Whether you’re in startup phase or are well established, having to sell your products and services virtually has been the difference between surviving and thriving in the last two years. Without a sharp video pitch game, it’s getting more difficult to get your foot in the door.
Pallas Hupe Cotter, is a professional consultant based in Central Otago specialising in personal brand building and communication. Having seen a big uptick in queries for media and on-camera training coaching since the pandemic began, she has a range of best practices to ensure a pitch is powerful and delivered with clarity and confidence.
Applied together with our tech tips for a video call set up you’ll be winning in no time in with customers, clients, employees and colleagues.
1: Look into the camera
When asked about her thoughts on really nailing a virtual presentation, Cotter says the easiest and most effective tip to build trust with your viewers is to “look into the camera”. She says so few people actually do as we tend to look at the video feed, which is usually below or even off to the side of our screens.
To avoid that it’s recommended to put little arrow stickers next to the camera to remind you to look up. Or even cut out a picture of someone you know to make it more personal (with a hole cut out of the middle) to keep their eyes trained on that little lens.
2: Be aware of body language
We’ve all heard how body language can play a big part in your ability to get buy-in to your message. According to Psychology Today, “The belief is that 55% of communication is body language, 38% is the tone of voice, and 7% is the actual words spoken.” However, pitching to a virtual audience requires some specific adjustments as personal nuances can be amplified when you appear on video calls.
When it comes to posture, typically only your body is seen from the waist or shoulders upward. This means that you need to be conscious of jiggling your legs or doing other unconscious behaviours that may inadvertently rock your body and distract viewers if you are nervous.
3: What are your hands doing?
Further to the last point, talking with your hands is a smart way to show people you are passionately engaged with a subject. In short it can demonstrate confidence and passionate enthusiasm which increases your appeal as a person to work with. However, you don’t want to overdo it as it can be distracting and even annoying. When you are not using your hands, keep them relaxed and separated on the table and never over-shuffle papers. Refrain from crossing your arms which can make you appear unapproachable or judgemental.
4: A simple smile
Smiling during a meeting helps it run more smoothly and can lead to a more positive outcome because it puts people at ease. Take a moment and look into the camera, smile and greet everyone before you start your formal presentation. When appropriate, raise your eyebrows slightly upward in interest and nod your head periodically to reinforce to viewers that you hear them and are listening well.
5: First class connectivity
The last point isn’t really a body language piece of advice but without it, all the effort gone to above is wasted. We’re talking about having your internet connection sorted.
In a world of first impressions count, there’s nothing worse than when you are trying to speak and communicate over video, and you end up with pixelated people and broken conversation.
Fast business fibre broadband will help with that. Fibre in general offers the fastest speeds, the lowest latency and less chance of disconnections compared to other types of broadband network technologies. And in addition to that, business fibre connections have upload speeds equal to download. With video calling relying heavily on upload speed, business fibre is the perfect way to help you with great virtual interactions with clients, customers or staff.