I met a terrific new contact last week that asked the following question of me:
“Can you suggest a tool for practicing phone skills and face to face conversational selling skills? I’d like to sit down with my laptop, and engage in simulated sales scenarios so I can practice things like my elevator pitch, cold phone intro, addressing price objections. Maybe something that uses the camera and mic on my laptop itself?”
My answer was absolutely, there are several easy ways to accomplish this. I was impressed already with the person due to his willingness to film/record this at all.
Here are a few web tools and hardware items to accomplish this goal:
For Video and Audio at your desk:
- Use your WebCam and microphone on your laptop/desktop – If you have this setup, you can simply record both video and audio and record your activity. If you do not have a webcam built-in, I recommend you purchase the current best of breed webcam with stereo microphone from Logitech – HD Pro Webcam C920
- For record your online presentation skills, I recommend Camtasia Studio from TechSmith. It is a bit pricey, but is the best tool in its category. In addition to record the audio and screen presentation for your evaluation, it can also be used to convert your other video’s into new formats, edit your video and audio files and even assemble multiple video’s into a package with table of contents, index, etc.I use this tool at least once a week.
- If Camtasia is a bit too pricey for you, explore Jing, also from TechSmith that is available in either a free or Pro version.
- Use your Smartphone with a Tripod mount. Your video camera and recorder on your phone will do a pretty good job of capturing your performance to review and critique. I recommend you pick up a tripod mount or case with tripod mount that is designed for your camera. You will find this to be a useful addition to your laptop bag for many purposes.
For Audio at your desk or other location:
- My favorite tool for this is the Samson Zoom H2N recording microphone. Simply set it down, turn it on and begin to talk. It records with extreme quality and in a variety of formats to meet your needs, saving your audio on convenient SD memory cards. This is one of the most versatile pieces of hardware that I have purchased. It also serves as a USB microphone that plugs directly into your PC if desired.
- Use one of the audio recording apps on your smartphone. There are too many to list and many are capture very good quality audio, especially if you mount it on a tri-pod mount designed for your camera, so that it does not pick up sounds from your hands or other vibrations nearby.
For Live Presentations:
- Coach’s Eye is an app available only on the iPhone that has some very innovative capabilities. As the name implies, it has been designed with coaches in mind, which I have adapted with excellent results when coaching presentation skills. You can review body posture, eye contact, hand gestures and your overall presence all from the screen of your iPhone. Here is a 90 second video from TechSmith that demonstrates how the tool adds slow motion, voice over and instant video analysis all from your iPhone.
Just think creatively how you could apply the capabilities for your own requirements. I hope you find it as useful as I have.
Recording yourself takes some guts, and having a respected peer or leader critique it with you can be a gut-wrenching. When you complete the exercise, you will have greatly improved your ability to communicate your message effectively to your prospects, customers and your peers.
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