How To Make Awesome Presentation Videos

How To Make Awesome Presentation Videos

As a writer and former trainer, I’ve always looked for ways to add other media to my words. Text is all well and good. After all, that’s how we’re communicating at this very instant! But, as any good trainer will tell you, engaging your audience requires more than one medium. My favorite one is video. Here’s the problem. Video is a great engagement medium, but it’s not easy to produce well. A bad video can ruin your message. It can bore your audience into oblivion. It can create giant “blobs” of content that beg to be ignored. Here’s another problem:…read more >
The Misleading Debate Over Text “Versus” Video

The Misleading Debate Over Text “Versus” Video

Here’s a question that plagues trainers and eLearning professionals: “When teaching or learning something new, do you prefer video or text?” Frankly, it is the wrong question. According to “everyone,” video is supposed to be the most powerful way to learn. Many assume that online video inherently makes eLearning better or more effective. So, they resist the idea that some people—actually a lot of people—still prefer text over video! The reason is simple: control. With text, the end user has complete control over the experience, based on his or her reading level. The quality of the writing and its presentation…read more >
The One Problem the Sales Enablement Industry Hasn’t Solved Until Now

The One Problem the Sales Enablement Industry Hasn’t Solved Until Now

In Norman Juster’s classic, The Phantom Tollbooth, many of the book’s characters obsess about measuring things. Words, colors, sounds, and numbers are just things to be sorted and classified. Real life is askew—lacking both Rhyme and Reason. Sales is in that position today. More specifically: sales enablement. Measuring detailed performance indicators has become an obsession, and technology for doing that is on the rise. Valued at $600 million in 2015, the sales enablement software industry was considered undervalued. In a 2015 Marketwired post, Doug Winter, the co-founder and CEO of sales enablement software firm Seismic, said, “only around ten percent…read more >
The Sales Person’s Travel Planner

The Sales Person’s Travel Planner

I’m in a rather odd position: I sell sales enablement technology. It’s sort of like a musician writing songs about guitars. Because I live and breathe sales technique, I’m always on the hunt for new material, new techniques—not just to sharpen my skills, but also to help feed the information channels of our sales coaching partners. As a result, I collect sales events—LOTS of them, more than I can possibly attend in person. Some are online, but many are live. They’re the perfect venue for networking with my fellow sales professionals, share war stories, and add to my tool set.…read more >
Musings of a Busy Software Trainer

Musings of a Busy Software Trainer

I work for a small technology company, Creative Edge Software. Our product, while amazingly effective and affordable, is at times difficult to master. Partly this is because our brilliant U.K. engineers keep adding new features. Even though the universe of potential users is smaller than, say, Photoshop, they still need to be trained. There’s also our international reseller partners who need to know the product their selling—and in turn support their customers. That’s where I come in. I’ve been training users and resellers since the product was introduced. I also do LOTS of sales demos, and travel all over the…read more >
How I Became a Flip Turn Hero

How I Became a Flip Turn Hero

A few years ago, I signed up for a triathlon. I had one problem: I didn’t know how to swim, which is literally one-third of what a triathlon is! So, I did what every overconfident young man does: I joined a gym with a pool and jumped right in. When I started, I couldn’t go more than two laps. I pushed myself to add on another two laps with each practice day and this worked… for four days. Then I hit a wall. Not literally; that happens later.) My plan to improve would obviously not scale. So I turned to…read more >
People Hate Change (and What Can Be Done About It)

People Hate Change (and What Can Be Done About It)

It’s normal to be change-resistant. Think about some over-used sayings. ”If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” “Leave well enough alone.” “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” Marty Rubin famously quipped, “It’s not easy to change things. Things fight back.” The point is, we all resist, even when we know better. There are lots of reasons why we resist change, according to the Harvard Business Review. We resist because it’s different and unknown. It puts us outside our comfort zone. But it also allows us to grow as human beings and in our professional lives. Charles Darwin said,…read more >
Interactive Video Training Starts With Online Video

Interactive Video Training Starts With Online Video

Trainers and educators generally agree that video content is valuable. They also agree that making video available online enhances its value—by making it available remotely and, hopefully, by making it interactive. However, it turns out that there’s a knowledge gap when it comes to the basics of “online video.” Last year, I spoke at the inaugural FocusOn Video conference in Austin, Texas about using interactive video training. Several attendees remarked that it would be helpful to have an introductory session to just go over the basics of how online video works before digging into the advanced topics like making online…read more >
More Sales in Less Time

More Sales in Less Time

As Viddler strengthens its platform in sales training—and since I’m a sales guy myself—I thought it wise to keep my sales tools sharp, to practice what we preach, as it were. So, I’m always on the hunt for great techniques to incorporate into my “workout routine.” I’m happy to say I found another one: Jill Konrath’s excellent More Sales, Less Time, published by Portfolio last December. This is not the typical ‘All you need to know about Sales’ strategy book. It’s more about productivity. Although Jill’s focus is on salespeople, the tools and lessons on exploring productivity could be adapted…read more >
What Actually Qualifies as a Sales Enablement Tool?

What Actually Qualifies as a Sales Enablement Tool?

The term “Sales Enablement” covers a wide range of offerings, and has many definitions and qualifiers. But not everyone agrees on what it really is. Software vendors use one definition, CRM vendors use another, research firms use still another. You and your boss probably have different definitions. Your sales coach (if you have one) almost certainly has strong opinions on the subject. So, as a professional salesman—but decidedly not a sales theorist, here’s my take. According to Forrester Research, “Sales enablement is a strategic, ongoing process that equips all client-facing employees with the ability to consistently and systematically have a…read more >