ehman Brothers’ Presentation Tips

 

 

 

ere are the tips for presentations before clients, that Lehman Brothers gave in its book Presentation Tips, exclusively for company insiders.

If investigators will find that Lehman Brothers was one of the investment houses that sold toxic mortgages, credit default swaps, etc., as if they were safe, then the following could show how they were sold.  Sure, none of the following is outrageously manipulative.  Few if any of the salesmen would have known that they were toxic.  Yet the salesmanship described here certainly would have made a difference in how they would have been sold.  For example, “Inform my client about a business opportunity,” and, “Excite my client about doing the business with us,” certainly aren’t Machiavellian, except for when they’re parts of selling toxic investments as safe.

A Lehman Brothers Internal Presentation, on the website of Representative Henry Waxman’s Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, includes:

So this is the sort of presumption that their sales policies went under.  As they engaged in their risk-taking, they must have figured that this was just part of the “Darwinian process” that serves everyone by getting rid of failures, and motivating people to do what has to get done.

Another good indication of what Lehman’s salesmen sometimes appealed to, is the following, which appeared on a barbecue apron from Lehman:

 

 

High yield is simply a nice euphemism for high risk.  “High yield bonds” is the nice name for junk bonds.  Securities laws and practices say that complicated investments should be sold only to the sorts of sophisticated investors who could weigh the risks, yet this appeal for risky investments is clearly aimed for very unsophisticated people.  One, of course, could always say that as long as the investments aren’t complicated, unsophisticated people buying risky investments to get excited by the risks, would be fine.  Of course, there’s no telling how arcane “Lehman Brothers high yield” got, i.e. the “nuclear waste” of derivatives!

Of course, now that Lehman Brothers is one of the firms that this has eliminated, its former CEO Dick Fuld doesn’t feel the same way.  Joe Nocera’s Executive Suite column of The New York Times for October 7, 2008, was titled, On the Theory That Punching Dick Fuld Will Help Solve the Credit Crisis.  This included, “...Mr. Fuld came across as a cold, arrogant man who was playing that classic American tune, ‘I’m a Victim Too.’  It wasn’t pretty.  When he tried to play down the enormous sums he has put in his pocket these past years, he sounded out of touch with the pain that Lehman’s bankruptcy has caused thousands of employees and shareholders.”

Of course, what he claimed to be a victim of, was the “Darwinian process,” which causes a lot of pain for millions of people, but Lehman figured that all must accept it as inevitable.  As correspondent Joe Johns said on Anderson Cooper 360 of October 9, 2008, “Fuld is the guy who ramped up Lehman’s business and mortgage-related securities, at least until the bubble burst.  But unlike many other firms, when the subprime market went south, he didn’t pull back.  Instead, he got in deeper,” thinking that the

that we’re all told that we must accept as an instance of the inevitable “MKT/ECONOMY BENEFIT OVER L-TERM,” was just a temporary panic.  Those who believe that the Darwinian process is supposed to eliminate businesses like this, would certainly say that one big reason for it is that without it, businesses that have proven themselves unworthy of survival could always claim to be victims of the law of the jungle.

Yet if Lehman was one of the companies to get bailed out, then once they were back on their feet again they’d probably go back to advocating the Darwinian process, since that would still be what would most motivate everyone, even those who can pass as victims.  And, of course, both their efforts to persuade policymakers to agree, and their sales team, would use sales techniques like those below to succeed Especially with a confident smile, it’s very easy to sell economic Darwinism as freedom, self-motivation, efficiency, realism, self-responsibility, tough love, etc.  It should be obvious how economic Darwinism would cause rampant depression along with victim-self-blaming, but if anyone (other than the powerful) calls the Darwinism, “Darwinism,” that would seem to be just an insidiously untermensch desire to believe that the weak are entitled to more.

 

The following are sales circulars from Lehman Brothers, that show the sort of low-document real estate loans they sold, the sort of people who might not be able to make the payments that, when they borrowed the money, they thought they could:

 

 

Everyone knows both that small businesses are fairly speculative, and that small business owners are far more likely to contrive optimism that their businesses will be successful, than middle-class and working-class households are to contrive optimism that they could afford a lot.  Therefore, it should have been pretty obvious that these “Stated Income” and “Low Doc” loans would be risky.  Yet, of course, if a small-businessman borrows more than he could afford because he optimistically believed that his business would prosper, he wouldn’t seem to be a “bum,” while if a household borrows more than it could afford, optimistically believing that they could afford it, they would seem to be “bums.”

 

The transcript of the Congressional hearings about Lehman Brothers’ bankruptcy, of that Committee, on October 6, 2008, includes:

“Most managers of [the firms Lehman sold to] were aware of the gamble they were taking, but could not resist taking it under an intense competition for yield-hungry customers.  These managers were also hoping that if a shock occurred, all their competitors would face the same problem, thereby reducing the reputational costs and possibly triggering a government support.”—Luigi Zingales, Professor of Finance, University of Chicago

“When we pay people based on the volume of business rather than the quality of business, eventually it is like a game of musical chairs.  And when the music stops, the people that don’t have a place to sit are the investors.”—Nell Minow, Chairman of the Board and Editor, The Corporate Library

“And when we created these pay packages so that [executives] were benefited by just generating as many transactions as possible, chopping them up, sending them all over the place in a form that could no longer be valued accurately, to me that is one of the key sources of this problem.”—Nell Minow

“So here is how I read this e-mail. Lehman was dangerously low on capital, and possibly found an investor willing to give them billions of do11ars.  And what they wanted to do with it, however, was buy back stock and punish a short seller.”—Representative Tierney

“Thank you, Mr. Chairman.  Just a couple of thoughts. Virtually every recession or severe economic downturn originates in excesses in the financial economy.  And then they go on to ruin the real economy.  I think the recent financial crisis is consistent with that.  And I find in my review of the facts four basic abuses: A lack of transparency, excessive leveraging, conflicts of interest, and most egregious, the probability of dishonesty and deceit.

“Lehman Brothers didn’t just collapse on September 15th.  Its financial situation has been getting increasingly dire with each passing quarter. But Lehman’s executives kept telling shareholders and public investors that its finances were in great shape.”—Representative Higgins

“...this is a typical situation of overconfidence by a CEO that doesn’t see the problems as they should be.  And he thinks that the responsibility is all on the market that gets it wrong.”—Luigi Zingales

“I want to go back to September 10th, because that is 5 days before the bankruptcy filing.  It is my understanding that the chief financial officer held a conference call for investors....  My understanding is at the time that they were making this call they were trying to raise capital through new investors or by off selling assets.”—Representative McCollum

“12 years ago, and you have been with the firm for 42 years according to your testimony, Lehman Brothers Holding, Inc., sent a vice president to California to check out First Alliance Mortgage.  Lehman was thinking about tapping into First Alliance Mortgage’s lucrative business of making subprime loans.  The vice president, Eric Hibbert, wrote in a memo describing First Alliance as a financial sweat shop, specializing in high pressure sales for people who are in a weak state.  First Alliance, he said, the employees, and I quote, leave their ethics at the door. The big Wa11 Street investment bank, that was Lehman Brothers, decided First Alliance wasn’t breaking any 1aws, and Lehman went on to be, to lend the mortgage company—they needed about $500 million worth of sells and more than $700 million worth of bonds. In other words, Lehman Brothers is an example of how Wall Street’s money and experience could have been used to prevent us being in this subprime mortgage crisis.”—Rep. McCollum

 

 

The following should show what all that would look like.  The people to be sold were those who’d want to believe that the unsafe investments that they were buying were safe.  Executives were paid according to the quantity of what the company produced rather than the quality, so selling plenty was all-important.  This naturally led to big problems.  Sometimes, selling something seemed very important.  If, when Lehman’s executives kept telling shareholders and public investors that its finances were in great shape, they used the following tips, they would have looked as folksy and confident as Ken Lay did when he was dishonestly telling everyone that Enron was doing fine.  It seemed just as natural to say that the responsibility is all on the market, no matter what manipulative tactics were used on them.  It also would have seemed just as natural to use salesmanship techniques when trying to raise capital 5 days before the bankruptcy filing.  Lehman Brothers were willing to buy from predatorial lenders, so they knew that their Structured Investment Vehicles containing them were unsafe.  Such sales tips as, “Winning involves self-belief.  Self-doubt sabotages success,” and, “Repeat mentally—‘I Can Do This’—you can!” would mean that self-confidence would equate to confidently selling what the predators did.

 

 

Plan

Know Your Objective

Are you telling or selling (informing or persuading)?
    - In most work situations, there’s an element of both.
What do you want your audience/client to do.
What will satisfy you at the end of this presentation?
What’s the downside if you don’t meet your objective?
What’s your Plan B—if Plan A doesn’t fly?

Know Your Audience/Client

 

● What do you know about the makeup of your audience?
If a client:
    - what is their history of business with the firm?
    - what are their needs, wants, biases, mindsets?
    - who else in the Firm/on the team touches them?
    - what do you know about each person on their side?
    - what could impact their receptivity to your ideas?

Know Your Approach

● Will this be a presentation or a conversation?
    - If it’s with a client, can it be both?
    - If it’s with an audience, can it be interactive?

● Will you be presenting solo or as part of a team?
● On panels, who is speaking before and after you?
● In auditoriums, will you use a podium mike and keyboard, or a lavaliere mike and wireless mouse?

Organize Your Message

Tell a story—with facts and data, but still—a story!
● Effective presentations usually consist of:
    - A headline up front
    - A series of stories connected by a theme
    - A recap and a call to action at the end

● Ineffective presentations usually start and end with low energy and bury people under a mountain of detail.

 

Practical Tips

Think of your intellectual objective.
    - Ex: Inform my client about a business opportunity.
Think of your ‘gut’ objective.
    - Ex: Excite my client about doing the business with us.
Decide which is strongest—and go with it.  The strongest objective will drive you to a better result.  Also, don’t get caught telling when you should be selling—and vice versa.
● If a large audience, ask the organizer for information.
● If a client you don’t know, ask a colleague for background.
● If a client you don’t know, access company news/research.
● If a client you don’t know, Google the meeting principals.
● Write down 3 key points you want to drive home.
● Write down 3 key concerns you think they may have.
● Write down 3 key responses to their concerns.

Pre-position questions in your presentation.  Check:
    - Are they open-ended/high-gain or closed/leading?
    - Have I annotated my text to alert me to use them?
● If you are presenting as part of a team, make time for the team to prepare strategy, introductions, and handoffs together.  If you are presenting solo, make time for you to prepare.
● For panels or auditoriums, get there early.  Walk the space.
Challenge your presentation logic
    - Have I correctly positioned my strongest points?
    - Do I hit key points with strong words or weak words?
Orchestrate an interactive exchange.
    - Which type of questions will get them talking?
    - Stage a dialogue, so that key points seem less of a presentation and more of a targeted response to a need or thought just expressed by the audience/client.

 

Prepare

A Strong Commitment

First Impressions/Building Rapport—the first 60-40 seconds are crucial—project confidence and comfort.
The Headline—the lead of your story—don’t bury it!
The Hook (if appropriate)—an analogy/question/premise to grab their
attention from the get-go.
The WHFY (if appropriate)—a question you must answer for the audience is “what’s in it for you.”  Don’t make them wait for the punch line.
The Flow—a 10-20 second “plain English” guide to orient your audience/client to what’s ahead

A Strong Core

Keep points punchy—dialogue invites more detail.
Don’t overwhelm with a one-note recitation of facts.
Strive for digestible chunks of information, separated by pauses and logical transitions.
Connect key points with your central theme.
Read your audience/client as you go—stay up and engaged.

A Strong Close

● The closing is where many presentations fail.  You may have seen a presentation where the presenter finishes by saying—“Well, that’s all I have.  Any questions?”  Often this ending merely puts a restive audience and a nervous presenter out of their mutual misery.  It does not:
    - Connect the audience with your central theme.
    - Connect the audience with what you want them to do.
    - Address the question “where do we go from here?”

A Winning Mindset

Winning involves self-belief.  Self-doubt sabotages success.  We all have fear and anxiety—that’s natural.  For sales though, the belief/doubt ratio needs to be stacked in your favor.  If you walk into a situation believing you will succeed, you just may.  If you walk in thinking you will fail, you probably will.  You need belief in yourself and preparation to set you up for success.  “Success breeds confidence, confidence breeds more success.”

 

Practical Tips

First Impressions/Building Rapport—visualize entering the room/taking the stage—how do you look/talk/sit/stand?
The Headline—give them the What before the Why/How
The Hook (if appropriate)—Ex: “At a funeral, must of us would rather
be in the casket than giving the eulogy.”

The WHFY (if appropriate)—Speak to Benefits first—Features second.
The Flow—they don’t know where you’re going—tell them—it only lakes seconds and you will be glad you did.
Re-frame as you go.
    - “ to take a step back” or “to look forward this year.”
Try using rhetorical questions as transition devices
    - “what choices do we have?” or “why do it this way?”
Alternate ‘play by play’ and ‘color commentary.’
    - ‘What It Is’ followed by ‘What It Means’
Break things up by asking questions for clarity.
    - “was that clear?” or “what’s your view?”
● Try a different approach.  Say, “What questions do you have for me?”  If standing, step toward the audience as you say it.  You show them:
    - Receptivity vs. Resignation
    - Readiness vs. Retreat
    - Confidence vs. Fear
● In a one on ones or small group meetings, you may choose to let the other party recap with their thoughts.  They will playback what they heard—how they heard it.  You can then correct misinformation or misperceptions and end on the same page as your audience/client.
Recall situations when you have lost—remember surviving.
Recall situations when you have won—remember how you felt.
Recall the qualities that make you a strong person.
Recall your expertise and the resources you can bring to bear.
Recall the strength of the solution you have designed.
Create mental cues to psyche you up - “I will be great today”, “I know this stuff”. “I’m the right person and this is my time”.

 

Practice

How to Practice

● There may be a few ‘born’ presenters.  The rest of us are ‘made.’  Even tremendously accomplished public speakers spends hours planning, preparing and practicing their presentations before they perform—so it looks effortless.
● Most of us practice a presentation in our mind.  This is sometimes all we have—in the back of a cab or on a plane.
● The best practice of all is OUT LOUD.  You can hear how you will say it.  You can also ‘feel’ how you will say it.

What to Practice

Verbalize Your Commitmentfocus on the first 60 seconds
    - Did you frame it well?  Did you start with energy?
Verbalize Your Corefocus on the major thoughts
    - Does it flow logically?  Are you pausing?  Are you transitioning effectively?  Are you asking questions?
Verbalize Your Closefocus on the overarching theme
    - Did you hit it again?  Do they know what you want?

What to Watch and Listen For

Your Content
    - Challenge your logic.  Are you burying the best points?
Your Vocabulary
    - Are you using strong words or weak/sloppy words?
Your Voice
    - Volume—Pitch—Rate of Speech—Energy—Variety
Your Body Language and Facial Expressions
    - Posture—Gestures—Face—Eyes—Physical Presence

Our ‘Other Voices’

● According to research by Dr. Albert Mehrabian and others, only 7% of the meaning of your message comes from the actual content.  38% comes from your tone of voice and 55% comes from your body language and facial expressions.
● In reality though, many of us focus our preparation 90% on the content and barely 10% on the delivery.

 

Practical Tips

Practice on tape—video or audio
    - Play it back.  Listen to it.  Watch it.  Make it better.
Practice with—and without—your notes.
    - One’s organized—the other’s conversational.  Blend.
Practice for trusted colleagues, friends and loved ones.
    - They can role-play as your clients and give you honest feedback to help you improve.
Pick a quiet place to practice—sit or stand as appropriate.
Tape yourself practicing the full presentation out loud.
Rewind and watch/listen to it once through—take notes.
Tape the Commitment, Core and Close again—separately.
Tape the full presentation again.  Watch/Listen/Modify.
Repeat the process whenever you have time.
● Stand or sit to your full height.
● Take up space.  Minimizing you = Minimizing your impact.
● Use pitch books for illustration and reference, not recitation.
● Use notes with word triggers and white space in between.
● Use slides as a guide/illustrator, not as a document on screen.
● Avoid saying things like “we’re gunna kinda show yuh.”
● Involve your physical assets—the key to your vocal energy.
● Engage your audience—strive for conversation/interaction.
Focus on content—make it clear, logical, and supported by well-researched data—try telling it as a business story.
Focus on tone of voice—avoid ‘one-note.’ noncommittal or apologetic tones. Use energy, vocal variety (high/low pitch), appropriate volume and full enunciation to emphasize points.
Focus on facial expressions and body language—involve your eyes, hands and body movement to bring words to life.

 

Present

Visualize/Relax

Visualization is a technique used by people from all walks of life.  Whether it’s a baseball pitcher visualizing a pitch to a hitter or an investment banker visualizing a pitch to a client, people use visualization for one reason—it works!
Relaxation is important.  Presentation fear and anxiety are real.  Properly channeled though, these two emotions can give you the energy and focus you need to succeed.

Own The Room

● We’ve all seen it.  The presenter lakes the stage.  Before uttering a word, their body language sends us a message:

“I’d rather be anywhere else than here.”

● It’s crucial to take advantage of your first moments with an audience.  Research says we make multiple impressions of a person within the first 7 seconds of meeting that person.  Make your 1st impression a strong one.  Be memorable.
● Many presentations are Dead on Arrival because the presenter starts off with low energy, low volume, little interactivity with their audience and a weak commitment to their message.  This usually changes when the presenter gets further into the meat of their message or into some technical area where they feel more comfortable and confident.  Begin with the same energy you will show later.  Hit it!

Play To Your Strengths

● For many of us, we are at our natural best when engaged in conversation.  Presentation is an unnatural act.
● If conversation is your zone of strength, try to get there as soon as you can and stay there.  Plan out opportunities in your presentation to engage the audience/client.  This can happen very early—by simply asking a question.  Engage from the get-go.  You’ll be glad you did.

 

Practical Tips

Visualization Tips—(get more from friends and colleagues)
    - Sit in a chair.  Clear your mind.  Single point of focus.
    - Remind yourself of your knowledge and expertise.
    - Repeat mentally—“I Can Do This”—you can!
Relaxation Tips—(get more from friends and colleagues)
    - Breathe deeply from your diaphragm—exhale fully.
    - Shrug the shoulders, shake the hands, exercise the face.
● Walk into the meeting or up to the podium confidently—with erect posture. Remember to smile.  It says to them: “I’m glad to be here and excited to be talking to you.”
● If you’re presenting to a conference room of strangers, walk around before you start.  Shake hands with people.  It’s harder to disengage once they’ve ‘pressed the flesh.’
● Before talking, look around the audience for 10 seconds.
Script and practice your opening.  The first few words you will speak are not in your notes, but rather in your head.
Start with your head up and engaged with your audience
Recall your ‘gut’ objective—what do you want them to do?
Create a personal mental trigger to get yourself energized.
Find a human bridge with your audience and exploit it.  (Ex: “10 years ago, I was sitting right where you are.”)
● In large venues, perhaps start with a simple ‘show of hands’ question.  In smaller venues, ask “does that work for you?” after you frame your talk/pitch.  This allows you to:
    - Show confidence—and respect for your audience.
    - Make points as targeted responses, not ‘boilerplate.’
    - Tap into your experience and expertise—(comfort zone).
    - Make it interactive.

 

Manage Your Vocabulary

Weak, Apologetic or Qualifier Words

“A little bit about,” “If I may,” “I know this can be boring,” “Hopefully, I’ll be able to,” “We pretty much think.”

● These words/phrases undercut our message and send unintended editorial comments on our content.  Add in some weak body language and they become presentation killers.

Word Crutches
 

Ums, Ahs, And Hits, Um Ahs, Okays, Ya Knows

● Word crutches creep into our vocabulary unconsciously.  It takes a conscious effort to eliminate them.  Crutches fill silence and bookmark our place until a fresh new thought arrives.
 

Sloppy Language

Kinda, Gunna, Sorta, Wanna, Hafta, Gain vs. Going Ta vs. To, Per vs. For, Yuh vs. You, A whole bunch

● Sloppy language exists.  It’s hard to change.  It can be seen as over-familiarity, laziness, or poor education.  However it is prevalent in many business settings.

Overused Words, Phrases, Colloquialisms, Slang

Like, Really, Bogus, Terrific, Per Sure, My bad Basically, Honestly, End of the day, Bottom line

● Repeated words and phrases are distracting.  Slang and colloquialisms invite people in the audience to peg your generation or profession.

 

Practical Tips

● If you want to change this, audiotape is the best method.  Practice a piece of material on audiotape.  Play it back repeatedly until you can identify instances when this occurs.  Repeated practice on audiotape starts you toward changing it.
Practice substituting a three-second silence, or,
Practice substituting a silent breath over time the breaths disappear altogether and leave a slight pause in their place.
Listen when you question others—count their Ums.  You’ll be amazed at how often you hear it.
Keep it or lose it—your choice.  You share this embedded unconscious language with the rest of us.
If you want to lose it, practice a piece of material over and over on audiotape—focusing on eliminating sloppy words.
This takes time, but you need to be able to manage or eliminate it for certain venues (e.g. board presentations).
● Start a personal inventory of the favorite words/phrases you repeat on a sheet of paper.  Draw a line down the middle of the paper.  Put the word/phrase on the left side and a substitute for it on the right.  Blend substitutes into your speech over time—on audiotape.

 

Engage Your Physical Assets

Use Your Whole Instrument

● If we watched a video of ourselves in normal everyday conversation, we might find that we are more physically demonstrative when we talk than we think—we use our face, eyes, hands and body movements to emphasize.
● What someone hears/sees from you is their only window into your passion and conviction.  Engaging all of your physical assets opens that window and helps your vocal energy when you talk.  Use them!

Sit Effectively

Our seated posture can be also be a challenge if we don’t manage our physical presence.  Your presentation can be affected by where and how you sit.
    - If you sit at the end corner of a long conference table to present from, you can’t see much of your audience.
    - If you sit back in your chair, it may seem to your audience that you are disengaged or aloof.
    - If you hunch over, it may seem like you’re nervous.

Stand Effectively

● When standing in front of an audience, it’s hard to find a comfortable position.  What to do with our hands?  If you have a podium, it’s easy.  If you don’t, what do you do?
    - Hands one against the other at waist level until needed, or
    - Hands comfortably at your sides until needed.
    - Don’t clasp your hands together.  They can do distracting things, and you have to re-clasp after gesturing.

Gesture Effectively

● Some thoughts on gestures:
    - If they distract the audience, eliminate them.
    - Their purpose is to emphasize and illustrate our words.
    - Gestures should occur above the waist, not below.
    - If you think your gestures are out of control, put one of your videotaped presentations on fast forward.  If they’re out of control, you will see it immediately.

 

Practical Tips

● Presentations are intellectual and physical exercises—and they are all performances—even phone and voicemail.
    - Stay upright—it helps your voice and engagement.
    - Occasionally un-tether yourself from the table/podium to gesture.  Watch it on videotape.  See the difference.
    - Wear comfortable outfits that make you look good.
    - Use your physical presence and space.  If you draw your elbows in and slouch, you minimize your space.
● Feet planted firmly on the ground sit to your full height.
● Keep some room between you and the back of the chair.
● Keep some room between you and the table.
● Keep a balanced center of gravity—feel your chair back, too far back—feel pressure on your forearms, too far forward.
● Always have your hands on the table never under the table.
● Avoid ‘tics’—clicking a pen, playing with jewelry, hair, etc.
● Beware of a few problem postures when standing:
    - The General—hands on hips
    - The Digger—both hands in your pockets
    - The Fig Leaf—covering up
    - The Closed for Business—arms folded
    - The Opera Singer—hands clenched together
    - The Professor—both hands behind the back
    - The Preacher—hands upraised to the heavens
Some keys for effective gesturing:
    - Use the space between the shoulders and from the waist to the chin as a rough perimeter for gesturing.
    - Modulate your gesturing for the physical space larger spaces invite larger gestures and vice versa.
    - An open-hand, palm-up gesture beats a pointed finger.
    - Remember that gestures can be a subtle lift of the eyebrow or nod of the head, not just using your hands.

 

Engage Your Audience

Read the Room

● The Firm’s Selling and Relationship Management training program stresses 3 keys to successful client interactions:
    - Hearing Offers
    - Developing Needs
    - Seeing Opportunities

● You can’t do this if you’re not fully engaged.

Ask Questions

● The information you get back is governed by the type of questions you ask.  Are you asking close-ended, open-ended, high-gain, leading or non-questions?
● If questions are spontaneous, you may end up asking close-ended questions, when you wanted open-ended.
● Pre-position questions into the presentation.  It gives you greater, not lesser, control.

Make Eye Contact

Eye contact does not mean staring at people’s eyes.
Eye contact does not mean scanning your audience.
Eye contact (as well as physical proximity, volume, tone and gesturing) can be greatly impacted by cultural and even regional factors.  What is socially acceptable in one culture or region, may be socially inappropriate or even insulting or offensive in another.
 

Solicit Information/Field Questions
 

Opportunities to solicit information
    - Breaking the Ice.  In The Flow.  Priming the Pump.
Techniques to field questions
    - Face the questioner.  Repeat it for the audience if necessary.  Play it back to the person if needed for clarity (Ex: “So, what you’re asking is...?”).
   - If hostile, reframe the question in neutral terms before answering (Ex: “How about risk?”).

 

Practical Tips

First, read their reactions—see if you’re connecting.  You can’t do this if you’re hunched over your material.
Second, ask questions to make it interactive.
Third, actively listen so they feel you understand their perspective—key to client-centered businesses like ours.
Finally, if you hear an offer, grab it!
Choose which questions to use
    - Close-Ended—get short or one-word answers.
    - Open-Ended—get answers to ‘what happened’, ‘why’.
    - High-Gain—get analysis, reflection, opinion or emotion.
    - Leading—get your answer (“of course you’d agree?”).
    - Non-Questions—get nothing (“are you kidding me?”).
Try looking at the other person’s chin or forehead.  It will still seem like eye contact to them, but it’s not staring.
Shrink your audience.  In a large room or auditorium, pick out 5 people in an M pattern around the room and talk to them.  Talk to ‘alive’ faces—pass over the ‘poker’ faces.  The other 50/100/300 will happily come along for the ride.
Be aware of cultural and regional influences.  If you don’t know what they are—ask someone who’s been there.
Break the Ice Questions give you audience intelligence (what they know, what they care about); make the audience comfortable and involve them from the outset.
In The Flow Questions help you check for clarity, pause for reflection and ensure understanding.
Prime the Pump Questions help you to encourage questions when none arise and let you make points you missed—(“One question that always occurs is....”).

 

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 Standard Rationales for Victim Correction as a Panacea

 Schopenhauer on Predators

 Emphasis on Victim-Self-Blaming

Top of Darwinist Lehman Brothers’ INSIDE Sales Tips

Darwinist Lehman Brothers’ INSIDE Introduction to Management Book

Out of the Same Mold as the Great Crash of 2008

Message for Intellectuals in the Islamic World

Candace Newmaker’s Experience

Breaking Important Confidences for Your Own Good

A Glimpse Into the Soul of Victim Correction

Cigarette Industry and Victim Correction

Niebuhr’s Ideas on Our Nature and Destiny

Herbal Experiences for Women

Some Ideas for Rapport

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