Best Presents For Men

We all know that when birthdays and holidays roll around, men can be a little bit tough to shop for. So does this mean that you should resort to yet another bottle of cologne that will sit in his bathroom cabinet for years to come? No way! There are plenty of useful and creative gifts out there for the men in your life; gifts that he will appreciate, enjoy, and treasure.

The first factor to consider when selecting a present for a man is his personality and what he likes to do in his free time. Is he a nature lover, or a major do-it-yourselfer? Is he a total fitness buff, or a grill master? Try to think about how he likes to spend his leisure time, rather than his career. Sure, a nice alarm clock is a smart gift, but maybe not the best if it reminds him that he is obligated to rise at 5:45 each morning for work. Guys like gifts that aren’t necessarily essentials, but instead make them feel a little bit luxuriated. Try to think of something that he wouldn’t normally buy for himself.

For the nature lover and wildlife lover, a creative gift is to adopt an endangered animal in his name through a wildlife federation, or to buy him a star through the International Star Registry. Symbolic gifts such as these are nice for the guy who already has a cluttered home or a lot of “stuff.” Consumable items are also excellent option for the guy who already seems to have it all. You can’t go wrong with a selection of gourmet chocolates, or a box of Omaha Steaks. Or, if he is already fully stocked with the latest high-tech gadgets, there are many presents that will go hand-in-hand with his gadget collection. Look for a universal remote to allow him to condense those remotes that are spread out across his coffee table (and down in the couch cushions), or a mobile phone sterilizer to keep his beloved Blackberry clean and free of germs. If your guy enjoys classic gifts such as neckties and cuff links, try bumping this present up to the next level. Gift him with a beautiful silk tie and coordinating pocket square, along with useful necktie accessories. Any guy who likes to be the best dressed man in the room will appreciate this classic, and classy, present.

One thing that guys definitely enjoy as well is a gift that keeps on giving. If he enjoys surfing, for example, gift him with a subscription to a surfing magazine. This way, he can look forward to receiving a part of the present every month in his mailbox for a year. This same concept can be applied to many other ideas as well. You can find a “of the month” club for just about anything you can think of, from beer, to olives, coffee, cheese, cookies or cakes… you can even find a bacon of the month club!

If you really feel like flexing your creative muscles, remember that the internet puts a lot of unique present options at your fingertips. If your guy has always wanted to try a real Chicago deep dish pizza, see if a pizza parlor there can ship you one. And no matter what, don’t forget that as long as your present comes from the heart, he is sure to love it. A gift that has been selected with thoughtfulness and care is always the best gift.

Negotiation Tip of the Week: “How To Listen Better To Win More Negotiations”

To win more negotiations, listen better. When you negotiate, how well do you listen? The better you listen, the more negotiations you’ll win.

… but he didn’t answer the question! Good negotiators are very adept at diverting questions that don’t serve their purpose. In some cases, they’ll give superficial responses that appear to answer the question, or like a good magician, draw your attention in another direction without you noticing that they’ve done so.

To enhance the probability of winning more negotiations, listen to how questions are answered, and listen to the words used to represent the answers. In so doing, you’ll gain invaluable insight into hidden meanings and the thought process behind those meanings.

Listen to how questions are answered:

Take note to what degree a question is answered, avoided, and/or modified. As an example, if you ask, “Is that your best offer?” You might receive several responses:

  • In the past, that’s as much as we’ve paid.
  • Due to our current ‘situation’, we have a ceiling on the amount we can pay.
  • Other vendors/suppliers are accepting our price structure.

In each of the above answers, you received a response to your question but what you did not receive was a direct answer to your question. Depending on your alertness or how diligent you wanted to appear, you might rephrase the question, point out that you’d not received an answer to it, or accept the answer given in order to address the situation from another perspective. The course of action you adopt should be aligned with how you wished to position yourself and the person with whom you’re negotiating to enhance your negotiation position.

Listen to the words used to answer questions:

Words are the representation of the thoughts being conveyed. In the above answers, the word choice conveyed additional insight per how that person was thinking. In response ‘A’, the information conveyed is stating, “That’s our norm.” It could also be perceived as, you shouldn’t consider going outside of the norm. Conform to our standards.

In response ‘B’, the subliminal message is, “We’re in a challenging time, please bear with us. Help us by being understanding.” If you acquiesce, you might attempt to acquire chits that can be used in future negotiations. If you do so, attempt to instill in the current negotiation when and how you might use such chits. Keep in mind, you’ll also be setting a precedent to ‘help them’ again in the future, since you did so this time.

Depending on the value of your offer, you could position it so that it’s seen as ‘added value’ that warrants a ‘higher investment’ on the part of the purchaser, or one that you can fit into the current pricing structure because of the reason that’s best suited for the situation and your purpose. The point is, after you’ve gleaned the additional information based on how your questions are answered, you have a better understanding of how to position yourself.

You make decisions based on your interpretation of the situations you’re in. Then, based on your interpretation, you decide how you’ll act and react to situations. Thus, you and only you control your actions in a negotiation. So, to control more of the aspects of the negotiation, listen to the meanings and hidden meanings in the answers given by the other negotiator. Your reward will be in winning more negotiations… and everything will be right with the world.

Remember, you’re always negotiating.

Bomb! Ten Easy Steps to Blow Up Your Next Big Presentation – Guaranteed!

Your next presentation is just around the corner. To ensure devastating impact, just follow these ten steps and watch your career catch fire.

1. Avoid Excessive Research

Research is for geeks and bookworms. Do you really want to bore your audience with a bunch of statistics and facts that they can easily get from the library or from Google?

You want to tell people your version of how things work, not someone else’s ideas that have been posted all over the Internet already.

2. Be Spontaneous

Preparation and rehearsals are for amateurs, or actors. By practicing your presentation you only sabotage your chances for spontaneity. Just scribble down a few notes and stuff them in your pocket in case you need them for reference. This allows you to improvise as you go, keeping your talk lively and interesting. People hate predictability.

Plus, by rehearsing your presentation you run the risk of having a bunch of know-it-alls give you unwanted feedback, which may tempt you to make last-minute changes. Do you really want to start over? Remember, this is YOUR show!

3. Always Start 15 Minutes Later

When you go to a 7:30 movie, what time does the feature presentation actually start? Around 7:45. There are usually at least 15 minutes of commercials and previews, to allow people enough time to settle in for the big show.

If this strategy works for multimillion-dollar movies, it will work for you too.

Besides, if you start your talk right on time you’ll only get distracted by the latecomers.

4. Calm Your Nerves

To avoid getting nervous prior to your presentation, have a big meal and an alcoholic beverage right before you start your talk. Both will help you relax to the point where you wish you could take a nap. If food and beverages are not available at the time, head to the nearest pharmacy and get some cold medicine or sleep aids. But don’t overdo it. All you want to do is take the edge off, not go to sleep.

5. Open With a Joke

People like to laugh. Telling a joke at the beginning of your talk will serve as a great ice breaker. And if they hate the rest of your presentation, at least you made them laugh right at the start. And first impressions are the most important.

If you can’t remember any good politically incorrect jokes, pick on someone in the audience. That’s what stand-up comedians do. Before long, you’ll have the audience roaring and in a great mood.

6. Ignore the Audience

When you finally get up to speak, don’t look anyone in the eye. They’ll just make you nervous with their constant staring!

Also, if people shake their heads or roll their eyes while you’re speaking, you won’t get distracted by looking at them, so you stay right on track with your presentation.

7. Use Jargon Liberally

You’re the expert, right? You speak a specialized language that only you and a handful of other experts in your field know. You’ve earned the right to use it. If your audience can’t keep up, it isn’t your problem. Maybe next time they’ll be better prepared and study up on the topic you’re speaking on.

8. Don’t use Audio Visuals

PowerPoint is the devil. It’s complicated and technical and cumbersome to drag around. Plus it adds unnecessary preparation time. And who’s going to set it up? What if there aren’t any electrical outlets or they’re too far from the front of the room? You don’t want to burden yourself with all these technical details. Skip the fancy technology.

9. Time is Money

What you have to say is too important to fit into a predetermined time slot. You might take twenty minutes, you might take two hours. If inspiration strikes during your presentation and you think of additional information your audience should know, are you supposed to withhold it? That wouldn’t be very ethical. Pack as much detail as possible into your speech.

On the flipside, if you run out of things to say before your allocated time is up, people can get back to work and you’ll have directly contributed to office productivity. It’s a win-win situation.

10. Leave Quickly

Audiences are infamous for asking questions after presentations, and if you stick around you’ll only set yourself up for annoying Q & A sessions.

Obviously people weren’t paying attention while you were speaking, so why should you reward them by answering questions that you most likely covered during your talk?

Watch the President the next time he makes a statement to the press. As soon as he’s said what he wants to say, he heads for the exit, with reporters shouting questions after him. Does he waste his time? Neither should you. Perhaps the audience should take notes next time.