Speaking, Training and Consulting

Seth Freeman has spoken, trained, coached, and consulted extensively on negotiation and conflict management for major institutions and small groups for over a decade.Read more

The Ready & Able Negotiator

Here is a brief, practical guide to getting ready for any important negotiation using a proven, powerful preparation tool called the ‘I FORESAW IT’ mnemonic. Read more

The Great Courses

Professor Freeman has recorded a 24 session course on The Art of Negotiating the Best Deal for The Great Courses. Read more

Researching The Trust Problem

Professor Freeman has long studied the Trust Problem, which he calls The Most Important Question: “How do I know I can rely on your assurances and that it’s safe to deal with you?” Read more

Speaking, Training & Consulting

Selected List of Clients


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“Seth Freeman is a star teacher and innovator in negotiation studies.” G. Richard Shell, Thomas Gerrity Professor, The Wharton School of Business, author of Bargaining for Advantage.

“Prof. Seth Freeman is an outstanding negotiation trainer…. We look forward to working with Prof. Freeman again, and enthusiastically recommend him….” Tatiana Penney, Senior Manager, Gerson Lehrman Group

“Prof. Freeman’s sessions consistently receive top ratings for the excellence of his presentation skills…. Even experienced diplomats tell us they gain a great deal from Prof. Freeman’s interactive, engaging, and enthusiastic approach…. We very much look forward to future collaborations with Prof. Freeman and strongly recommend him.” Taimi L. Stehlow, Program Administrator, Training and Professional Development Program, International Peace Institute

“Thank you very much for your extremely insightful presentation…—I cannot even tell you how much it has changed my perspective on business as well as relationships! I thought about the points that [he] made and wisdom [he] imparted nearly all night….” GLG Training Participant

Absolutely phenomenal seminar….I have already noticed an improvement in my rate negotiations with new [talent].” GLG Training Participant

“Prof. Freeman is a very dynamic, engaging speaker so his session provided a lot of helpful information and advice.” United Nations diplomat

“Put simply, Seth is world class teacher of negotiation and conflict management, and it is my pleasure to recommend him to you very strongly.”  Prof. Dr. J. David Slocum, Faculty Director of EMBA Programs, Berlin School of Creative Leadership


Selected Topics for Speeches, Talks, and Training Sessions


Here is a menu of some of the popular topics I cover on negotiation and conflict management.

Each can serve as a stand-alone speech or talk, or the core of a training session with exercises, demonstrations, simulations or other features.

Most can be combined in different orders to create a course, a series or mini-series.

  1. Negotiating with Godzilla: How To Negotiate Well When You Feel Powerless. When you feel like you’re Bambi meeting Godzilla, what do you do? In this hopeful and practical talk, we look at telling and colorful examples of negotiators who used some powerful principles to overcome power imbalances and win much more satisfying results than anyone thought possible.
  2. Hostage Takers, Noisy Neighbors, and In-Laws: Can You Negotiate With ‘Irrational’ People? Can you negotiate with irrational, crazy, or highly emotional people? In this powerful and popular talk, we use memorable stories and demonstrations to learn how participants can apply the most powerful negotiation skill of them all- skilled listening- to defuse tension, cope with high pressure, build trust, and discover hidden solutions to problems that seem unsolvable- from hostage crises to a wide array of business conflicts to arguments between married couples.
  3. How to Save the Day: Creating Hope and Satisfaction in Negotiations With Interest-Based Bargaining. How do you overcome impasse and find a mutually satisfying agreement when others have no hope? How do you save a business, a major transaction, or a sale when the parties seem a million miles apart? In this immediately practical talk on interest-based bargaining, we use memorable stories and demonstrations to learn how you can discover hidden opportunities when others see only scarcity and disagreement.
  4. The 69-Minute Full-Semester Negotiation Course: Creative & Competitive Bargaining in a Nutshell. In this far-reaching and immediately useful session, participants learn how to create and claim wealth well, and master a simple, powerful tool to get ready to do just that- the essence of a full basic course in negotiation. We use a memorable and relevant exercise, lots of stories, and a demonstration to make the ideas stick.
  5. Can You Lead When You Don’t Have Authority? How Negotiating Skills Can Help You Influence and Guide Others, Even When You’re the Most Powerless Person in the Room. Most leaders have much more responsibility than authority. So, how can you lead if you can’t make others do what you need them to do? In this relevant and practical talk, we explore specific ways that business people can solve this universal problem using advanced negotiating and consensus building skills. We see stories of presidents, executives, dictators, generals, and mediators using seemingly ‘soft’ skills to do what they cannot do by simply giving orders.
  6. Are Women Worse Negotiators Than Men? A Provocative Look at the Traps, Myths, and Challenges Women Face at the Bargaining Table, and Where Hope Lies. What lies behind the perception that women face special problems when they negotiate, and what can they do about it? In this practical, thought-provoking, and hopeful talk, we look at surprising research, telling stories, and experienced practitioners’ advice to help participants better understand the situation they face and how to shape it. The talk is not just for women; men can benefit too since some of the insights can inform their work with women teammates, subordinates, and bosses. We also build skills that can help any negotiator cope with some of the typical traps and challenges we’ll encounter.
  7. The Negotiator’s Second Most Important Task: A Practical Look at a Key Skill that Can Increase the Value of Your Negotiations by 15%. Why do experts say that preparation is one of the single most important negotiating skills, and how can you do it more effectively and enjoyably? In this immediately and lastingly useful talk, we get answers as participants develop a valuable preparation tool they can use any time, anywhere. And yes, we’ll also discover what the most important task is and learn how to do it well.
  8. Negotiation as a Team Sport: How To Negotiate with Departments, Corporations, Families, and the Kremlin. If negotiation is usually a team sport, how do you play it well? In this practical talk, we look at memorable examples of negotiating teams getting it horribly wrong and wonderfully right. This talk explores the political dimension of negotiation- a dimension that everyone from hostage negotiators to diplomats, families, to business executives must master if they’re going to be truly effective.
  9. The Dumbest Agreements Ever, and How Not to Enter Them: Spotting the Difference between Wise Yes and Wise No, and Discovering When to Walk Away. What is the point of a negotiation? Not what most people think. The title of the otherwise excellent book, Getting To Yes implies the goal is to reach agreement. But in this thought-provoking and immediately useful talk, we challenge that idea, as we consider the problem of ‘Deal Euphoria’- and the idea that often the wisest course is to not agree. With memorable cases and specific suggestions for spotting wise choices, the talk gives participants practical, counter-intuitive insights about the real purposes of negotiation.
  10. How To Conspire: Can You Agree When Trust is In Question? Can you agree with someone if trust is lacking? Should you? In this fun, provocative, and practical session, we use a simple game to discover a host of practical ways to answer that central business question. We discover that business dealings rely on an array of different solutions to the ‘Trust Problem,’ and that experienced professionals cultivate their ability to handle each type. Participants develop their ability to do just that.
  11. From Cats to Consensus: How To Negotiate Wisely With Many People. How do you reach wise agreement with several colleagues in ways that foster strong buy-in and that produce satisfying outcomes for you and them? In this surprising and powerful session, we look at ways you can combine basic and advanced negotiating skills to build wise consensus and do it in ways that serve your needs very well. We see how presidents, generals, and mediators use seemingly ‘soft’ skills to do what they cannot do by simply giving orders. We also do a full multi-party negotiation simulation and see how a skilled facilitator uses process leadership to help groups reach a wise yes. Time permitting, we also help participants acquire a simple, powerful tool- the Topics, Targets & Tradeoffs Grid- that can help them plan for and manage simple and complex negotiations more effectively. This talk helps participants who have to work harmoniously with others whom they have little or no authority over and, in the process, unlock the power and wisdom of the team.
  12. “NO”: How To Say It, And How To Get Passed It. You can’t say ‘yes’ to the important things if you can’t say’ no’ to other things. But how do you say ‘no’ in a way that doesn’t undermine an important relationship? In this colorful and valuable talk, we explore ways to cultivate the ability to give a positive ‘no’. We also look at ways to persuade others by bringing them to their senses, not their knees. We use memorable stories and exercises to develop these ideas, which participants can apply immediately to their work and their lives beyond it.
  13. I Hate To Confront. Is There Any Way to Do It Well? Everyone hates to confront, but sometimes it’s a professional necessity. Anyone can confront someone else if the relationship doesn’t matter, but how do you do it effectively if- as is often the case- the relationship does matter? In this dramatic and memorable session, we explore specific, practical answers to the question with a demonstration of a confrontation, and a set of principles drawn from the same sources Gandhi and King used.
  14. More Negotiation Training for Less: Using Prof. Freeman’s Great Courses™ Video Course for Group Training. My Great Courses™ video course gives a full semester of negotiation training in several engaging, professionally produced 30-minute sessions.There are several ways to use the course to give your group rich, convenient, professional training at an attractive price To learn how, click here. To learn more about the course itself, click here.
  15. And Not a Penny More? How To Handle The Competitive Side of Negotiation. How do you negotiate competitively? How do you claim wealth in negotiation? In this practical and compelling talk, participants learn step-by-step how to wisely claim a goodly amount without being unfair or creating bad feeling. Along the way, we consider some of the most famous sayings about negotiation and ask if they’re really true, including, “never make the first offer,” and “you can negotiate anything.”
  16. Special Training Sessions for Lawyers. Top lawyers at AmLaw 50 firms and top law students at top 10 law schools have enjoyed a variety of negotiation sessions including
    *Honing Your Transactional Skills- Negotiation for Corporate Attorneys
    *Tools for Developing a More Effective Issues List for Contract Negotiations
    *How Do You Get to Wise Yes? A Joint Program with Executives (see below for more on joint programming generally.)
  17. Joint Program for Lawyers and Clients.
    A joint negotiation training for a law firm and its clients or prospective clients lets the two groups learn to work together to perform valuable negotiation skills, bond with each other, and lets the client see the law firm’s people in action. I’ve taught lawyers and executives in joint sessions for many years, and have even published a law review article about it

Selected Negotiation Coaching Services by Prof. Seth Freeman


One-On-One Negotiation Preparation & Role-Play Many seek special guidance about a pressing negotiation, which can also be a great occasion for improving skills. Typically, I introduce them to a simple, powerful planning tool I’ve taught to thousands of students, use it with them to help them prepare for their upcoming talks, and then role-play with me playing their counterpart so they experience the emotional reality of the situation. Phone, Skype, or in-person coaching is available.

One-On-One Simulation With one client, a partner in a top law firm, I created a personalized set of sessions where we did a brief simulation together, debriefed it, and applied it to her work. (She opted in a later session to add a colleague or two to join us, which was fine.)

Hybrid Coaching Using My Great Courses Negotiation Video. This year my new course on negotiation was released by the Great Courses, a leading producer of college-level video and audio courses. It’s called, The Art of Negotiating the Best Deal and you can see a brief clip here. I can use a ‘flipped classroom’ approach where a student watches selected sessions of the video course and then works does personalized advanced training with me to help her gear up for a specific upcoming negotiation. Phone, Skype, or in-person coaching is available.

Telephone Coaching. I can give personalized telephone consultations about specific upcoming talks or about general principles. Telephone coaching can be for one session or a series of sessions.