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Presentation Mistakes

Presentation Mistakes
Set Up Your Own Recruiting Service

There are many different presentation techniques. I believe it’s best to begin the process by asking questions first. By asking questions first you’re controlling the presentation.

There are some who have a different opinion about the presentation. There are those who believe the scout should, from the very beginning, start explaining what the recruiting process is all about which means a lot of talking.

I disagree with the philosophy of dominating the conversation.

Mistakes are often made during the presentation. I want to provide a list of some of the common mistakes made by college scouts. I want to see every college scout succeed and make a lot of money and help a lot of kids get to the next level.

Common Presentation Mistakes


Thanking The Parent For Their Time: Thanking the parent for their time makes you seem over-anxious. It will send a message that the parents’ time is not valuable. Never apologize for their time.

Do a good job delivering your well thought out and planned presentation. If you achieve that goal the parents will thank you.

When I was training my own scouts, they had to do a live presentation over Skype and almost all of them started off by apologizing. By doing that it’s an uphill battle to keep the parents attention. They’re going to automatically think that you really have wasted their time.

The parents are very skeptical people about the recruiting process anyway, and now you’ve just put doubt in their minds about you, the process, and your presentation.

They will hold that thought in their head of you wasting their time from the very beginning of your presentation through the end.

Whether you’re over the phone or face-to-face, don’t apologize just get right to the point. Be great every time out in delivering the all-important presentation to the parents of high school student-athletes.


Being Led Around By Your Nose: Never ever let the parent control the presentation. Many inexperienced scouts get pushed around by the parents.

In their eagerness to get the parents to sign up, many scouts let the parents jump in and ask questions. Scouts sometimes let the parents have a certain level of control. Too many inexperienced scouts believe this will help them to get the parents to make a commitment faster.

This is not true and this approach will not work. If the parent gets a chance to push you around during your presentation they’re not going to take you seriously. They’re not going to take your company seriously.

They will have no respect whatsoever.

What commonly happens in the presentation is the scout is doing a great job, everything is going smoothly and in the middle of the presentation, the parent will jump in and want to ask a question.

If the parent stops you in the middle or at any point in your presentation just tell them you will answer that question at the end of the presentation. Don’t stop your presentation to answer the question. That’s going to kill your momentum. You’re going to destroy your entire presentation.

Your goal is to get the parents to follow you all the way through the presentation.

If the parent happens to jump in with a question, remember be calm and tell them you will answer that at the end. Then calmly resume your presentation all the way through completion.

Don’t ever let them push you around, ever.


Failing To Practice: “We’re talking about practice. We are talking about practice.” A famous quote from NBA superstar Allen Iverson.

He was trying to downplay the importance of practice. If you take that approach as a college scout you will fail.

You will fall flat on your face and become a complete disaster.

I used to train my own team of college scouts. They would go through a four to five week training session learning a lot about recruiting and other information that would help them be very successful.

Many of the scouts took that information and were extremely successful, but far too many of them did not practice. I think this business is parallel to NFL football, let me explain.

They play the game on Sunday. On Monday they watch the tape of the game.

Generally, on Tuesday it’s their day off. Then they have practice on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday in preparation for the next game.

There’s film study. There’s a lot of things that they’re reviewing and working on and going over on a weekly basis.

Preparation for the game is critical. Those who have weak preparation will have weak results.  Why not spend an hour every day practicing your presentation from beginning to end?

It’s critical for college scouts to dedicate themselves to improvement. Figure out practice times and schedules for your presentation.

Maybe do your presentation on a digital recorder so you can play it back and critique your performance. Work on your presentation in front of friends or family members. Maybe do your presentation in front of them also.

Practice makes perfect”, what a cliché, but it’s true.


Using Presentation Materials To Guide You: PowerPoint presentation slideshows don’t work when you’re dealing with parents of student-athletes.

This is a common mistake that many college scouts make. They have the technology. They want to use this technology to do the talking for them. In reality, the parents want to hear how it works from your mouth to their ears.

The inexperienced scout want to use slideshows or props to do the talking for them. Really, really, really, really, bad idea! (Leave that in Marcellel trying to make a point here)

Back in the day when I was first getting started and was very inexperienced, by the way I thought because I played college basketball and I played professionally and that I’m 7 feet tall I could walk into someone’s home, explain a little bit about what the process was all about, and my height would win them over.

I was dead wrong! The parents didn’t care about any of that.

They wanted to hear, from my mouth to their ears, how this process works and what I was going to do for them. They wanted to know that if they spent their money with me, what would they get. Nobody cares about where you went to school. Nobody cares about if you played in college or professionally.

It does help and gives you some credibility, but the bottom line is the parents want to hear the facts, the figures, and how everything is going to work for their money.

You want your presentation to speak out loud.

You want your presentation to be extremely exciting and that the parents are totally engaged, happy, and excited about what they’re hearing from you and the possibilities of what this process can do for their son or daughter.

If you are in front of them and you’re giving a presentation using a slideshow or flip cards it’s just going to be boring and you’re going to lose them. Even if you send them something via email, text message, or social media it still won’t work.

The bottom line is, they want to hear it directly from you.


Presentation Tips


Make It Exciting: Make the presentation exciting. Going from high school athlete to college athlete should be an amazing and exciting experience that you are presenting to parents because they are the ones who have the money, they’re the ones who can pay for your services.

The studentathlete has no money.

Have some enthusiasm in your voice. If you are face to face or even over the phone giving a presentation, smile.

Over the phone obviously they can’t see your smile, but they can feel and hear your enthusiasm and excitement. You should be enthusiastic and excited about the process when giving your presentation.

Make It Fast As The Wind: Part of your presentation is asking questions.

The major part of your presentation is explaining how your recruiting service works and what the parents are going to get for their money.

That’s the part of your presentation that you need to make fast, exciting, and upbeat throughout.

The last thing you want to do is to make your presentation dull, boring, and in slow motion.

No one will invest money with someone who’s slow and stumbling and bumbling over their words. Always, always make your own presentation exciting, fastpaced, and upbeat.

Keeping It Too Serious: Recruiting is a serious business. You’re trying to sign these kids up and help them get to the college level.

In delivering your presentation mix in some humor.

Don’t keep it so serious that it’s like life and death. You may have to present the parents with a life-and-death scenario at some point, but when delivering your presentation why not mix in some humor?

Show a brighter side of the recruiting process in your presentation.

Figure out ways to make the presentation fun and not desperate. Figure out ways to make the presentation exciting and not disappointing. Find humor in your presentation. You don’t have to make it a comedy routine, but if you get the parents to smile you will have scored major points in your favor to get them to sign up with you.

You don’t want your presentation to sound like you’re trying to sell cemetery plots or life insurance. If you come off with that kind of approach you will more than likely lose the parent forever. Think of something that will make the parent smile or laugh.


Final Thoughts: We can all learn from our mistakes. I am sure many of you have made a lot of mistakes in the questions you ask parents and in your overall presentation to parents.

Sometimes these mistakes can be so critical that you will lose the parents. That means you’ve lost business and you’ve lost money.

Money is how we measure success in this business. The other critical success point is getting those kids placed in college.

Obviously the more student-athletes you place in college, the more parents out there who will want your business card and that means you’re going to make more money.

The number one factor is money. If you have the money, you can grow your business.

If you have the money, it will give you the power and the confidence and you will think of things to help your business that you have never thought of before.

I am trying to help you to avoid making mistakes that keeps your pockets empty. The thing is, if you’re not sure how to be a college scout, you will make mistakes. If you don’t know how to fix your mistakes you’re going to make more mistakes and these mistakes will run you out of business.

You will ruin your reputation, more importantly you will ruin the reputations of recruiting services as an industry.

There’s already a few knuckleheads out there calling themselves college scouts and claiming to be recruiting experts. Many of those people are fakes and should not be in the business. Those individuals ruin it for everyone who is trying to do good and are trying to help kids get to the next level.

They constantly make mistakes. They constantly steal people’s money and don’t deliver on anything they promise.

We all make mistakes!

How would you feel if you were having a medical procedure done and the doctor made a mistake? Whoops, sorry we’ll get it right the next time!

I don’t think you would be very happy with what just happened. You probably would be on the phone the next day consulting with a lawyer. Doctors, like other trained professionals, spend hours studying and training and perfecting their skills, their talents and their craft.

As a college scout, you need to be just as dedicated. You need to put in hours of study and development to be the best.

As a college scout, you don’t want to have to apologize to parents because you made a mistake. You don’t want to go around week after week not knowing what to do when you’re constantly making mistakes and doing things the wrong way.

Doctors are working on human beings every day. They cannot make mistakes. Families are putting their trust in doctors to get it right the first time. You want to be on that same level as a college scout. You want to be so skilled that everyone wants to do business with you. Every parent has heard how great you are as a scout and how you take care of families and now everyone wants your business card, your phone number, and to get in touch with you right away.

From the parents perspective and your perspective there will be no more of this I want to think about it crap. They’ll be no more I’ll get back to you type of stuff from parents.

I guarantee you if you dedicate yourself to eliminating mistakes and perfecting your skills as a college scout, you will get better.

Nobody ever achieved 100% of anything, but eliminate mistakes through practice and dedication you will dramatically improve your earning power.

It’s all about practice.

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