Many people had to make a quick transition from doing business in-person to virtual. Thus, in this Expert Insight Interview, Allison Shapira discusses adjusting public speaking, presenting, and selling skills to a virtual environment. Allison Shapira is a Founder and CEO of Global Public Speaking, leadership communication speaker, coach, and author.
The interview discusses:
- Making a shift
- Common challenges
- The fundamentals of speaking
Many people found themselves in a situation of not knowing where their confidence from years of experience disappeared once they found themselves in front of the camera. Communication and relationship building with clients requires one set of skills in person and a different set of skills in a virtual environment. Trying to learn and implement a new set of skills quickly is exhausting. But once it gets done, the impact becomes noticeable immediately.
Many people are not used to constant and ongoing self-awareness because now they can see and hear themselves. Another challenge is to figure out where to look because it feels so unnatural to look into the camera lenses instead of peoples’ eyes. But surprisingly, the more you look into the camera, the more authentic and trustworthy you show up. Also, the ability to read the room and feel the energy during the meetings is lower online. When meeting virtually, people get distracted so easily. Thus, you have to be confident in taking control of the environment and engaging others. Encourage intentional moments of interaction during your speech by asking someone an open-ended question. That way, you serve as a facilitator by inviting that person to answer and preventing an awkward situation where no one or everyone speaks at once. Ultimately, record, listen, and practice your speaking or selling virtually to improve your performance.
Back to Basics
The better we become in our work, the more we forget about the fundamentals that brought us there. The foremost fundamental thing to do is to remember your purpose of why you do what you do. When we become too automatic in our work, we tend to lose authenticity, sound overly confident, too prepared and have trouble connecting with others. Even when you do your 100th sales pitch, it still has to be as persuasive and conversational as the first one. Thus, by remembering your purpose, you allow yourself to get back to enjoying what you do. And when enjoying it, you sound more authentic, your eyes and body fill with energy, and you look more confident. Your audience will notice it and will be more willing to listen and receive your message. And lastly, before any interaction, always take a moment for yourself and breathe. That way, you bring your best self into interaction.
John is the Amazon bestselling author of Winning the Battle for Sales: Lessons on Closing Every Deal from the World’s Greatest Military Victories and Social Upheaval: How to Win at Social Selling. A globally acknowledged Sales & Marketing thought leader, speaker, and strategist. He is CSMO at Pipeliner CRM. In his spare time, John is an avid Martial Artist.