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NC University Deploys One-Touch Recording Tool for Sales Role Playing

North Carolina's High Point University has designed a new set of Sales Labs outfitted to look like a business setting, where students pursuing sales majors can hone their pitching skills under real-world role-playing conditions. The private nonprofit institution installed Extron StudioStation, a one-touch recording tool that captures the sales sessions as MP4 video on USB sticks, enabling students to review the videos afterward and hone their sales techniques with the instructor.

Sales labs at High Point University allow students to practice (and record) their sales techniques.

Sales labs at High Point University allow students to practice (and record) their sales techniques. Source: Extron

The newest labs replaced an earlier iteration that used cameras and PCs running teleconferencing software. According to the university, setup took too long and required AV staff help. Each session required login, software activation and rendering and saving of the video files. Between student sessions, there was an extra 20 minutes of reset. On top of that, the camera location made it prone to bumps and possible damage.

Each High Point University sales lab includes a remote-control panel mounted below a wide-angle camera.

Each High Point University sales lab includes a remote-control panel mounted below a wide-angle camera. Source: Extron

With the new system, the instructor, acting as the sales prospect, can insert a USB stick into a remote-control panel and press one button to begin the recording. Conference cameras, positioned to capture a wide-angle view of participants, have been replaced with domed security cameras to mitigate potential damage. AV signals are routed to an Extron SMP 111 streaming media processor tucked in the ceiling. For competitions or group exercises, the presentations are both recorded and live-streamed into the judges' room or wherever the rest of the class resides.

"Student self-confidence improves dramatically after the Sales Lab role-play sessions, and it's the AV system that makes it possible," said Laurence Quinn, director of the professional sales program in the university's school of business, in a statement. He noted that many of the students have added some of the video clips into their resumes. "It's a life changer for some of these college seniors," he added, "because just about all of them land great jobs when they graduate."

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at dian@dischaffhauser.com or on Twitter @schaffhauser.

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