"If you want to maintain composure under pressure, I recommend that you don't fiddle. Try to keep your hands still. Move as little as you possibly can because it looks better. If you're going to make a gesture, make it an easy, fairly big one. Try it in front of the mirror. Don't make short, small, jerky, restrictive movements."
Today, online messaging has overtaken such traditional face-to-face contact by leaps and bounds. Many sellers today negotiate and close deals exclusively over conference calls and online interactions. Instead of body language, we use virtual presentation tools to communicate our message. Roger Courville is an author with a lot of great insights and tips about online versus offline presentations. Recently I went to his blog and found some very relevant and practical points about common presentation problems: Why use a chart if you have to explain it? Why ask your audience to be interactive and then spend the entire presentation pontificating? Why use speakerphone when it provides poor audio quality?
Based on many of the presentations I've seen from salespeople over the years, this is advice the sales industry needs to hear. Why? Depending on the quality of the tools you use and your proficiency in using them, you have the ability to create a positive or negative presentation experience. Your slide decks and audio quality are today's equivalent of a strong handshake and good eye contact.
The bottom line is that a successful sales personality should be able to translate just as easily in an online world as the real world. Just ask John Cleese -- these days, you can find him on Twitter.
Full disclosure: On Tuesday, June 14, Roger Courville will be providing insights and advice on how to execute successful presentations online during a live webinar that Selling Power is co-producing -- if you're interested in joining us, you can go here to register.