How Are Your Presentation Skills? The Camera Doesn’t Lie

How good are you at presenting in front of a group? Are you sure?

salespeople can get better at speaking

Photo by Africa Studio/Adobe Stock

During my days as an account executive, my radio station did a trade deal with a public speaking trainer. Our team spent a full day working on presentation skills.

As part of the exercise, the trainer had each salesperson stand in front of the room and give a short presentation, which he recorded on video.

It was a humbling experience. I had thought I was a pretty decent presenter and public speaker – not great, but pretty good. Boy, was I wrong.

In the words of guitarist Bob Brozman,

Recording devices are God’s way of telling you that you suck.

As I watched myself on the monitor, I was mortified to see that I spent most of my five-minute presentation looking at my feet.  I did not make eye contact or any sort of connection with my audience.

The following week I joined a local Toastmasters club and began working on my public speaking chops.

I was reminded of this by sales trainer Paul Castain’s  blog post, “The Three Minute a Day Phone Workout.” Castain recommends leaving voicemails for yourself so that you know what you are sounding like when you leave a message for a customer.

You can take Castain’s idea a step further. Presenting in a group is one of the most important sales skills you can develop. Why not record yourself on video giving a presentation?

If you have a smart phone, you have most of the equipment you need.

You can have someone hold the phone/camera, or set your phone up on an inexpensive tripod (this is the one I use) in your station conference room. Press Record, and start presenting. It’ll be helpful to have a trusted colleague in the room so that you can check on your eye contact.

Afterwards, take a break to clear your head and then watch the video. Take notes about what you observe.

  • Did you speak clearly?
  • Were you making eye contact?
  • Were there a lot of “um’s”, “uh’s”, “likes”, and “y’knows”?

Watch the video by yourself once, and then have your colleague watch it with you. Did you both notice the same things?

If you’re wondering whether your presentations are as compelling as you think they are, put one on camera. The camera doesn’t lie.

Question: What’s the best sales presentation you’ve ever seen? What made it so good? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

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