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August 23, 2018

4 Ways to Get your Salespeople Comfortable on Camera

A young Carly Simon once fainted head-first into a table full of businesspeople eating pasta because she was so overcome by stage fright.

Performance anxiety can trip up even future mega stars, so it’s easy to see why a salesperson might not love the idea of their manager critiquing their performance on camera.

Team members sensitive to getting on camera often experience anxiety at the thought of using a modern learning platform. Here’s some tips and tricks I’ve picked up which you can use to help them get more comfortable:

  1. Think YouTube, not Hollywood

The tone you set defines how your team will think of your modern learning platform. Make sure they see the videos as a means to share knowledge or communicate — like a phone call — rather than as a means to capturing a performance. Setting the tone could mean creating a tagline, like “Think YouTube, not Hollywood,” or, “Just Allego it.”

You could also use other modalities in the beginning to support your team in their adoption of video, such as recording just the audio portion of their message.

  1. Let your company Sherpas lead by example

Not everyone is camera shy. Think about your senior leaders and top performers — people accustomed to going on stage to give presentations. Many of these people enjoy the recognition of being asked to share their story. Capitalize on that and use it to set an inspiring example for others.

Break the ice by encouraging leaders to create videos in their backyards or with their families. When camera-shy reps watch videos of influential people in their organization delivering a message with phones ringing in the background or dogs barking, they start to appreciate the fact that it doesn’t have to be perfect.

They realize this is simply a place for them to practice — to settle in after a long day, take off their jacket and tie, and get better at the things that will help them and the company succeed.

  1. Teach video tradecraft

Offer a few technical tips on how to record. If your team’s finished videos look better, it will give them confidence to create more of them.

One tactical trick I teach is to look straight into the camera when recording. If you keep your eye on the camera, it feels like you’re looking right at the person you’re speaking to. It’s much less distracting than if you’re looking down or somewhere else in the room.

Give a big smile and take a deep breath before you tap on the record button.

And when you make a mistake, pick up and keep going. Think of it no differently than a mistake made during a client meeting.

  1. Encourage a “find what works for you” approach

Encourage your salespeople to find an environment that makes them feel comfortable recording. Some, from day one, are happy to create videos in their cubicles, right out in the open space. But others might need a quiet place to shut the door and get rid of any background noise distracting them. Others might want the safety of being in their parked car, away from people who might be watching them.

In the beginning your team might feel intimidated at the idea of recording their messages on video. Reframe the conversation early on and communicate that you don’t expect perfection, but rather want them to simulate a strong client meeting. Pretty soon video becomes a knowledge sharing tool that’s as comfortable and familiar to reps as sending an email or making a phone call.

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