In a negotiation or sale of a product, service, or project at work, do you buy more the idea of someone who speaks confidently or who seems nervous during the conversation?
Surely the person who is confident in his speech will also convey more confidence to you. And that has everything to do with good public speaking.
The first point you need to understand is that you are a negotiator, a seller, and a speaker. We all are. What changes from one case to another is the context.
Everyone, at some point in life, will need to negotiate or sell something. It could be a product, a pay raise, a promotion at work, or simply getting a friend to join an online happy hour. These are different situations, but the premise is the same.
So, knowing that you need to understand negotiation and sales, and that being a good speaker directly influences your results, how do you develop your public speaking skills to negotiate better and sell more? That’s what we’re going to tell you with the 3 fundamental tips in this article.
1) Know your audience and create connections
One of the most important factors in speaking well in public is mastery of the content you are talking about. This may sound simple since you know your product, project or idea well, but you have to remember that your goal is to convince the audience to believe in it too. And for that, don’t forget that people don’t look for what you offer for the product itself, but for the problem it solves.
For example, here at Conquer, our products are courses and specializations, but what we really do is provide opportunities for the development of fundamental skills for professionals who want to stand out in the market. Our students are not looking for courses, but for professional growth. We talk more about that in this article on the Jobs To Be Done methodology.
But the point is that you will only be able to come up with the best solution if you first know what the real problem is that it needs to solve. And this is where you will create a connection with the audience and make them understand the advantages of your proposal. So study your audience and find the contact points between what you offer and what they need.
If you are presenting a project at work, understand the benefits it can bring to the company. Do you want your friend to join happy hour online on the weekend? Explain the importance of keeping in touch in times of social distancing (and, of course, say he will be missed if he doesn’t participate).
The good performance of your oratory starts with the construction of your speeches and arguments.
2) Pay attention to verbal and non-verbal communication
During the conversation, remember to maintain a pleasant speech rhythm. Speaking too quickly or too slowly can convey insecurity and nervousness, as well as create distractions from the subject at hand.
Breathe naturally, pause while speaking, and stay focused on the present moment, so you maintain concentration and confidence in your speech.
Also, don’t forget to pay attention to your body . Tense moments can cause repetitive movements, confused or even neutral facial expressions, and involuntary gestures.
It’s important to remain aware of your body during the conversation, so find a comfortable position and avoid movements such as shaking your legs, fidgeting with your hair, or constantly rubbing your hands.
And that goes both ways. Just as your verbal and non-verbal communication says a lot about how you’re feeling, so does your audience. If you pay attention to the person you’re talking to, you can see signs that show whether the conversation is moving in a positive or negative direction.
To keep the conversation dynamic and pique the other person’s interest, you can interact with relevant questions, use the intonation of your voice to avoid a single tone at all times, and create a narrative to present your arguments.
Is the person looking away as you speak? Do you have restless or repetitive movements? Please note: it may be time to change your approach.
3) Prepare for questions
At some point during the negotiation or sale, questions will likely arise about your product, service, or idea. Why do you deserve a promotion at work? What makes your idea different? Is your project really viable?
Try to anticipate possible questions from the people you are dealing with or selling to and plan the answers you would give to those questions.
And, if you don’t know the answer to a question, don’t try to stall, be sincere and be willing to answer the question in another opportunity.
Oratory has the power to make you gain or lose a lot of points during negotiation or sale. Your speech, your arguments, and the way you present your ideas have a direct bearing on the decision the other person is about to make.