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Public Masterclass

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About ThePublic Masterclass

Negotiation is the most important skill in business. When the stakes are high, only the best will do.

This London-based boutique firm, founded over three decades ago by negotiation ‘guru’ Mike Hartley-Brewer, is the premier provider of high level negotiation skills training for
  • companies in all sectors
  • investment and corporate banks
  • private equity houses
  • and professional services firms

Our Negotiation Masterclass is widely regarded as the most practical, powerful and comprehensive negotiation training available, delivered by exceptional tutors.

We equip your key negotiators with the tools and skills to create value and to claim it.

We also provide bespoke advice on the planning and conduct of major negotiations.

Skills Developed

The most powerful and practical negotiation skills programme.

We equip your key negotiators with tools and techniques that combine a co-operative approach, to create more value in the deal, with a competitive approach that manages power intelligently to claim as much value as possible for your side of the table.

Our goal is to help participants to become more effective both as solo negotiators and as team members. By the end of the programme all participants should have:
  • A clear grasp of their personal negotiating Style and Behaviour and how to manage these more effectively.
  • An awareness of the need for both Cooperative Win-Win and Competitive Win-Lose strategies, and the ability to strike a realistic balance between them.
  • An understanding of the three fundamental Modes of negotiation – Creativity, Reason and Power – and when to use each of them.
  • A set of flexible Planning Tools for determining a limit, target and opening position; deciding what information should be kept vs. shared; planning with multiple issues, etc.
  • Practical mechanisms for Creating and exploring Options for Mutual Gain to build a better deal for both parties.
  • Effective techniques for using Reason to reach agreement by putting arguments more persuasively.
  • The ability to use and resist Power Tactics at the pivotal moments of the negotiation by
    • crafting and reacting to Opening Positions
    • managing the flow of Concessions
    • deploying Closes that seal the deal.
  • Proficiency with all the major Gambits: knowing when and how to use them, how to counter them, and even how to counter the counters.
  • A clearer focus on effective Teamwork in the planning and conduct of negotiations.
  • Enhanced Social Skills in communicating, questioning, listening, managing conflict and reading the hidden meanings of speech and body language.
  • Greater Control over the negotiation process – whether face to face or on the phone – to manage a smooth transition through the Three Phases to a successful Closing of the deal.
  • A clear understanding of when to run a hybrid Negoti-auction or Negoti-Tender; and how to run and respond to a negoti-auction/tender in both the bidding and negotiation stages. How to avoid bidding against yourself, and how to get your best bidder to improve… without lying to them.
  • Structured techniques for Reviewing both individual and team performance to build on success and learn from setbacks.
Learning Methods

Our courses are structured around realistic simulations which are videoed for feedback.

Interactive methods and mini-practices give you the confidence to implement the skills in your own job.

A flexible schedule enables focus on the topics that have most impact on your business.


A fun, flexible philosophy

Small groups of eight to twelve allow participants to practise new skills in a safe environment and to receive individual feedback on their style and behaviour.

The style of our course tutors is fast, direct and fun.

Flexibility is part of the package. There is no rigid daily timetable. Key concepts and skills are detailed in The Complete Negotiator, the course manual. But the syllabus is covered in a way that reflects participants’ needs and experience and picks up on the learning points that arise out of each simulation or discussion.

Negotiation exercises

Simulated negotiations are the main learning vehicle, together with discussions, group tasks and other interactive procedures. Video playback of the negotiation exercises is used
  • to introduce key concepts and techniques
  • and to give feedback to individuals on their performance.

We have an extensive suite of negotiation exercises. Examples include:

  • a one-on-one fee negotiation between a service provider and a potential new client, with time pressure, a competing incumbent supplier and the possibility of significant future business
  • a ‘negoti-auction’ where a short-listed bidder for a major international supply contract has been invited to the table, is under price pressure, but has the opportunity to improve the ‘shape’ of the deal in several ways.  The bidder faces the classic danger in a negoti-auction: negotiating against yourself!  Conducted in teams.

We select from our ‘library’ the exercises that are most relevant to a client’s needs.


Implementation is a major theme. Participants prepare action plans for building on their strengths and tackling weaknesses; and they identify specific steps to be taken in their relationships with key negotiating partners / upcoming deals.

To help them put their learning into action, participants also receive a portable, ring-bound set of laminated reminder cards, The Pocket Negotiator.

Follow-up and reinforcement are available in the form of a one day ‘Booster’ course and/or one-on-one implementation coaching sessions.

Results are measured using our Implementation Checkout questionnaire, which typically demonstrates impressively large financial savings and gains as well as improvements in confidence and professionalism.


For details of our exercises and more, please download the Executive Briefing

Are You The Sucker At The Table?

Perhaps you have faced most of the situations below. But can you cope effectively with all of them?
These are just a few of the many challenges our Masterclass will equip you to meet.
You will become confident in deploying the key gambits used in high-level negotiations; the counters to them; and the counters to the counters!


  • You are negotiating the fee for a consulting project. Should you ask the supplier what fee they have in mind? Or should you tell them what you are going to pay?
  • You have put in a written bid – as have several competitors – to buy or supply something, and you have now been invited to the negotiating table. How do you avoid ‘negotiating against yourself’? (You might already be the best bidder!)
  • Your supplier tells you she has ‘no authority to reduce the price further’. What do you do?
  • The firm you are selling to say they can’t afford to pay your price / fee. They don’t have a big enough budget. How do you respond?
  • You have come to the table alone; but the other side has fielded a team of four. How do you keep control and avoid being intimidated?
  • Your counter-party gives you his first proposal, but you don’t fully understand it. What is the first thing you should say?
  • The other party makes a ‘final offer’. How can you tell if they mean it? And how should you respond?
  • They tell you they have a ‘better offer’ from someone else. What do you do?
  • They try to ‘salami slice’ you by demanding line-by-line concessions. How do you stop this ‘death by a thousand cuts’?
  • You are the boss, leading a team of negotiators. Should you do most of the talking?
  • You are about to plan for a major negotiation. But what does a useful negotiation plan consist of?
  • The deal you are about to negotiate could take lots of different ‘shapes’. How do you cope with all the moving parts and still know what the value of the deal is to you?
  • You need to adjourn to clarify your arithmetic. But you are afraid you will look weak. What should you do?

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