Video and Film
Versus “Wrong Way” Examples
As part of the
video training process, it is critical to show incorrect
ways in which things may be handled. Surprisingly, many sales
representatives, as well as their managers, do not actually
recognize what has been done wrong, despite many training
experiences. In several tests, we asked experienced
sales personnel to evaluate a deliberately flawed
call as a program benchmark. Virtually unanimously, they agreed
that it had been a “great call” in each experiment and
could therefore see no need for the training. “Right
way” versus “wrong way” examples can illustrate
the specific flows in a sales
presentation and show how salespeople
may be causing some of their own problems with difficult
The Advantages and Disadvantages
of Video and Film
like to use film or video because they are effective for
skills, and the combinations of sight and sound can accelerate
learning. In fact, one study indicated that learning visual identification,
concepts, principles, procedures, skilled perceptual motor acts,
as well as developing desirable
attitudes and opinions, increased significantly with motion
pictures. 3 With film or video, you can demonstrate and model
individual skills separately or together. In either case, films
or tapes can be replayed as often as needed. They can carry part
of the instructional load as well as being a vehicle for skill recognition.
Film and video provide
the excitement of continuous
action, which slides, transparencies, or filmstrips cannot. For
example, imagine how much the children’s show “Sesame
Street” would lose as a slide show.
Another general advantage
of film/video is that it can help to ensure high-quality instruction.
Many sales trainers have no formal background in either sales
or training and must rely heavily on professionally prepared visual productions.
3 Jack Anzman, and Kenneth J. Dunn,
Using Instructional Media Effectively (West Nyack, NY: Parker, 1971), p. 157
can also demonstrate models of effective body language and tone
of voice, which is important since up to 90 percent of a sales
representative’s success depends upon his or her visual
image. Video or film can provide a large number of delivery
skills that project confidence
and believability, illustrate techniques
for being aggressive in a strange territory, and demonstrate
how to produce results. Specifically, we can demonstrate the right
· Assume a natural
yet authoritative stance..
· Use natural hand gestures, including both what to do and what not to
do with the hands.
· Control vocal
delivery with pauses or inflection for reinforcement of a point
· Handle discussions with clients.
· Listen for customer cues.
· Maintain eye contact.
· Restate questions.
· Answer questions succinctly without rambling
The possibilities of video
or film are as limitless as the needs of the sales staff.
Film: The Preferred Choice for Large
Groups and “Top-Quality” Productions
Film is the natural choice
when the audience or training group is large. Obviously, 50 to 100 people
cannot conveniently view one TV monitor, and having several monitors in one
meeting location may be impossible. Even when several monitors are available,
the inevitability of chair movement while each participant locates a spot with
a clear view is disruptive to the flow of the presentation. The need for a single
screen may dictate the use of a film presentation.
Another strength of film
over video, though this may not remain true in the future, is quality.
Film has a wider “contrast range.” That is, it can capture more
detail in dark areas. It has higher resolution, more sharpness, and more color
saturation. If, for example, you need depth of field for an outdoor shot in
the shade, film gives better results. The technical sophistication of the viewing
audience might be consideration when you make a choice between film or video.
A final consideration is standardization
of size. Film and film projectors come in relatively few sizes.
The disadvantages of film,
however, deserve careful consideration. Film is generally more expensive to
produce than video, by as much as four times. It takes separate crews
to handle the film and sound. If cost is no concern, filming will produce better
quality in the master which can them be converted to video. Special effects
can be added at that point; putting words on video is cheaper than on
Film, too, is less convenient
to stop for stills since it was not designed to “freeze” as a frame.
The ability to stop is critical in either role modeling or in replaying an individual
sales representative’s role playing. If you want to discuss
a part of a film, you have to wait for the mechanical winding down of a machine,
which is not as immediate as stopping a video player. If a film breaks
during a presentation, it is not as convenient to have an extra reel of film
as it is to have an extra video cartridge. It is also more expensive
to duplicate film than video. Further, it is almost comical to reverse
a film. Replaying a certain segment, over which there may have been confusion
or questions, is also somewhat difficult.
After lectures (which we
believe still occupy too much of the time in typical training programs),
video is the most popular training method. In a study compiled
by Training magazine, video surpassed films in actual use by more
than 80 percent of the trainers in organizations with more than 50 employees.
The amount of use and percentages are shown in Table 1. 4
Table 1 Training
Method use in organizations of more than 50 employees
While each method has value,
we argue for greater use of active methods over passive and, in particular,
for greater use of video in role playing, case studies, and self-assessment.
4 Jack Gordon,
“Where Training Goes,: Training, Vol.23 (10) (October 1986),