What to do with your hands on video: The do’s and don’ts


Taladega Nights Ricky Bobby GIF from Taladeganights GIFs What should I do with my hands when on a video call?! Whether you are new to virtual selling or a virtual veteran, communicating naturally on video can feel anything but natural! What comes easy to you during an in-person conversation becomes entirely unnatural and quite challenging the moment the little light turns red at the top of your screen.  Sales professionals often struggle with what to do with their hands when on a video call, like: Am I gesturing too much? Too little? How big should my gestures be?  How small?  How often?  Who wouldn’t be confused?!  But learning how to gesture and use your body language authentically and effectively on video is critical.  It can help bridge that virtual gap between you and your customer and make your message come to life, so here are some must know do’s and Read More

Sales Lessons from Careers on Camera: Sports Broadcaster Amanda Borges

What do salespeople and sports broadcasters have in common? Connecting with people on video and getting them to open up!

Salespeople are discovering first-hand how difficult it is to connect with customers on video.  Talking to a camera is not a natural skill.  Yet actors, sportscasters, reporters and news announcers are proof it is possible to connect and engage with audiences virtually. 

In this episode of “Sales Lessons from a Career on-Camera” I talk to sports broadcaster Amanda Borges about how finding your voice on video, forming connections, asking good questions, scripting, improv, and much more!  

About Amanda: Amanda Borges has interviewed more than 100 athletes and coaches and she’s scripted and hosted more than 30 live shows, either in-studio or on-location.  She traveled with the New York Rangers as their Team Reporter and Producer before moving to the national stage interviewing all types of athletes for Yahoo! Sports.  Most recently Amanda launched a podcast to share stories about women who work in sports called “And So She Goes.” 

Key Takeaways:

Talking to the camera:

“There’s a lot of acting that is involved in being on camera – even though it sounds so confusing, even though you want to be yourself and you want to portray the true person that you are, you have to crank it up a notch.”

Working with a script:

“I need to know what I’m going to say, and I need to be able to say it in a way where it doesn’t sound like I am reading off every single line in my head. There is a way to come across as natural, even though you’re reading a script.” 

Getting people to open up: 

“My biggest thing is to just be relatable – people open up and are more willing to talk to you if they can relate to you. Once you open up to them, you open that door for them to be vulnerable with you as well.” 

Preparation:

“Study as much as possible and know as much as possible, but just make sure that once you’re there, focus on that connection with that person because if you truly know what you’re supposed to say, it’ll just come out naturally in the conversation.”

Advise for salespeople:

“What do these people want to know? What can I bring them that they can’t get anywhere else? My advice is, don’t get caught up on how you look or how you’re speaking… as long as you can keep people engaged with your energy and the content that you’re presenting, that’s what’s most important.”

Don’t miss upcoming interviews and the latest video tips – subscribe to the Selling On Video Youtube channel today! 

Connect with Amanda:

LinkedIn:  linkedin.com/in/borgesamanda

Website and Podcast: http://www.andsoshegoespod.com/

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/Aborgesn

Hate the way you look on video? How to change that for good!


Do you hate the way you look on video?! You are not alone.

Almost no one sees themselves on video and says, “You know what, I look fantastic!” In fact, in a poll of nearly 500 salespeople, not liking how they looked on-camera was ranked the 3rd biggest challenge with being on video.

While there are some technical things you can do to improve the way you look on-camera, such as improving your lighting, making sure you’re framed well, and upgrading your camera, most of the time the problem is not your physical appearance. As long as you are maintaining professional dress and grooming, and have decent equipment, you will look fine. The real problem is that apprehension that you’re carrying around about how you look and specific behaviors you’re exhibiting.

Before virtual selling, there were very few opportunities for us to come face to face with how we look in real time, so a little apprehension is expected. 

The secret isn’t about looking good, it’s about feeling good!

When you feel insecure or uncertain about the way you look on camera, that informs the way you speak, move and talk. As well as how your audience sees you. Instead of your normally engaging self, that lack of confidence can read as disengaged or under-prepared to customers.

So, quit beating yourself up about the way you look and instead focus on these concrete tactics that will have you feeling camera ready in no time.

Get specific about why you don’t like the way you look …

You must first understand why you think that you look terrible. Only when you understand what’s behind the why, will you actually take steps to improve the way you feel about your appearance on screen.

One strategy is to record your next video sales call and watch it back. I know! This is the worst part! But I want you to watch it in a very specific way:

How to review yourself on a video call:

  • Look for what you did well. Perhaps you have a nice, inviting tone. Your head was still and not moving back and forth in front of the camera. Taking note of the positives first makes you a tad less critical for this next step.
  • Identify the specific things you are doing that makes you cringe. Stay constructive by asking yourself specific questions. For example, “how is my eye contact” or “am I using engaging body language/hand gestures?” or “am I moving within frame?”
  • Now that you know what specific behavior is affecting how you see yourself on video (and therefore how you feel!) find out what training or tools you need to improve. It could be an on-camera master class or coaching or searching online for the right vocal drills.

Get your free 20-Point Video Self-Evaluation

Want to really understand how you’re coming across in your video selling journey – the good, the bad, and the ugly?  Download this  free 20-Point Self Evaluation.

Want more help Selling on Video? 

*For free tips, tricks and tools, sign up for our newsletter here.

*For improving your confidence, credibility and connection with customers on video, check out the self-paced Selling On-Camera Master Class.

*For workshops, keynotes, and events, get in touch with us here.

Real vs. Virtual Backgrounds. Which is Best for your Zoom Call?


  In more ways than one, business professionals are now faced with considerable change – offices are closed, meetings are remote, and the professional handshake has been replaced with a virtual wave from the other side of the screen – often in front of a virtual background! In the words of Bob Dylan, “the times they are a-changing,” and sales professionals must learn to swim, or face the possibility of sinking like a stone. Location, Location, Location One of the greatest changes we have seen with virtual selling is the inevitable change in meeting location. No longer in a traditional office setting, location is now entirely dependent upon each participants environment and choice. This can range anywhere from your kitchen table to the captain’s seat on the Starship Enterprise. The choice is yours, so choose wisely. Your background makes a strong statement about you. You are quite literally projecting an Read More

3 Ways to Improve Interaction on Virtual Sales Calls

Are you having trouble getting customers to respond and interact when on a virtual call?! The problem is that virtual audiences tend to be more passive – engaging less and observing more.

Here are three quick and easy tips that will really change the level and amount of responsiveness you get from customers when leading a sales call.

Virtual Engagement Tip #1: Pause. Pause. Pause!

It’s time that we, as salespeople, finally embrace the uncomfortable silences! Cringe-worthy, I know, just bear with me.

When on a virtual call, it is imperative that you pause much longer than feels comfortable following a question asked. Here’s why – People need to, one, hear the question and, two, have the time to then process what has been asked of them. Most importantly, if/when there are multiple people on the call, a customer must often consider whether to leave the question to their fellow attendees or answer it themselves. While waiting for an answer, any answer at all, the sales person rushes to fill the silence, unable to stand the quiet any longer. That, my friends, is the death of a sales call, so I encourage you get comfortable with the uncomfortable.

Virtual Engagement Tip #2:  Expect an Answer

I hear a lot of so-called questions from sales people that go a little something like this, “What kind of results are you getting today.” Sounding more like a statement rather than an explicit question, this doesn’t elicit the desired result – audience engagement!

You must be very clear, almost painfully so, that you expect a response, an answer to your question. Instead, it should sound something like this, “Tell me, what kind of results are you getting today?” With intentional word choice and the slight modifications in vocal intonation and body language, this second question demands the response you are looking for.

Virtual Engagement Tip #3: Eye Contact is Key

Or, rather, camera contact is key! Meaning this – you need to look at the camera, not the attendees on the screen below, when asking a question. It’s much different to be on the receiving end of a question directed right to your eyes than somewhere at your chin or feet.  By looking into the eye of the camera, you are looking into the eyes of your customers.

There you have it! Three quick ways to improve interaction on customer virtual sales calls. Try them out and do let me know how they work.

Want more help Selling on Video? 

*For free tips, tricks and tools, sign up for our newsletter here.

*For improving your confidence, credibility and connection with customers on video, check out the self-paced Selling On-Camera Master Class.

*For workshops, keynotes, and events, get in touch with us here.

Why sellers can’t stop talking on video sales calls


I was on a coaching call with a salesperson this morning. Below is the pitch transcribed just as it was delivered to me. Can you spot the problem? Salesperson:  “I understand that you currently have a very manual order process with a lot of errors and your reps are spending too much of their time fixing them to adequately reflect customer’s needs so what we’re going to show you today is how our solution can improve your order accuracy by as much as 90% and save you over $200,000 a year and improve customer satisfaction as well…” WOWZA! A plethora of ideas in this monologue (I counted eight!), but barely a comma to be heard.  Much less a period! While the ability to talk without taking a breath for this long is impressive, this type of verbal assault is not a great experience for your customer.  They either tune out Read More

Selling On Video: Will your Sales Team Make the Cut? 


Many sales teams rose to the challenge of selling on video over the last few months.   But let’s be honest, initially that bar was pretty low: “Got a decent background?  Camera on?  Know your platform?” “Great!” But customers today are being bombarded with vendor video calls – a never-ending parade of missed connections, bad lighting, worse eye contact, extreme close-ups, and awkward pauses/talk overs.  The result?  Many sellers are losing deals they would have won months ago, simply because they do not have the specific skills required to connect with customers effectively on video. The bar has been raised.   Will your sales team make the cut? These otherwise good sellers lack the virtual screen presence and know how required to project confidence, credibility and empathy on video – leaving the door wide open to competitors who do. So how do you ensure your team makes the cut? Stop practicing on Read More

Virtual Screen Presence Tip #1: Show Personality

Why are a handful of people so compelling on screen while most others seem to instantly fade from memory? They have learned how to develop what many actors have, which is virtual screen presence.  A quality that makes an actor connect with his audience and bring his/her words, expressions and lines come to life.

In today’s world, screen presence is as vital for an actor as it is for a salesperson trying to connect with a customer.  And the good news is, it can be learned.

One element of virtual screen presence is your personality.  Have you ever felt a strong connection with someone who shows very little of their personality?  Likely not. What is there to connect to?!  When you’re nervous or uncomfortable on-camera, your personality can disappear and that makes for a highly forgettable call.

Virtual Screen Presence Tip #1:  Show Personality

So how do you show more personality in a call?  It starts with confidence.  Confidence comes from knowing how to talk and move on-camera – which is often counter-intuitive and much different than in live meetings.  Until this becomes second-nature, you can appear very stiff and unnatural to your audience.  And all the lighting and camera angles in the world can’t fix that!

Once you are confident on-camera, you can start to unlock your personality. In this video tip I show you how a simple adjustment can take a customer call from mediocre to memorable.

Want more help Selling on Video? 

*For free tips, tricks and tools, sign up for our newsletter here.

*For improving your confidence, credibility and connection with customers on video, check out the self-paced Selling On-Camera Master Class.

*For workshops, keynotes, and events, get in touch with us here.

The Missing Piece in your Virtual Sales Training


The near Herculean effort by many companies to arm their sales teams to conduct business 100% virtually should be applauded.  When in recent history have so many sales organizations been restructured so quickly?! The missing piece in virtual sales training Sales teams are rapidly being trained to adopt new tools, platforms, and messaging to succeed in a virtual world.  Yet there is one missing piece in virtual sales training vital to success in which sellers have been left woefully on their own to figure out, and that is this: how do they communicate and connect successfully on-camera? I hear sales leaders say things like, “it just takes practice” when it comes to using the camera effectively.  Yet we all know that familiarity doesn’t automatically lead to expertise.  Practice the wrong things over and over and you’ve simply reinforced bad habits. Talking and listening on-camera are not natural skills. The thousands Read More

{New Video} My customer doesn’t use video. Why should I?

“My customer doesn’t use video.  Why should I? ”

This is one of the biggest excuses I hear from sellers on why they don’t use video more on sales calls.  And I say excuse, because it’s not a good reason.

Why?  Because the seller is making a choice based on his/her own comfort and inability to feel connected – not the customers.  And if you’re truly a customer-focused salesperson, your comfort needs to come second.

Yes, in a perfect virtual world, you and your customer would both have your camera on.  You’d be able to read each other’s body language and expressions, share eye contact and both feel more comfortable and connected.

But we don’t live in a perfect world.  Customers are not always going to have their camera on (especially after all the uncomfortable vendor encounters they’ve been subjected to!), but they can still benefit by feeling more connected to YOU – seeing your eyes, body language and expressions.

So absolutely do what you can to encourage your customer to use his/her camera, but ultimately, it’s more important that you use yours.  No excuses.

BTW, when sellers say they’re not using video because the customer doesn’t, it often masks a deeper discomfort with being on-camera — simply because they don’t have the necessary skills or training specific to this new environment.

Find out how you can get the skills you or your team needs to communicate with confidence and credibility with video at SellingOn-Camera.com

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Performance Sales and Training: Persuasive Presentation Skills to meet the challenges of today’s B2B Sales Environment