To suddenly see yourself on a video call is both extremely compelling and distracting. Up until recently, we’ve all remained blissfully unaware of that funny thing we do with our mouth, the frequency with which we blink, or the unflattering shadows under our eyes. It is not a small thing to come face to face with how others see you.
Which is precisely why the one person you should never make eye contact on a video call is YOU.
Like most myths, the Greek god Narcissus falling in love with his own image was based on human impulses. Focusing on yourself is a pool you don’t want to fall into, even for a second.
I see so many salespeople clearly checking their image, then glancing back to their customer, then back to their image again to see if anything has changed! Not only does this take you completely out of the moment, but it looks as if you are oddly distracted to your customer.
Like any performer, you need to do your preparation and practice “off-camera.” Learn the technique. Record yourself practicing it. Then when you’re on a video call with a customer, hide your image. Don’t turn off your video, just hide your image so you don’t fall prey to the siren call of your image. That way you will remain 100% focused on your customer – which is much more important than if you have a hair out of place!
Pro tip: To hide your image on Zoom, simply right click on your video and select Hide my image.
Salespeople and customers alike have quickly risen to the challenge of connecting in a virtual world. But now that customers are being bombarded with Zoom calls both internally and externally, they, like many of us, are experiencing Zoom Gloom*. Zoom Gloom is an unforeseen side effect from being on video call, after video call, after video call – all with an overwhelming sense of sameness. Symptoms of Zoom Gloom include: 1…Exhaustion. It may seem physically easier to meet on video, but in reality our brains are working extra hard to process this new environment. A video call eliminates our ability to intuitively pick up on dozens of non-verbal cues that help us process a conversation. When we can’t see a person’s hands, or gestures, or if the quality is poor, even read facial expressions, our brain struggles to fill in the gaps. The result: we wear out quicker. 2. Strain Read More
I once made a sandwich, responded to an email, and let the dog out – all while “watching” a virtual presentation. I’m not proud. And I’m not alone. InterCall, the world’s largest conference call company found that audiences are engaged in a number of activities while on conference calls. For example: Doing other work (65%) Eating or making food (55%) On-line shopping (21%) It’s not a huge leap to conclude that similar behaviors extend to a virtual presentation where the cloak of invisibility and easy access to multiple devices invites the opportunity to escape. And if your customer is not engaged, the odds of moving the sale or conversation forward are slim. Maintaining your audience’s attention presents a unique set of challenges in a virtual world, but here are some proven tips for making your virtual presentation a “must watch” event! 5 Tips for an Engaging Virtual Presentation Get On-Camera! Read More
According to research done by Gong.io webcams are used 41% more often in deals that close than lost deals. There’s never been a more important time for sellers to master their on-camera and video skills and ramp up remote sales. Your eyes and your face help to quickly establish a relationship with customers and build the credibility and trust they need to make buying decisions in uncertain times. So what is keeping you from using video? Maybe you’re intimidated by the camera, not sure if you’re doing it right, or just feel awkward. You are not alone. Speaking to a camera is an unnatural act. The good news is that even actors who transition from stage to film struggle with it. But they overcome it by learning and practicing specific on-camera techniques, like: The secret to appearing “natural” on-camera How to create eye contact with your audience and make them feel Read More
Are you tired of other people looking anywhere but in your eyes on video meetings or calls? And, (this may sting a bit…) are you possibly botching up eye contact with your customers, manager or employees? I get it. You’re looking at the other person’s picture or video. But here’s the secret: while it feels like you’re making eye contact, it doesn’t read as eye contact to the other person. In fact, it feels like you’re not paying much attention at all! And eye contact is so important in business because it’s one of the quickest and most effective ways to build a relationship with another person. Yes, you can build a relationship without eye contact but it’s slower and more difficult. So don’t take eye contact lightly in sales. Learn how to master effective eye contact on your video meetings. Talking on-camera is not a natural skill! That’s Read More
My first job was selling advertising for KBPI (Rocking the Rockies for 50 years!) In radio, your success was closely tied to your ranking in the quarterly audience ratings. Buyers who controlled the biggest media budgets would often only buy the top two or three stations in a particular demographic – no matter how much value-added you provided. One sunny spring day my sales manager asked our team to report in the conference room for the results of the latest ratings report. An anxious buzz filled the room as we wondered aloud whether the next three months would bring feast, famine, or something in between. The room went quiet when my manager entered, report in hand. He looked around the room in silence before presenting the verdict: “Get out your snorkel – we’re going down.” Yes, we had tanked in the ratings. Yes, it was going to be a long Read More
Ah the eighties. A great decade for music, parachute pants and PowerPoint! Launched in 1987, PowerPoint revolutionized the way we pitch to clients and speak to audiences. PowerPoint is still going strong 40 years later, but in order to better connect with modern audiences they’ve adapted their style with design tips, sharing options, mobile access, etc. Have you adapted your style as well? If your presentation is stuck in the eighties, it is as ineffective as trying to stream music on your Sony Walkman. Even if you weren’t around in the eighties, the odds are you may be using old-school presentation techniques that have been handed down from generation to generation. How do you know if your presentation is stuck in the eighties? Check the following 7 signs below and follow the tips to modernize your presentation. 7 Signs your Presentation is Stuck in the Eighties 1. “Let me Read More
Coaching is as vital to a presenter as it is to a performer. If you’re not seeing what your audience is seeing, you’re operating in the dark. While you may get occasional “drive-by” coaching from a manager, a peer or at a workshop, without a consistent and clear way to gauge progress, many presenters fall back on old habits or end up reinforcing ineffective behaviors. If you’re invested in your career you need to learn how to be your own presentation coach. Thanks to technology, coaching yourself is technically “easier than ever”, but there is still a huge barrier most people have when it comes to being objective about your performance. Or even watching your own performance! As an actor I hated seeing myself on video. Even if I had received accolades from audience members and directors, all I could see when I watched were my flaws: a distracting hand Read More
As a demo and presentation skills coach, I have seen more than my fair share of software demos – along with their associated screens, tabs, search bars, drop downs, notifications and text fields. Some screens are so busy Lewis and Clark armed with a GPS would get lost! But even simpler interfaces often beg the question: “What the heck am I looking at?” in a seller’s haste to show how much their software can do in the allotted time. The software demo best practice of quickly conveying tor your audience what they are seeing (and why it matters) is going the way of the Dodo, and that’s a costly mistake. Here’s why: Like me, it is likely that your customer has never seen your software before. And the way you introduce a screen will significantly impact two key factors in moving the deal forward: your customer’s attention and their ability Read More
I hope 2019 was a great year for you! I’ve rounded up the Top 5 Blog Posts of 2019 for you in case you missed them – with a minimum of 58 ideas to set you up for success in 2020! These are the Top 5 Sales Blog Posts of 2019 – as voted by readers! 1. The 1 Improv Technique Salespeople MUST Know: (Great for handling objections) Read here 2. 5 Fake Facts that are Killing your Sales Presentation: (this 2nd one is a proven deal killer…) Read here 3. 50 Ways to Blow a Great Presentation: (I see Numbers 14 & 17 all the time…) Read here 4. Does PowerPoint Even Make Sense any More? (You may be surprised at the conclusion!) Read here 5. The Power of Show and Tell: 3 Ways to use Props in Your Pitch or Presentation: (Yes, an elementary school technique CAN help Read More