Saying!

Order Your Copy Today!
Manage Perceptions

60 seconds is not a long time.  Yet that is all it takes for a customer to gain a quick perception of you. If we know it only takes that amount of time, why don’t we manage that time better?  What can you do to make the most impact possible in the shortest amount of time?  What can you do to make your employees embrace making a positive impact?

Just do three easy steps:

Step One: Managing the visual perception. Don’t make the mistake of dressing like your customer.  Instead dress for how you want the customer to view you.

Step Two: Managing How a Person Hears Your Message. Always keep in mind that there are four distinct communication styles and you can never step on the hot button of any or you will stop the other person from listening to you.

Step Three: Phrase Your Message to Shatter Barriers. The next thing you need to do is look at the messages you send to employees and customers. 

Pulling it together
When you pull these three elements together you can create powerful teams that focus on the customer.  If you use these steps and you allow your people to tell you how to manage them, you will find that your employees become empowered. They will treat the customers the same way they feel you treat them—which will be like gold.

Motivating Another Person

This one is a tough one since we can’t actually motivate a person to do something.  Motivation has to come from within.  But we can spark people and push them in the right direction.

1.    How do you ask for things?  Are you vague?  Do you make assumptions? Do you use “we” too often?  "We" is good to use except when you are trying to get someone to take direct accountability.  Then the use of “we” allows the other person to NOT take the accountability.

2.    Make sure you remove judgment but hold the person accountable for their part.

3.    Candidly step back and see the lesson you want learned and take a good look at whether you are hindering or helping the problem.  This is best done through a series of questions:

            Example:  Your teenager not turning in their work.

            What is the worst that will happen if I do nothing and let her fail?

            If I take control and check on her work and assignments what lesson will she learn?

            If I take something away, like TV, time with friends, what message will that teach?

How hard will it be for me to let her fail? How will I handle that and why will it be difficult for me?

4.    Go through each option with the other person so they OWN the result.  Let them continue to walk through and handle each situation.  Ask them to set the punishment if they do not follow through and the reward if they do.  Then stick to it.

Transform your communication with Anne Warfield’s book Outcome Thinking®: Getting Results Without the Boxing Gloves. Order Your Copy Today! Go to the Product tab and click on Books.


Move to Action

You are never just presenting information, You want your audience to take some sort of action based on the information. What action do you want them to do or change?

If you ask your audience for an action, have them write it down. It will be remembered 40% more often and it will raise accountability. People remember 3 to 7 things at the most, 3 to 5 is the easiest to recall. Keep your presentation to 3 to 5 Key Points. No more. If your listeners can recall what you said, the likelihood of them taking action increases dramatically.

Negative Person

If you are a presenter that tends to roam around the audience, you can walk over and stand by the negative person. This often gets them to change their behavior because they become uncomfortable having everyone's eyes on them.

In worst case scenarios, you may have to ask the negative person to leave. In my fifteen years of speaking, I have only had to do this once, with two individuals from one company. Ironically, the company had hired me to help them improve the morale of workers and their interaction with leaders. Two of the individuals did not want to be there. One sat slumped in his seat while the other one sat with his back to the room and stared out the window. At one point, the question was asked, "How should I handle it when a customer asks me to work on a project but they haven't gone through the proper channels to get a number assigned to the project? And a number needs to be assigned to the project in order for us to properly track time and pay." Mr. Negative turned around from staring out the window and said, "This is just a bunch of bull____. I just tell the customer we can't do that and I hang up on them."

At this point, you could have heard a pin drop in the room. And all eyes moved to me to see how I would respond to the situation. I knew, because of the topic we were covering, that my primary goal as presenter was to make the room safe for people to ask difficult questions. And Mr. Negative had just killed that safe environment.

So, I used Outcome Thinking® to address with the group what we were trying to accomplish and how they needed to act in order for us to achieve that. I then gave them the option to stay or leave, but if they stayed they were agreeing to participate positively.

Then I gave the group a 15-minute break so they could choose whether they wanted to stay or leave. At this point I had only been speaking for about forty minutes, so we were not really at a point in a full-day session where you would normally take a break.

Ironically though, every single person came back, and the two negative people sat up front and participated. The feedback forms that came back to me repeatedly said, "Thanks for making it a safe environment to talk."

Want more examples on how to handle a negative person? Take a look at Anne’s book, Outcome Focus® Approach: How to be Become One with Your Audience. Go to the Product tab and click on Books.

Negotiation Body Language

Why is it important to understand body language when negotiating? Once you learn to read body language, you can see what a person is thinking but not saying. You can tell when they are in agreement with you, disagreement, bored, interested, upset, angry or confused.

When a client is mirroring your body language this means they like you and are persuaded by you.

If you are in a meeting and it’s not going well, change your body language. Uncross your arms and legs and move to an open position.

Don’t close when a prospect/client is in a closed body position, arms crossed, hands clenched together. You can’t change a person’s mind until you change their body language. Find out what they are upset about. Ask open ended questions. This gets the other party more involved in your negotiation.

Negotiation Phrases

Start with the positive

  • “It sounds like you have done a lot of exploring so far…”
  • “At this point I’m just jumping in the conversation, so in order to be the best asset, I need to ask several questions so I have a full grasp of the situation.”
  • “My role today is to get a good grasp of your needs and then come back with options for you at our next meeting.”

Clarify all ASSUMPTIONS right up front even if they seem redundant.

Negotiation Planning

Before you even begin to negotiate you need to plan.  If you know in advance that you are going in for a job interview or a raise you might have a lot of time to plan.  But there are other times where this planning will need to happen in a split second because you won’t be prepared to negotiate at the time the other party approaches you.  The following strategies work whether you have days or only minutes to prepare and can move you from being positional in your negotiating to being Outcome Focused®. 

The first step in planning is to run quickly through these seven questions:

  • What outcome/result do I want?
  • Why should they want this outcome/result?
  • How can I tie this to their objectives and goals?
  • What objections might they raise?
  • How can I turn these in to benefits?
  • What are their hot buttons?  (close on these)
  • What makes them feel good about the company and themselves?

If you quickly run through these questions you will be more prepared to see things from the other person’s point of view.  You will focus on how they would benefit from the outcome you desire rather than why they should give you the outcome you desire.

Negotiating Problems

            1. Not presenting strong enough upfront - get push back
            2. Not tying choice to Emotional Objective
            3. Not coming in early enough in decision process
            4. Giving too many choices- simplicity is best
            5. Not stroking person enough
            6. Too “me” oriented
            7. Piece mealing negotiation
            8. Starting negotiation too far back

More details for successful negotiations are found on Anne Warfield’s CD Success Negotiation: Less Stress, MORE YES!.

Order Your Copy Today!

Negotiation Space

Space plays a big role in negotiations. You have a definite space bubble you carry around you. If you trust people, you let them in to your space. Negotiations naturally make us more nervous and lead us to want as much space as we can possibly get. This is why most people tend to sit across the table from each other. This is the worst thing you can do! When you sit across from someone they naturally divide the table in half and half becomes your space and half becomes their space. To test this out, try going to lunch with someone and putting your beverage, the salt and pepper shaker, etc. on to their half of the table. You will find they will become agitated and move their chair back or they will slowly move things back so the space is even.

When negotiating, make sure you have a room that has enough space for each person to have elbow room. Once a person’s body space is invaded they will stop thinking rationally and will instead put their energy towards getting their space back! And the negotiation will most likely never close. Your best bet is to have a room with a round table so there is no “head” spot. It brings a feeling of equality to the negotiation.

Negotiation Steps

So when you are negotiating, follow these four easy steps:

  1. Never use the word “negotiate”.  People immediately think of one person winning and one person losing.  And their immediate goal is to not lose!  Instead use the word “brainstorm.”  This will cause both parties to be more open to ideas. When people think of brainstorming they immediately thinking of sharing all information in order to come to the best conclusion.  You will find that they will candidly share with you obstacles they face.
  2. Focus on the outcome desired AND why the other party will benefit from this outcome.  If you can’t answer that, you will be weak throughout the negotiation since you won’t have conviction behind what you say.  Don’t get hung up on one solution.  Keep yourself open for options.
  3. Address challenges and objections you think the other party might have right up front.  Remember a person can’t really “hear” you until they feel you understand them.  By addressing concerns, issues and objections they have upfront you shatter the “yea, but” argument that happens so much in negotiations.
  4. Choose your words carefully.  Avoid any negative words such as” but or however” since these negate everything you said right before.  Instead use “and”.

You might be surprised at what the other party will offer up as solutions!  And most importantly, remember you are there to gather information and get a result not to win an argument.

Negotiating Strategies

Here are Two Key strategies to keep in mind when negotiating:

1. Have a game plan or strategy.
Your game plan or strategy is a starting point -- a brief outline of what you would like to accomplish and how.  It is not a rigid rulebook to be applied throughout the negotiation.  It is instead a guideline that allows you a place to start.

Remember, you are working with another human being, someone who doesn’t appreciate being backed into a corner any more than you would.

Set a strategy with clear goals and possible tactics but be willing to revise it as circumstances and interests warrant.

2. Begin with the right mindset.
Most people go into negotiations thinking one of two things:

“I have to win at all cost.  I don’t want to look stupid.  I have done my homework and, by gosh, I know what X, Y, and Z cost.  I am not going to be taken advantage of!” 


“Please, please, just be reasonable and give me X, Y and Z without a hassle.  I really don’t want to fight with you over this.”

Do you see any problem with these approaches?

Each one has faith in you but not the other party.

That immediately makes negotiation difficult. If you believe the other party will try to take advantage of you, then you lose you biggest edge — the perception that the other person will do anything they can do to help you.

You need to start with the mindset that we are both here to achieve a mutual outcome and we just need to figure out how to remove the barriers to that outcome.  Trust me, people can tell whether you believe in the best or worst of them. They will try to live up to either expectation.

Go to the Resource tab and click on Articles and Negotiations to find a selection of Negotiating articles that have more information and tips that can change the course of your negotiations and increase your take actions.

Negotiation Tips

Negotiations cause our brain to automatically try to protect our world and our hot button. This causes you to shut down your listening and creative thinking. With Outcome Thinking® you  learn a new way to unleash that energy proactively so you are more innovative, creative and a stronger partner.

Make sure of a few things up front.  What is and is not negotiable?  DON’T give the person a choice if there is not really one. 

Do not piecemeal your negotiation.

Look at the long term.

Avoid Yes/No questions. Ask open ended questions such as “On a scale from one to ten…”

Most people negotiate too far back when there is no initial buy in.

Do biggest negotiation item first.

Remember negotiating isn’t about winning, it is about reaching an outcome that propels you forward!  Use it as a time to build a relationship with the other person.  Even the most stubborn negotiator likes to feel listened to and respected.

More information on negotiation is found on Anne Warfield’s CD Success Negotiation: Less Stress, MORE YES! Order Your Copy Today!


The number one reason for nerves: you’re worrying about what the audience is thinking.

  • Take a moment and look at your audience before you even say a word.
  • Make individual eye contact with everyone in the audience. You want to make that vital connection with each of your listeners.
  • Pick one friendly face to present to first, then move on to the rest of the group. Concentrate on one person at a time.
  • It’s not about you…it’s not “what you say”; it’s about “what your audience needs to hear.”

Remember: you’re adding value. Stop trying to impress them. Focus. Talk like you’re having coffee with a friend.

Networking Tips

Within 60 seconds of meeting you for the first time, people will form 11 key impressions.

You are a walking business card of yourself. Dress for who you are.

Remember to ready body language in clusters. This means you have to discern the meaning of all the signs in the context of each other, not just one sign on its own. Here are a few…

  • Men nod when they are in agreement. Women nod to show they’re listening.
  • Hand supporting the chin shows boredom.
  • Arms and legs crossed shows defensiveness.

People do business with people they trust.

Non-verbal Transitions

Many people don't realize how important transitions are when speaking. They are what makes good conversation flow and what make many speakers seem eloquent.

Plan your transitions and vary them so you don't put an audience to sleep or in to a pattern by always using the same transitions.

Non-verbal transitions include things like:

  1. Pausing with your voice. This one over done can seem like you have lost your train of thought. I will tell you that most speakers UNDER USE the pause. It can be very effective especially if you just gave a thought provoking statement.
  2. Visually transferring by PowerPoint. You can have a visual slide pop up that shows the audience what points you have covered and what points are up coming. This works best when you stick to having only 3-5 key points in a talk.
  3. Your body movement on the stage. You can physically move to make a point or transition. This can be very effective if you break the "stage" space down so you use the back for in the past, the front right (your right as you face out) to share strong points and statements, and the front left to share thoughts or feelings. Then when you go back to a point you can physically move to that point on the stage. Remember this has to look natural otherwise it comes off as contrived.
  4. Using your fingers to count off points. This works extremely well when you pair this with saying things like, "first we covered, now we will look at our second point"

Transitions are something I find most speakers NEVER think about. They imagine that once they are in front of the crowd their mind will just magically think of the right thing to say.

Find a selection of transitions that work for you. They are what anchors what you have said, ties your thoughts together, and are a critical part of your audience's road map to your presentation.

Not An Expert

This leads us to the case, though, where a person believes they are an expert but in your eyes they are not. In that situation, what you really want to do is to be able to have them focus on the fact that we can always improve and bring things to the next level. Get them to focus on how true experts are always fine tuning their craft and continuing to practice so they improve. You might use the example of professional athletes and how, even though they know how to bat, they do batting practice over and over so they become more skilled at what they do. And this often means they are getting continued advice on the fundamentals of batting. Tell them that today you are going to cover the fundamentals of ____ and that you want them to use the expertise to challenge themselves.

To learn more on handling interruptions, difficult questions and more take a look at Anne’s book, Outcome Focus® Approach: How to be Become One with Your Audience. Go to the Product tab and click on Books.


For the first 8 minutes, you be vulnerable before you ask them to be vulnerable.

The higher you go in an organization the more enticing your opening has to be.

Take a moment to look at your audience before you even say a word. Most presenters rush into the beginning of their presentation without pausing, catching their breath, establishing a connection with their audience, or giving them the opportunity to focus on you and your message. Breathe, take your time. What you have to say is important.

An “ice-breaker” is not the same as your opening. It should be done after your opening.

More information on how to structure your message is found in Anne Warfield’s book How to Structure Your Message so They Hear It. Order Your Copy Today!


Other Person’s Perspective

How do you slow down and see things from other people's perspectives, namely your employees? You use a skill called "Outcome Thinking®" that allows you to respond in alignment with the outcome you want instead of just reacting to the situation.

First, start by realizing that there are many correct answers to any given situation. This will allow you to step back, validate your answer, and then try to find out what other answers exist.

Second, try to think in positive terms of what the other person's perspective might be. Realize that your first contact with them should be an open one that gathers more information rather than blasts them with your opinion.

Thirdly, you need to think about the way you talk to yourself. Keep in mind that the way you talk to yourself is the way you talk to others. Think about the critical voice you use. Are you harsh and critical of yourself? Do you often cut yourself down, even if it is jokingly? Do you get upset when you make a mistake or do you look at how you can learn from it? When someone criticizes you, do you take it personally or do you step back and assess if what their saying fits?

Remember that your perspective is not necessarily the correct one. Our differences in our experiences are what allow us to stretch and change. Be open to what the other person has to say and concentrate more on the result you want than trying to make sure they know your feelings. In business, it is your IQ that often gets you your job, but it is the way you communicate with others that gets you promoted.

Learn more about how to use Outcome Thinking® to come from the other person’s perspective by reading Anne Warfield’s book Outcome Thinking®: Getting Results Without the Boxing Gloves. Order Your Copy Today!

Outcome Thinking®

What is Outcome Thinking®? “Outcome Thinking® is the ability to focus on an outcome desired and then speak from the other person’s perspective on how and why to reach that outcome. It is a way of thinking that produces a new result with how others see you, hear you and connect with you. The most ironic part is that if focuses less on you yet it draws people more to you.”
Outcome Thinking® differs from most communication. There are three communication stoppers that keep most of us communicating in a “ME” communication style. There are three key principles and they shatter each communication stopper. These three principles are the key elements to success with Outcome Thinking®. The previous definition is found in Anne Warfield’s book Outcome Thinking®: Getting Results without the boxing gloves. Order Your Copy Today!

Past To Present

Sometimes you need to tie the past to the present when sharing an idea that has run up against a road block. You could say something like this: "When Alexander Graham Bell tried to sell his phone to Western Union, he was told that there would be no use for it. Yet today, tell me, who in here would be lost without your cell phone? Today I am going to be talking about some new ideas, and there may be times where you want to say ‘There's no use for it.’ But I'm going to ask that we all try to keep an open mind and look for the possibilities and not the obstacles. So let's get started."

To find out more about enhancing the way you communication and picking up some tips on how to handle road blocks you can join us at our public Outcome Focus® Approach to Managing Your Message Seminar. Click on the Seminars tab, Presentation Skills

PowerPoint Tips

How the audience views slides:

  • If the choice is between watching you or reading your PowerPoint, the audience will choose to read.
  • Don’t distract your audience with too much going on.
  • If you add to PowerPoint with your own words your intelligence goes up, if you read your PowerPoint, your intelligence goes down in the eyes of your audience.
  • If a slide is there for you-throw it out. If it’s there for your audience, keep it.
  • Each of your slides should have no more than 3 to 5 points. Your goal is to have your key points easy to recall. Recall equals action.
  • Set the resolution while in the “Slide Sorter” to “View to 65%.”  Why Does It Matter? If you cannot read the slide without a magnifying glass, neither can your audience.

Action Step: Consider using a larger font, fewer words, and/or higher contrast.  Ask yourself, does this slide need to be in my presentation?

Practicing Presentations

Practice your first 8 minutes so that your presentation is ingrained but not memorized.

How do I practice? If someone is not available to listen to you live, record yourself while driving, then listen to it during drive time to critique yourself. When practicing your presentation if front of someone, have them count your “um’s” or “ah’s” as well as any other speech patterns such as speaking too quickly, distracting body language or voice inflection. (In the absence of voice intonation or modulation, people will assume the most negative connotation of your message.) This will bring those words or actions from your subconscious to your conscious mind.

Presentation Basics

If you are going to use a podium or lectern, set it to your side. There should be no physical barrier between you and your audience.

Mornings are best when presenting a convoluted topic. Afternoons are harder for comprehension and evenings are the worst.

You’re never just presenting to an audience. You’re presenting to who they’re presenting to.

If you’re in doubt, throw it out.

Emotion makes people act, logic makes people think. A good presentation has both.

Presentation Preparation

When preparing your presentation, remember: your Goal is to always come from the audience’s perspective. You need to answer the question: “What do THEY need to know?”

When practicing your presentation, have someone count your “um’s as well as any other speech patterns. This will bring those words from your subconscious to your conscious mind.

Keep a story list. If you put 2 new items on it each week, you’ll have 140 by years’ end.

To learn more about presentations and connecting with your audience read Anne Warfield’s Q & A book How to Become One With Your Audience. Order Your Copy Today!

Presenting Tips

People need a minimum of two days to change a mindset. They need 30 days to change a habit.

Ask your audience to pair up to answer a question or solve a problem. Then ask them to partner with another pair to solve additional problems or questions.

Don’t ever make your audience feel stupid.

Never pick a “volunteer” from your audience at the beginning of your presentation.

Avoid having your audience shake their heads “no.”


Here are some five examples of Principles:

  1.  First, determine how you would like the customer to view your organization.  Do you want your customer to rave about you, to see you as the best value, to desire your expertise, to see you as the thought leaders or to be fully committed to you?  Once you have determined this it becomes the foundation to look at how you make the client "feel" this message.

2.  Second, determine how you would like your clients to describe you.  For example in our organization we use the term "Lexus Mentality" to keep in mind that we always want to do things on the high end for our customers.

3.  Third, determine the rhythm or atmosphere you would like to have in your office. Believe me, every office has a rhythm and atmosphere.  You can either manage it and have it work for you or let it define itself and thus manage you. You may determine that you want to feel like family, a community, a creative network, energetic, or calming are a few examples.  You should shape the energy and attitude you see in every person every day.

4.  Fourth, think about the discipline you would like to see people have every day.  The mindset and behavior each person needs to exemplify should be listed in your principles and values.  These could include things such as no excuses, full accountability, accepts criticism openly and non-defensively, and meets deadlines and commitments.

5.  Fifth, think about the long-term growth of the company and where you'd like to be positioned in the marketplace.  You should have a principle or value that aligns with the future vision of the company.  Are you going to be the best in the industry?  Are you going to be the leading cost-saver in the industry?  Are you going to be the fastest at delivery in the industry?  Think about what will differentiate you from all your competitors.

If you’re interested in exploring how to transform the way you communicate so your messages – verbal and nonverbal – are congruent no matter who you connect with: your team, other executives, potential clients and peers click on the Solutions tab to find out how you can display a positive Executive Presence.


Probing Questions

Probing questions are designed to peel back the layers to discover, uncover, excavate and explore what the other person is truly concerned about.

Notice how they are NOT judgmental, they don’t ask yes or no questions, and how they cause the other person to share with you more about their THINKING.

“Tell me this…"

"Share with me how…"

 “If _____________ then I don’t understand how/why...”           

"I'd like to brainstorm today with you…"

If you’d like to learn more about probing questions click on the Solutions tab, Increase Your Sales to find out how you can become a trusted partner and go beyond traditional sales.


Rambling occurs when your eye contact moves rapidly from person to person. To avoid this: shift eye contact only at the end of a sentence. Finish your sentence with one person in the audience.

If you lose your spot or train of thought…remember it is not about perfection. Don’t apologize. Don’t stare at the audience. Pause, look down for a moment, regain your thoughts and resume your presentation. Your audience will assume you had a great thought.

Respectful Communication

In order to improve communication with others you need to make sure you are always conveying that you respect them as a person. Here are ten steps that will help you know if you always convey that you respect the other person.

  1. You bring pen and paper to meetings and take notes to show your interest and the importance of what is being said.
  2. You respond to all phone calls and emails within 24 hours even if it is only to say you will not have an answer until later.
  3. You sit up with your shoulders back, plant your feet firmly and make eye contact during meetings and discussions.
  4. With management, you appropriately challenge ideas always looking at what can be done to improve things. You never challenge by saying things are "stupid," "won't work," or by rolling your eyes.
  5. You realize that bottom line your job is to support upper management in reaching the company's vision. Therefore, you take it upon yourself to look at what you need from your manager in order to do your job better taking full responsibility for your job.
  6. You do not interrupt while others are talking.
  7. During arguments or heated discussions you repeat back what you think the other person said before you say your piece. That way you avoid misunderstandings or reading in to what the other person said.
  8. Any disagreement you have with a person you take straight to him/her rather than gossip about it behind their back.
  9. When listening to a person you make eye contact 70% of the time.
  10. You believe that people are trying to do their best.
Responses To Calls, Faxes or Emails

When people don’t respond to your calls, faxes or emails they may not realize the significance of what you need.  They might forget or misplaces things.  They could be overworked and hampered by others' delayed responses.

(For internal employees): State on top of the memo in bold writing- "In order to reserve a spot for this session, you must return this form to me by 10/21 at 2 PM.  If you do not respond, we will assume you will not be coming.  You will not be able to attend if you do not RSVP."  Let them know what the consequences are so you do not continually have to seek people out to get their responses.

(For customers): Make sure you are making it easy for them.  If you need a response, print it in bold up front. Don't bury it in the memo.  If there is a consequence, state that in a friendly manner- "In order to best serve you we need to get the following from you by _____ (Put a specific date here.  If you say "within the week" they will not have a deadline in mind and will forget.)  If we do not receive it by that date, we will be unable to process your paperwork, which would mean action on your request will be delayed.  Please call if there is any problem getting this information to us by the above date.  We would love to be of assistance."


For more on emails go to the HOT Tips: Email Communication and Email Techniques for tips on clarifying your email communications.


A Roadmap is the path that shows people what you’re talking about. It might go something like this: "We have found that we can actually shorten processing times of claims by up to 20%. The savings in time will allow you greater flexibility in your job and reduce stress. In order to see how we can help you streamline the claims process, I need to ask a series of questions that will help me understand exactly how you process claims now and where we can streamline things for you. So why don't we start with the first few questions?"

To find out more about Roadmaps you can join us at our public Outcome Focus® Approach to Managing Your Message Seminar. Click on the Seminars tab, Presentation Skills.

Safe Environment for Discussions

There are four steps to follow to create a safe environment for discussions.

They are:

1. The first thing you need to do is ask yourself, “What can I do to make the environment safe for people to share ideas, disagree, and challenge when appropriate?”

2. Then let the group chat.  You need to find out if you are doing anything that may stop the discussion (you will be surprised how many times you do things subconsciously that stop the group from participating); if there are perceptions of the team that are off, or if there is a feeling about your company culture that is stopping them.

3. Once you have come to the ground rules of what will make it safe.  Repeat them to the group and tag on “so we are all agreeing that if the following things are in place then we will all speak up and have robust discussions as a group.”

4. Then you need to tag on the KEY CONSEQUENCE piece so people know you are serious about this and they set the consequences if they don’t follow the behavior they agreed to.  You would say something like this, “So what do you want me to do if the robust discussions still don’t happen?”

Once you own the atmosphere needed and commit to make it safe, and then you can get the robust discussions going.

Anne’s book, Outcome Focus® Approach: How to Get Your Message to Cascade Down has a techniques, tips and examples to get the best outcome. Go to the Product tab and click on Books.

Seven Media Rules

Here are the Seven Cardinal Rules to remember:

  1. Create YOUR STORY rather than letting the media develop their own. Remember the media is looking for a STORY.  A story means there is an interesting angle that the viewer will be intrigued with.  If you don’t provide that angle they will try to capture it with editing and trapping questions. You need to know BEFORE you meet with the media what the STORY is that you want them to share.  Think from THEIR perspective not yours.  If you only defend what happened I guarantee they will try to put you in a more negative light.
  2. Watch telltale nervous or combative body language signs such as fidgeting, shifting feet, and breaking eye contact. These are all signs that on TV appear to the viewer that you are HIDING something. Since body language is tied to your thoughts anything you are thinking WILL come out in your body language.  This is why you cannot be thinking about defending what happened or else your body language will be nervous or combative.
  3. Avoid all “yes” or “no” answers.  Why? Because your answer can be edited down to that simple word and the rest of your explanation left out.  Always focus your answer so it can NOT be edited down.
  4. Speak in terms of sound bites.  Reporters are looking for short phrases and succinct messaging.  Therefore, if your answer is too longwinded they will opt to just NOT use it as it is too hard to edit it down.  Try to give quick concise answers.
  5. Avoid the words “but” or “however” as they can edit out what you say before or after that message and completely turn around what you were saying.
  6. Use proactive body language that shows confidence and leadership.  This includes looking directly at the viewer (that would be the camera), have your feet firmly planted about shoulder width apart, relax your shoulders, keep your hands up by your waist or completely down at your sides,  and have your weight balanced slightly more on one hip (this will give a relaxed pose).
  7. Talk to the reporter the way you would convincingly talk to a good friend over a cup of coffee.  Keep it professional but relaxed.  Don’t try to impress them.  Instead make sure you know in your head and heart the story you wish to deliver. Then you can take each question the reporter asks you and ALIGN it with the STORY you are trying to deliver so you can put the positive spin on it.

Remember the media is looking for a story so instead of making the media SEARCH for a story deliver it confidently to them!

Showing Confidence & Authority

Here are a few things that show confidence and authority to the audience:

  1. Make eye contact with each person in the audience, take a deep breath, and speak to them as you would to a person over a cup of coffee.
  2. Remember, it's not about how intelligent your audience sees you, but rather how intelligent you make your audience feel. So don't use a lot of acronyms or terminology that your audience may not understand.
  3. Make sure that they understand the context of what you are saying and why it is important to them.
  4. Demonstrate understanding of their industry, their company, or their personal situation, by giving examples and asking questions.
  5. Don't try to have all the answers, but make sure you ask the right questions. The more thought provoking, insightful, and intriguing you are as a speaker, the more credible you will be to your audience.
Simple Sales Strategies

There are ways you can keep bringing in new customers and orders. All it requires is that you tailor your approach. Follow these simple steps:

  • DRESS UP: If you want to stand out above your competitors, and keep finding new business when things are tight, then dress for success.
  • MANAGE YOUR CLIENT BY LETTING YOUR CLIENT HAVE THE CONTROL: A client's biggest fear is that you're going to harass their family, friends, or colleagues, and that it’s going to reflect poorly on them. By getting into the habit of working with your customers on their own terms, you make it much more comfortable for them to pass your name on to others, or vice versa.
  • BE A RESOURCE FOR YOUR CLIENTS: By becoming a resource, being able to refer your customers to other reliable professionals who can help them solve their problems, you give them a reason to call you. And the more frequently they call you, the more business you’re going to see. At the same time, following this strategy is likely to bring you referrals from other professionals, too. If you were consistently getting new work from one of your contacts, wouldn’t you want to send some of your clients their way?
  • TURN OBJECTIONS INTO BENEFITS OF DOING BUSINESS WITH YOU: It’s a good idea to give your prospects five or ten benefits they get from working with you, in terms that are relevant to them.

To distinguish yourself from the competition, keep these guidelines in mind. Once you do, you’ll be head and shoulders above the rest, no matter what the economy is doing.

To learn more sales strategies read Anne Warfield’s Q & A book How to Open Doors and Close More Sales.

Order Your Copy Today!
Speaking Assertively

Follow these five quick steps to ensure that you get your point across without pain:

  1. Know the outcome/result you want from this communication.  This is the framework you want the listener to think in and it sets the tone for how you will phrase questions and present your ideas.  This tells the other person exactly what you want from them and what they need to focus on during your discussion.  Are you looking for an answer? Ideas? For them to buy?  Think deeper.   In a memo, this should be your headline.  90% of all people I work with never stop to think about what they really want from a discussion, they just assume the other person will think the same way they do.
  2. Think about what objections or concerns others might have and address those upfront.  You had better address these upfront.  Trying to ignore them or breeze over them causes the other person to think, “yeah, but…” and you never get 100% of their attention.  On top of that, their energy gets spent on refuting what you are saying instead of on helping you discover solutions.  If you don’t shatter those objections you will not shatter their resistance.
  3. State the bottom line and address the concerns/objections you think might come up.  What is the outcome you want?  Give it straight out. This again helps them focus their attention.
  4. Give supporting data/facts.  You need to be able to support what you are saying with the whys.
  5. Summary/call to action.  Rephrase your original question and drive toward the outcome desired.

Take Action:  Try these steps next time you have to present an idea or thought to someone.  They also work great when you have to deal with a difficult situation or troublesome person since it gets you both on the same page.  You don’t have to put on your combat gear to get your idea across and you don’t have to be agreeable to everyone.  You do have to state your thoughts and ideas in a nonjudgmental manner so others put their armor down and you focus on the outcome. Remember, it is what you say AND how you say it that counts!

Stress Management

So how do you manage stress?  Is there really any magic formula to reduce it?  The answer is yes and no.  You see the magic formula isn’t something you get from someone else.  It is something that must come from you.

  • Be Uniquely You
    Do you know what is unique about you?  Do you celebrate it or do you cover it up?
  • Communicate Clearly
    In order to improve communication with others you need to make sure you are always conveying that you respect them as a person.
  • Positive Self Talk
    Talking positive to yourself is crucial to your outlook. The way you talk to yourself is the way you talk to others. You are what you think.

So start each day with the clarity of what you want to give out that day, who you are and what you have to offer. Communicate clearly always conveying respect to the other person. Strength and peace of mind will come from your consistent and positive self talk that can’t help but get stress out of your life.

Target Your Message

Here are a couple of additional tips on how to match your presentation to your situation by targeting your message:

  • Once you have a feeling (by looking around their office) of what may be most important to them, start by sharing with them how your product, service, or information will help them achieve that. For example, "Bill, I'm here today to share with you how our Four Step Process will help your salespeople win more sales. In order to do that I would like to briefly chat with you about some of the challenges that your salespeople face in trying to close sales."
  • Right from the beginning of the meeting listen carefully to the types of questions or statements they make. Do they ask you questions that seem to be about how your product, service, or information will give them greater stability? Better recognition in the marketplace? More control over their business environment? Or more accuracy in all that they do? Just focus on sharing information that shows how your product service or information gives them what they need.

This ability to fine-tune by listening carefully to what they are saying will help you to condense an hour-long discussion, leaving more time to talk about the key items for that person. Remember, people usually have only one or two things that they are hoping to learn during the conversation with you. Your job is to find out solely what those one or two things are. So stop talking and start listening to the other person.

Learn how to match your presentation to your situation.  Join us at our public Outcome Focus® Approach to Managing Your Message Seminar. Click on the Seminars tab, Presentation Skills.

Top 10 Traits of a Leader
  1. You must enforce accountability with consequences.
  2. You must be candid and caring.
  3. You must be congruent. 
  4. You must have clarity in all you say and do.
  5. You must be able to coach others.
  6. Stop trying to have right answers and start asking the right questions.
  7. Be passionate about what you do.       
  8. Be a steward of philanthropy.      
  9. Dare to be different.
  10. Be authentic in your integrity and character.

Take Action: To be a great leader you need to continually strive to learn, grow and stretch yourself. Ask yourself, “How can I expect my team to continually strive to grow if they don’t see me constantly moving my performance up to the next level?”

Verbal Transitions

Many people don't realize how important transitions are when speaking. They are what makes good conversation flow and what make many speakers seem eloquent.

Plan your transitions and vary them so you don't put an audience to sleep or in to a pattern by always using the same transitions.

Here are some verbal transitions:

  1. Key words or phrases- always, next, continuing, this leads us to, this brings us to, in addition, furthermore.
  2. Intriguing questions- So why should we do this? So where does this lead us?
  3. By number system- Our first point, Our second point; first we will look at, number one, number two;
  4. Involving questions- Have any of you? When is the last time? Do you…?

Transitions are something I find most speakers NEVER think about. They imagine that once they are in front of the crowd their mind will just magically think of the right thing to say.

Find a selection of transitions that work for you. They are what anchors what you have said, ties your thoughts together, and are a critical part of your audience's road map to your presentation.

Voice Excitement

You want your passion for a particular project to be infectious and in order to do that your brain reaches back to get passion from how you feel while you are presenting. If you are nervous, unsure or feel you are taking up their time, your brain will kill all passion from your voice because it will focus on communicating the other signals.
If you aren’t passionate why should they be passionate about it?  Also, in the absence of voice intonation or modulation, people will give your message a more negative connotation. Therefore you must have some fluctuation and variation in your voice.

So it is important when presenting that you keep in mind, not why it is important to you, but why it is significant to the audience.

Make sure you include a call to action so that your audience has definite steps to keep your message moving through the organization.

Take Action: The best way to practice varying your voice is to read children’s books out loud. Make sure you adjust your voice for each character and that you clearly articulate each word. Practice with a tape recorder so you can listen to yourself from the audience’s perspective. You can also think about a subject you are passionate about and then talk about that into a tape recorder. Listen to your voice fluctuation and see how it changes as you talk about something you have a lot of passion for. Then take any piece of reading and try to read it with that same passion.

To learn more on handling interruptions, difficult questions and more take a look at Anne’s book, Outcome Focus® Approach: How to be Become One with Your Audience. Go to the Product tab and click on Books.

Word Triggers


Word Triggers are phrases that can set the other person off because they seem either pushy, domineering, insulting, condescending, or judgmental. Here is just a small sampling of phrases to avoid:

  • “Don’t go there”
  • “Yea, Yea…”
  •  “Whatever”    
  • “You need to..”
  • “You should…”
  • “You have to..”
  • “But or However”

Want to know why Word Triggers can set the other person off?  Join us at our public Outcome Focus® Approach to Managing Your Message Seminar. Click on the Seminars tab, Presentation Skills.