by Markus Voss
The basic rules
Two things out front:
How to be a good speaker
So, how do you deliver a good speech?
A speech is a product of yourself, that’s a given. It is a piece of art emanating from your very own personality.
So, the only way to deliver a good speech is to be a good speaker.
And the only way to be good speaker is to become one: no one is born a good speaker, no one is born eloquent, no one is born an athlete, no one born sophisticated. These are skills and, if I may say so, traits of personality you acquire and develop. And if you don’t consider yourself to be a great speaker, not even a good speaker – that doesn’t have to bother you, no one started out giving speeches like Barack Obama, certainly not Barack Obama.
What do I mean by that?
Power is undeniably an important element of every negotiation. Be it operating on the same power-level in a flat hierarchy, or establishing a high-power position to dominate one's counterpart, understanding power and ways to achieve it are key qualities of successful negotiators.
Robert Greene's (1998) "The 48 Laws of Power" is a classic among the books touching on the topic, but it remains hotly debated even today. Sometimes referred to as "the psychopaths' bible" , Greene's book offers advice on establishing power that is really not a good read for the faint-hearted.
Indeed, his suggestions such as to "discover each man's thumbscrew" and use it freely (law 33), or to "pose as a friend, work as a spy" (law 14)  should be taken with a grain of salt. Indeed, some of Greene's suggestions are not only morally questionable, but may prove to be counterproductive in negotiations. Take law 14 again: spying on one's allies is ultimately not going to go unnoticed, and upon discovery will seriously damage the working relationship between the parties involved, rendering future collaboration difficult at best. However, when considering law 14 carefully, we can strip it down to great negotiating advice: transparently gathering "intelligence" on one's allies' interests and positions, and sharing this information with others is vital for mediating in negotiations. Where is the difference between a spy and a mediator? Clearly, the underlying intentions differ widely, and so does the modus operandi.
Our bottom line: each of the 48 laws of power has the capability to offer great advice on modulating the power-flow of a negotiation. Each one should be pondered carefully, both for its moral implications, possibilities of backfiring, and opportunities to be channeled into constructive, inclusive negotiating advice.
Always wanted to know how flirting works, heavily relying on body language and doing it the British way like the infamous James Bond? Do check out this little clip to understand the drill...
What does flirting have to do with negotiating, you ask? Well, look no further for an explanation, here it comes:
Negotiating, much like making contact with a possible date, requires a sure-footed approach to navigating the social terrain. There sure are many hidden muddy spots one can slip on. However, good flirters and good negotiators quickly draft a cursory map of their conversation partner. This maps enables us to steer a conversation around slip-up-spots, or - like Mr Bond in this example - to drive the conversation straight through the tight ends without showing signs of distress. Certainly, this conversation map needs constant evaluation and revision to adapt to the flow of the conversation.
Finding an equation to master complex social challenges like successfully persuading an audience seems like a tough job best left for decades of research. Luckily, John Coleman boiled a cook-book-style, non-mathy equation for persuasion down for us. Coleman argues that persuasion is built on a clear structure of the speech, as well as a generous addition of logic, emotion and credibility. To round off the persuasive masterpiece, he suggests to build a strong tie with the audience, and to invite them to join your suggested actions.
Curious about this winning recipe for persuading? Follow this link to the full article.
Do you remember the famous TV show "Let's Make A Deal"? No? But you are certainly familiar with situations, where time is of the essence and you only have a very limited temporal space for making a deal - or walking out empty handedly.
According to Michael Wheeler, Professor at Harvard Business School, there are three critical things to pay attention to in those situations:
Curious, where those rules of thumb come from? Read the full story here.
From counting camels to the third side of conflict as crucial lever to find solutions to conflict: William Ury is a great inspiration for negotiators worldwide and is mediating and advising towards the settlement of large-scale international conflicts. We find that this TED talk captures the very essence of his belief in expanding the pie to reach agreement, rather than to simply dividing it up.
For a deeper dive, consider having a look at his books "Getting to Yes" (with Roger Fisher) and "Getting past no" - or get in touch for workshops and material.
There is certainly a fair amount on attire advice available online, some more focused on classic chic like the suggestions in the video, other advice much more controversial. For example, this gallery compiles many fashionista options for ladies' business attire and is not too shy to suggest leo-printed heels. Our advice on the matter: err on the side of caution, but don't be afraid to make a statement with your feminine equivalent to a red power-tie.
Get to wear a suit on a regular basis? Feeling comfortable dressing up? Both certainly applies to all eMUN-fellows. Nevertheless, we are sure there will be some new insights for you when reading this - get ready for suiting up in 2014!
Potentially the most comprehensive account of use of body language, going through politics, crimes and society in general, that we could find freely available online. Just enjoy!
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