Build rapport with your video podcast guest: The power of eye contact with Plexicam

If you’re a leader within your organization, chances are you participate in webinars, virtual events, and video podcasts.  And you know how important it is to look professional while on camera. 

But if you’re not familiar with video and audio equipment, it can be difficult to get a professional setup. And it can be even harder to create an environment where you can maintain eye contact with your audience.

I oversee nearly 60 different shows at Motion. And I work with professionals to get their podcast setups in place. Eye contact is key when building a connection with your guests on a video podcast

Recently, when I spoke with Dan Keldsen, the Co-Founder of Plexicam, we talked about the importance of building rapport with your podcast guests. According to Dan, “Eye contact is just so important for engagement, building trust, and making that human connection.”

And that’s where Plexicam comes into the picture. It’s a simple solution that helps video podcasters maintain eye contact with their guests. The device attaches to the top of your computer or desktop monitor and allows you to position your webcam at eye level.

In this article, I’ll cover:

  • The spark that led to the development of Plexicam
  • How Plexicam works with your remote podcast recording setup
  • How eye contact helps create rapport when recording video podcasts

“How can I create content that enables a collaborative relationship or that can be mutually beneficial in a way that doesn’t have to involve exchanging money?”

Amanda Natividad

VP of Marketing


A commitment to high-quality virtual events led to Plexicam's development

Have you ever found yourself on a video call, struggling to make eye contact with the person on the other end? Or are you uncomfortable with the way you look on a webcam? Is your webcam too high? Or too low?

In 2020, Dan and his Co-Founder of Plexicam, Thomas Koulopoulos (“Tom”), noticed the same thing with their customers. While running their virtual-events-as-a-service business, Veventaas, the two Co-Founders, struggled to get quality footage from virtual event participants. 

With COVID lockdowns in place and business events completely shut down, enterprise customers of Veventaas struggled to maintain four or five-star event quality while operating in a remote environment.

Want to see how other B2B marketers get the most from their podcasts?

Recorded Content is a show for small, scrappy marketing teams who are looking to launch & grow a successful B2B podcast. In each episode, we provide stories on how to overcome the challenges of launching, running and growing a show. We tackle issues with technology, content marketing, distribution and more. We help you become a B2B podcasting hero with an amazing show.

Every virtual event started to feel like a Zoom call

The large enterprise-level virtual events produced by Veventaas felt like every other Zoom call.

Tom, a natural tinkerer, decided to take action and find a way to enhance how virtual event participants appeared on camera.

So he rolled up his sleeves and produced the first version of Plexicam. The product idea involved the ability to position your webcam over your monitor to maintain eye contact while also maintaining the ability to see what’s on your computer screen.

Initially, Dan was hesitant to get involved in creating a physical product, as he had mostly worked with professional services, consulting, and software teams in the past. However, after using Plexicam at events and seeing positive feedback from speakers, he realized the product’s potential and decided to join forces with Tom to bring the product to market.

The first versions of Plexicam were homemade in a basement

The initial versions of Plexicam were created in Tom’s basement, using various materials and experimenting with different designs. Dan admitted that without Tom’s handy skills, Plexicam would not exist. 

Customers experienced a lot of success with early versions of the product, and the demand for the product outgrew Tom’s capacity. So, Dan and Tom were forced to find another manufacturing provider to meet customers’ needs.

Throughout the development process, Dan and Tom constantly tweaked the design of Plexicam based on customer feedback. They put a lot of effort into ensuring the product looked good and did not take up too much space, which was a big selling point for their customers.

As a business podcast host, one of your main goals is to create engaging and informative conversations with your guests. You want each guest to feel like they had a unique experience on your company’s show. A key component to better and more interesting conversations is asking the right questions. By choosing the right questions, you can draw out your guests’ best stories, insights, and expertise, creating a more interesting and valuable experience for your listeners (or viewers…if you also produce a video podcast).

Customer feedback helped create a better version of Plexicam

When I spoke to Dan on Recorded Content, he mentioned how customer feedback was critical within the development process, “If we hadn’t gotten feedback, it would be dependent on Tom to come up with the ideas on configurations and materials. That only gets you so far. The advantage of having a product like this is that you can sell many of them and get a lot of feedback.”

The development of Plexicam was not without its challenges, as Dan and Tom had to learn a lot about supply chains and manufacturing processes. They also had to contend with the difficulties caused by the pandemic, which held up supplies from around the world.

Despite these challenges, Dan and Tom successfully brought Plexicam to market and established it as a solution for online events and remote work. Thus far, over 20,000 units have been sold to professionals looking to improve their on-camera presence and maintain eye contact while in a virtual environment.

Unlocking the power of eye contact: Understanding the design of Plexicam

I record my video podcast episodes in a dedicated studio. But before I developed a separate recording environment, I created a makeshift studio in my house — just like many other business professionals who work remotely.

And when I started to record video podcasts, I wanted to do two things: 

  1. Look at the camera
  2. Look at the guest

 But I wanted to do these two things simultaneously. And I discovered that it’s nearly impossible to pull off without a teleprompter.

 I tried a few gooseneck tripods. I attached a webcam to the top of my computer monitor. I slid my laptop screen slightly under a DSLR on a standard tripod. 

I even used my iPhone.

For me, I needed something to work better. So I elected to get a separate office near my house, and I built out a small studio for video podcast recordings. I now film my podcasts on a Sony FS7 and use a teleprompter.

“When we got thrust into COVID, most people didn’t have home offices. And even if they did, they weren’t equipped to do video at all.”

Dan Keldsen



The best solutions aren’t always the most complex 

When you set up a teleprompter, you need several pieces of equipment, including a tripod for your camera, a stand for the teleprompter, a separate desktop, and most importantly, a larger environment for all of the equipment. 

But not everyone can create a dedicated podcast recording environment.

If you’re looking for a small footprint and the ability to maintain eye contact while recording a video podcast, then Plexicam might do the trick.

Dan mentioned during our interview, “In order to appreciate simplicity, you kind of have to go through a lot of complexity.”

Plexicam is a product that helps users to set up their web cameras simply and efficiently.

A simple setup gives you the eye contact you need for video podcasting

The setup of the Plexicam Pro (the most popular product) is simple. 

The product comes with a shelf and a friction sleeve, which is used to mount the camera. The vertical hanger adjusts the camera’s height to the desired level.

Depending upon your preference, you can run your cables (for camera connections and power) up or down along the vertical hanger.

Once the camera is set up, users can take it off of their monitor and set it to the side. Or, you can even flip it to the back. This allows users to adjust their camera without having to unmount it.

If you’re a leader within your organization, chances are you participate in webinars, virtual events, and video podcasts. And you know how important it is to look professional while on camera. But if you’re not familiar with video and audio equipment, it can be difficult to get a professional setup. And it can be even harder to create an environment where you can maintain eye contact with your audience.

Saying more with your eyes: The impact of Plexicam

Initially, Plexicam helped to enhance customers’ participation in virtual events. 

But, once the product started rolling out to customers, several other use cases were discovered. 

Dan talked about the impact during our conversation, “In the speaker community, the National Speakers Association in the U.S., they picked up on it. Then it sort of spread out in unpredictable ways to other industries. It turns out lawyers and legal professionals came on board pretty early on, too. Virtual courts have been a thing.”

The power of eye contact in communication is important — whether you’re participating in a virtual tradeshow or conducting a podcast interview. And it’s fundamental to building connections and fostering trust with others. 

If you’re looking to build rapport with your podcast guests while also maintaining a simple remote recording setup, Plexicam is a good place to start.

Written by Tristan Pelligrino

Tristan Pelligrino is the Co-Founder of Motion. He’s a serial entrepreneur who started his career as a consultant with large IT companies such as PwC, IBM and Oracle. After getting his MBA, he started and grew one of the fastest video production companies in the country – which was listed on the Inc. 5000. Tristan now enjoys leading the content marketing strategies of some of the most innovative B2B technology companies in the country. You can find him on LinkedIn and Facebook.