Video podcasting: Maintaining eye contact with a simple camera setup with Dan Keldsen

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Episode Summary

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.

In this episode, Tristan Pelligrino has a chance to talk with the Co-Founder of Plexicam, Dan Keldsen. Dan and Tristan explore how B2B content creators can develop a comfortable remote podcast recording environment while maintaining eye contact with their audience.

And we also learn a bit more about Dan’s story and why he created Plexicam to solve this problem.

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Key Insights

Episode Highlights

Aside From Making Eye Contact, You Want to Be Able to Engage Your Audience and Get Their Feedback

”You wanna put your camera in front of your screen so you can see what’s on the screen. That’s how you make eye contact. You can learn to look into a lens, but just because you’re looking into a lens doesn’t mean [you’re] seeing your notes and the people you’re presenting. […]

There’s a difference between looking into the lens — which is how you get eye contact with your audience — and putting a lens in a position where you can take advantage of being able to get some feedback from whoever you’re speaking with or presenting to. […]

You don’t get engagement from an audience if you don’t engage them. And how do you know if you’re engaging them unless you can see what the reaction is? You could hope that it’s going well, and that may work in a lot of cases, but if you want to get real feedback, you need to be able to see and hear it.”

The Story Behind Plexicam

”My business partner for both companies — Tom Koulopoulos — we’ve known each other since 1994. We haven’t worked together the entire time, but for the first 13 years, we worked together. […] Tom is a tinkerer. I’m more of a software soft skills kind of guy. He’s very handy. 

He’s a fantastic keynote speaker in person and on camera. […] Tom picked up what we now sell as Plexicam off his shelf as a project. He had started it ten years ago or so, and then it was left alone for years because he was mostly presenting in person. And then, for no reason, he picked up the idea again in the first week of December 2019 — before anybody knew anything about COVID and certainly before we went into lockdown. 

We weren’t working together at that point. But he called me in March 2020 and said, ‘Hey, what are you doing during the COVID lockdown?’ I was like, ‘I have a feeling you’re gonna propose something here.’ […] 

Most people were not even set up to know how to use their webcams on their laptops. So we used Veventaas (virtual events as a service) to beta-test Plexicam. We would send Plexicam models, and we played around with different ones. […] We didn’t send lights and all that stuff because it would’ve been too complicated. 

That was a great beta test, and then we were like, ‘Oh, this is a real company potentially, so we should turn this into something that we can sell.’ And then that took off, and Veventaas we folded down.”

When Designing or Looking to Improve a Product or Service, Seek Feedback From the People Who’ve Used It

”They don’t always know how to give you useful feedback. You might have to interpret it a bit by asking people, ‘What was the Seinfeld thing? Why don’t you tell me what movie you wanted to see?’ It’s that kind of thing. 

I look at what we can improve. So I tend to lead with a more negative leaning question, which is not necessarily the way to go. What do you love about it? What do you not love about it? And if you were going to tell people what it does for you, how would you describe it? That’s how I typically want feedback from people. 

And we do have some customers who are engineers and give detailed feedback, ‘You should try this material, and […]you should consider using X, Y, Z.’ So, to me, all feedback is useful.”