July 27

Salespeople Beware: Why Reading From a Script on Camera is a Disaster!

Salespeople Beware: Why Reading From a Script on Camera is a Disaster!

As virtual meetings, presentations and video outreach become the norm in sales, it’s tempting for salespeople to rely on scripts or notes to guide them through their presentations or pitches (aka: reading from a script). After all, with teleprompter apps and transparent notes, it reading from a script on camera appear easier than ever. However, before you jump on the script bandwagon, consider the significant impact it can have on your prospects.

Tell-Tale Signs You’re Reading From a Script on Camera

Think back to virtual meetings you’ve attended where the presenter seemed to be reading from a script. It’s easy to spot the signs, including:

    • Unnatural eye movements: Their eyes (and sometimes head) repeatedly shift from left to right (or up and down), rarely focusing on the audience while speaking.

    • Monotonous voice: The presenter’s voice lacks intonation, with oddly placed pauses and emphasis, making it sound flat and lifeless.

    • Lack of connection: The presenter appears disconnected from their message and the audience, leaving the prospects feeling disconnected and unengaged.

    • When you read from a script, your prospect will perceive the interaction as inauthentic, more like a one-sided monologue than a genuine conversation. This immediately undermines your credibility and creates immediate tune out.

The Bottom Line:   Reading from a script on camera requires a high degree of skill, proper training and consistent practice. Actors don’t have their script on their set whether they’re filming a 30 second commercial or a two-hour movie. And if they do work with a script (as in some industrial films) they invest time and money in training and practicing a very specific technique. 

Unless you commit to the rigorous training and practice that reading from a script without being caught requires, let me introduce you to other ways to use scripts and notes that won’t alienate your prospect.

3 Tips for Reading from Scripts on Zoom or Video

    1. Get familiar with your script or notes: Never approach a virtual meeting as a “Cold Read.” Spend time going through your content, understand the sections and general flow, and visualize the key points or topics.

    2. Position your script or notes somewhere you can easily glance at them without a major shift in eye contact or head position. If using multiple screens, ensure your notes are on the same screen as your camera. Avoid relying on teleprompter apps, as again, if you haven’t mastered the technique, your eyes will be drawn to the words – even when you don’t need them – and it disconnects you from your audience.

    3. Use the Pause, Script, Camera technique: If you ever forget your next point, don’t panic. Take a pause, glance at your notes to locate the specific line or information you need, and then look back at the camera to deliver the point directly to your audience. Avoid talking while you read; instead, maintain a brief pause to collect your thoughts.

The Pause, Script, Camera technique still requires some practice, but it’s infinitely easier and more practical than trying to master reading from a script undetected. 

By using your script in a more flexible way, you can still access information while maintaining a genuine connection with your audience. Your prospects will appreciate the authenticity and be more inclined to engage with your message.  For more tips on how to use scripts and notes on camera, as well as read body language, make eye contact and improve engagement, check out my Virtual Presence for Sales Pros On-Demand Course below.


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