Coaching our On Air Guests, both new and existing how to either “learn” or “improve” and “perfect” their skill working on television to successfully tell their story and present their product(s) is an extremely fulfilling role for me.
Training and Development was one of my first passions many years ago, and it’s just like learning to ride a bike, “once a trainer, always a trainer”. You never forget how to do it but it does take a special ability, set of skills and both knowledge and hands-on experience “doing it” to be truly successful, and, there’s so much more. It takes in-depth knowledge of professional sales, understanding the psychology of the adult learner and of the customer, not to mention mastering the use of the 4 steps to successful training & coaching, 1) Preparation, 2) Presentation, 3) Performance trial, 4) Follow-up). On top of all of this, plus it requires strong communication skills, motivational skills and the desire and personal drive to impart knowledge to help others succeed.
Teaching someone who has a great story and great product how to bring it to life on television requires so much more than the skill required to do it in a brick and mortar store environment–why? If I could single it out, I believe that the single most important skill for me to teach our guests is how to look at a “camera lens” and translate their essence (who they really are) to that inanimate object (the camera) into a “living and breathing person”. Sounds easy, well it’s not or everyone would be great at it and the pro’s will tell you that it takes years to master. Those of us who do it will tell you it takes lot’s of preparation, practice and actual live presentation time to succeed at it. We have all heard the adage “practice makes perfect”, well it’s no different here. Even as a show host of over 20 years, that was the single most difficult part of the job of Show Hosting for me to learn initially working on television. It was just learning how to “be myself” and convey and communicate my sincere, heartfelt message to a camera as though I was just talking to one person.
It took at least the first 5 years on camera to become reasonably good at it, and even to this day I am learning methods, tricks and new skills for improving the technique. Teaching “new comers” to the world of electronic retailing and television is no different, except now, I have the first hand experience to help new guests avoid the pitfalls I experienced at the beginning of my early television career.
There truly is nothing like meeting one of our guests for the first time, hearing their story and helping them bring out their true, inner self to “craft” a high quality sincere presentation bring it to just “you” –just one very special person on the other side of the television. END.