This new virtual world has been in the making for quite some time, but the global pandemic sure sped things up.

So, how do we pivot to this virtual business environment?

Ian Altman is joined by Adrian Salisbury to discuss how you can improve the quality of your Zoom meetings, and avoid looking like an amateur when it matters most.

Transcript
Ian Altman:

Welcome to the Same Side Selling podcast. I know you're shocked to know that I'm your host, Ian Altman. One of the most common questions I get these days is how do we pivot to this virtual environment? How do I make it so that when I'm not connecting with people in person that it looks better? And specifically, how do I make it so that when I'm connecting with people on video, on Zoom, that it doesn't look like the Fisher-Price my first video interaction, which kind of undermines your professionalism that can take away from your message. And this week, I'm joined by a dear friend of mine and someone who taught me a great deal about video setup, Adrian Saulsbury. Adrian runs a group called Adrian Solsbury Training. He runs something called the Ecamm Live Academy, which is a tool that we use in the Mac world. He also runs a whole Pro-video Academy and helps people when it comes to how to present yourself the best way possible in virtual environments and digitally. So, Adrian, welcome to the show.

Adrian Saulsbury:

Hey, Ian. Great to be here. Always a pleasure.

Ian Altman:

You know what, it's always a blast for us to talk. And before we dive into the things that people should be doing, because there's a long list of things that people can learn from, what I'd like to do is I'm going to make it, so just you're on screen. I want to discuss, and maybe you can illustrate, some of the pet peeves that we have when it comes to audio and video on Zoom and things that people do. Maybe you can highlight one of my favorites, which is I call it the nostril cam, where the camera is sitting down, and it's pointing up through someone's nose and seeing their ceiling behind them. Which I guess is great if they have a medical visit for an ear, nose, and throat specialist or they want someone to look at, you know, a drip on their ceiling, but otherwise not so great. So let's talk a little bit about that. Can you share some ideas of one of the things that people might be seeing?

Adrian Saulsbury:

Yeah, I've actually got a mocked-up zoom call here ready to go, actually, and this is a green screen. Normally this, I'll just say this upfront, because you're gonna spot it in a minute, that normally this is my office, and it is there behind me, but we've got builders in today, and I hadn't kind of figured all this out. So I've literally just picked up all my equipment, moved into the house in the dining room, and brought this image in behind me. So when I cut across here, the screenshare of zoom. And so yeah, you're right, you know, if I cut across there, this, what we're referring to, aren't we? You know, people sitting there like this talking away to us. And I think just the difference that you can see there, clearly, it's the same room, same lighting and everything else. Doesn't that look different to be a kind of looking and talking down here to you or actually being up here at eye level?

Ian Altman:

Yeah, and I think one of the keys is that when people are speaking at eye level, it's how we're used to speaking. I mean, think about the whole notion of looking down to somebody, it's like if you met somebody, an event and they were seated, and you were standing up, you wouldn't stand right over them and look down with them, having them looking up at you It would be an awful experience if somebody did that. So we want to make sure that we're not creating that type of environment. And I also want you to touch on, here's something that I guarantee people are thinking they're saying, oh, wait a minute, I use the virtual background on Zoom all the time, but it doesn't look like Ian's or Adrian’s. Why is that? So shed some light into kind of the mistakes that people make when it comes to those virtual backgrounds.

Adrian Saulsbury:

Yeah, I am. Rachel would laugh, my wife, if she was listening. We were on with a lady that was sorting our wheels out, actually. But she was talking to use the other week, and she’d clearly just clicked on Zoom, we were on a zoom call, clicked this virtual background button, and it was like this blob moving around with her because it, you know? We're asking a lot of Zoom if you haven't got a green screen to ask it to actually do this and create this fake background, and you can see little gaps through into a background because this thing was just trying to do it virtually. I find it a funny mix, really, that on a, really what is a tool being used by professionals, that they just put a feature like this in as to right, we can make this background. It really doesn't work well. And I think for the cost of if we are professionals on here and business people, the cost of getting a green screen just to pop up behind you. I don't know what $100? And actually, all of a sudden, it really does take it up There are other elements to it as well. We're both using Ecamm, which is much does a much better job of it than Zoom does anyway, and we're both using good cameras, which also has a big part to play in it.

Ian Altman:

Yeah. And I think that one of the things that oftentimes people get stuck on is, I don't have room for the green screen, and I know the one that you use is a pop-up one. So it's kind of like it is if you remember the if you remember screens that people would pull down, this is the same concept, but it pulls up from the ground. And that one that's portable and pops up, you know, what are they like you said, is it $100? Are they $200?

Adrian Saulsbury:

Yeah, I think so. Yeah. But $120, I believe. It's like you'd have at a presentation, you know, just one of these pop-up banners. Yeah, but it's, but it's wider, and it's green. Yeah. And it does a cracking job. I can just turn the thing off. Let me make sure I'm on the right. Yeah, if I pop it off there, it is behind me. And I can literally just pull this thing up and down, and it transforms me into another room. Yeah, I, as I say, this normally is my office, but I love the fact that I could do this and I could just pop this up behind me, change an image, and away we go.

Ian Altman:

Yeah. And the idea is that what I want people to realize is this is your professional image, so much like you wouldn't show up to to an in-person meeting with dirty shoes, a wrinkled shirt, or anything like that. Guess what? When you're meeting with somebody via zoom, if you present yourself professionally, there's a pretty good chance they're going to respond and say, Oh, that looks great. When it looks like you're the Creature from the Black Lagoon because you're coming in and out of the background, or when the lighting isn't right, or when the quality image isn't right. Companies often say, oh, we can't spend money in this. We can't spend money on that. It's like, look, for less than the cost of putting someone on a plane to visit one client, you can actually have the proper setup and the proper training so that when you with meet people, it looks great. And people say, oh, that looks fantastic. It doesn't look like a green screen. It doesn't look like something else. It doesn't look like something that was the Fisher-Price, my first video presentation, but instead that it's all tightly tied together, and they can actually have a connection with you, rather than being distracted by other things.

Adrian Saulsbury:

Yeah, I think we have to respect that. I know, certainly at the start of lockdown, when suddenly people were having to work from home and couldn't get hold of these things, it was happening. But you know, we are coming out of that, and actually, either people are going, this is the new normal, and this is what I'm going to, you know, I'm going to be working from here for a long time. Now let's invest in it. Now it's start showing up or looking more professional. I can remember being on a call with someone must have just sat at the front of the bed, really. And I can just see as they were moving you could just see this untidy bed that sort of pulled the duvet back over or anything, and I'm kind of wanting her to move because I find it quite interesting seeing what’s going on behind. That shouldn't be happening now. You know, there was a season where we were like, okay, we can forgive that.

Ian Altman:

Yeah, you're absolutely right. I think there was there was a period of time where people were tolerant of all sorts of things. And now, it's interesting, because I have different pieces of equipment that I bring with me when I'm traveling. So if I know I'm going to be doing a zoom from the road, I've got different clamps and arms and things so I can attach my camera or lighting onto whatever I need. And, I recognize that when I'm on the road, it's rarely going to be an environment where it's going to be the same as when I'm in my studio. Like, I'm not going to have everything as robust. But I've done my Same Side Selling Academy Coach’s Corner from the road, and people say you can hardly tell. Now the funny thing is, I should take a picture of the room, because here I have a clamp that's clamped on to you know, the post that holds the TV in the room, and the view that they had was fine but if the camera had moved an inch one way or the other would have picked up a lamp or a sofa in the hotel room. And it was, and in that case, I was connected via Wi-Fi, which is always a little bit sketchy because you don't get the same level of continuous connection. But talk a little bit, if you can, about audio because I know a lot of times what people say is, oh, it's no worries, my laptop has a microphone and a speaker. Why does it make sense for people to, wherever they can, have a dedicated microphone? Why does it make sense, like I have one of these in-ear monitors? So for me, you know, I never have to worry about echo, but talk a little bit about that so people can understand how valuable, important audio is.

Adrian Saulsbury:

Yeah, I think it is like with the imaging. As you mentioned earlier, we sit at eye level. We want this to be very natural. The same thing wants to happen with the audio. And it's you don't want it there as a distraction that people are going turn this up or can't quite hear or there's a fan or something going. It definitely pays to have a microphone externally. They're very affordable now anyway. But to have an external USB mic, certainly if you are on a laptop, and good old MacBook Pro that those fans can kick in quite quickly, to be able to have a mic closer to you with the fan and the computer over there, rather than the mic actually built into the device that's causing the noise, definitely a good upgrade to get.

Ian Altman:

Excellent. And then, when it comes to lighting, one of the things I also want you to talk about is this notion that a lot of times, it's just people have kind of a hodgepodge of different lighting. And I know there's something in your Pro Video Academy, you talk about this. And these are things that I didn't know that I learned. I remember at one point, I was having trouble with my green screen keying out properly. And you had said, well, is there another light your room that's a different color? And of course, to my eye, I don't know, they all look like lights to me. And sure enough, I had one light in the room that was a different color, and it messed up everything. So talk a little bit about lighting. Like, you know, I've got three-point lighting here. Can you talk a little bit about what that is, because, once again, sure, you can just sit in front of your camera and do your stuff, but what's the value of having a properly lit scene when we're communicating via zoom?

Adrian Saulsbury:

Firstly, what I want to say is, I think more important than your lighting is your camera. And this is a mistake that I see a lot of people do all the time is they'll go, but I bought four or five different lights now, and I still can't get it bright enough, or I can't get this to do this. But you're on a webcam, you know, a built-in camera on a phone. And actually, you're fighting with your the built-in camera all the time because it's decided this is an auto-level. And if, like with my iPhone, for instance, if I went out at night, it'll try and brighten it up. If it's sunny, it'll try to darken it down. So adding extra lights isn't going to solve the problem particularly. So I would just want to start there. I definitely think you could easily spend $1,000 on lighting. So interestingly enough, if I turn this off, you'll see what I'm talking about. So I don't have, we'll talk about three-point lighting, but for me, I've just got one light in front of me here that because I've turned the camera up and the settings in the camera, it's letting in, I'm on a 30% on the light that I've got here in front of me, and that is enough for the camera to do what it needs to do. So when you talk about three-point lighting, normally, this would be photography lighting that you would have. One light is a main light in front of you, a key light, and then a fill light to the side. And then another one would be coming back over your corner as a rim light or a hair light. That would be a kind of standard photography lighting kit. You can have two lights on you and one dedicated to the background. I see other people actually have just one in front overhead to light them up, and then the other two are pointing back on the green screen to get that nice and bright. So yeah, but you're sorry, there are lots of questions in the room. I could go over half an hour.

Ian Altman:

You know what, Adrian, I think that I think the biggest thing that that I take away from this is that everybody, me included, might overthink the lighting, and the reality is yeah, that if you have a high enough quality camera, and keep in mind, you're not saying go out and buy a $10,000 camera. We're talking about hundreds of dollars.

Adrian Saulsbury:

No, this is like an 800-pound camera.

Ian Altman:

We're talking about a camera that's got the right type of sensor. I know that, for example, the camera that I have and the lens, I use the Panasonic Lumix, and I've got a G7, which I don't even think they're producing anymore. But it was that and getting the right lens for it. All of a sudden, the keying became dramatically better. And I didn't necessarily change the lighting. Now, there is some lighting stuff that I do, but it's more because, in the studio, it's kind of in my environment. I feel like I need to do it this way. But what it sounds like is with the right camera gear, it's way more forgiving in terms of the feed-in that the system was going to key, so you don't get that person coming in and out of the background.

Adrian Saulsbury:

Yeah, sometimes just the existing lighting is okay, and we get that sorted first and then we sort of add in some lighting to go with it really. But yeah, you mentioned earlier about mixing in some lighting, and I think that is again a fairly classic mistake that maybe you've got a lamp in front of you here in your room, and then you've suddenly brought these two lights in front, and it is It's surprising that the difference in that color of the lighting and you could end up with like orange hair or green actually even sometime. Yeah, we wouldn't even consider it, but the camera is seeing very different lighting coming from different sides. You're right, we can overthink it, but I wouldn't go out spending a lot of money on lighting if you're just using a webcam. Definitely invest in the camera first.

Ian Altman:

Yeah. And I think that's, that's one of the things that people often say to me, Well, how does it look so crisp? I'm like, well, for starters, here's the camera gear that I use. Oh, I just use a webcam. Now what? I'm like, well, yeah, I have a webcam also. I just don't use it for these types of scenes. Because it's not the, it's not a high enough quality. I know, it's a shocker that you know, call it, you know, less than $1,000 worth of camera gear that I'm using now is better than the roughly $100 camera that’s the webcam. It's just designed to do more things. The sensors are more sophisticated. There's more technology in that.

Adrian Saulsbury:w, is it not worth investing $:Ian Altman:

And Adrian, let me ask you this, because for those people who use, use a Mac platform, so I will tell you that historically, I spent my entire life being a Windows person carrying a ThinkPad with me. And the only thing that caused me to become a Mac user was the software Ecamm live that then once I got there and said, this is pretty cool. How do I learn how to use this? And I enrolled in your program, and just so people know, Adrian is set up where he runs these programs absolutely amazing. The instruction there is top-notch. And I don't get anything from it. It's um, there's no, you know. And Adrian was kind enough to say, Hey, do you want an affiliate link? And I said, Now, because I'd rather be able to just tell people, Look, this is great, and I don't get anything for it. But talk about some of the things that people can do, and if you want, you can show them once again. If you're listening to this on a podcast, I encourage you to go on to samesideselling.com and pull up the podcast or look it up on YouTube, so you can actually watch this, you'll see it, but I'd love for you to show some things that you can do in this ecamm environment. And I know you've got an Ecamm Live Academy. It’s a two-week program. And it's just an hour day. It's absolutely phenomenal, and I enjoy just being in the community. Great people experimenting with stuff, people going live, figuring out how to do all that. I'm going to flip the screen just to use so you can show people some of the things that you can do that are really easy to do in this in this environment that maybe you can't do otherwise.

Adrian Saulsbury:

And that's the quick shout-out to Ian because I remember when he came through the Ecamm Academy the first time and did some very clever things there, and you pre-recorded some little videos. And you were using the clicker to move from one scene to the next, which is kind of like PowerPoint using slides. So he knows his way around this. Definitely, if you're on the podcast, do come over because this is quite cool. We're talking specifically about Zoom really and how you can use Ecamm into Zoom. We just ran a whole weekend training on it. And so things that you can't, typically in Zoom, so this now I can send this feed straight out of Ecamm into Zoom. So what you're seeing here is exactly how it's looking on my Zoom chat. And you're quite restricted in Zoom in that you kind of click and go I've got my camera, or if I want to do a screen share, I firstly click Screen Share, then I decide if I want the entire screen. I can set everything up in here in advance. So at the click of a button, I can move across on here. So let me demonstrate a couple of things. This is how we can bring in, for instance, the Zoom chat. So did you know you could do this? You can actually, that chat window that you have over there, you can pull it, you can detach it from using Windows so it sits on a floating window and then in ecamm I can I can pick this up. I can crop in the edges so that you can't see where it's saying things like this. What about polls? If you've discovered polls that you can do inside of Ecamm. But you can do very simple polls that you can set up in advance. You could do more advanced ones, depending on which plan you're on. And again, pretty cool to be able to say, come on, and let's jump in. I'm going to put this up on your screen. Let us know what you think. And all of a sudden, it's not over there in the chat with it's always back to the camera, but it's completely submurssive. We're in the same space together here. I can completely brand this up, you know? If I wanted to make it look this way, I literally start with a blank canvas and go, where do I want to put myself? Do I like this little frame around it? Do I want it rounded or squared? And I've dropped a logo in. I'll move this chat around to a different place. It is completely fluid as to how I want to design this and lay it out. And one of the things I was just showing Ian actually before I came on, was we had to go with this. We ran like a three-hour-long zoom call. And we wanted to be able to put breaks in it, firstly, so that we could just have a break and use the bathroom if need be but also to give people a chance to do exactly the same thing. So that allowed us, we can preset the time, we can choose the music, we can choose the animation and things. But all of a sudden, we've just gone to a whole other level with our presentation. And I think, sadly, Zoom is seen as being a pretty boring place. And I think maybe it's this necessary evil that we all got forced onto Zoom, and we don't want to be doing it. But imagine when people show up to your zoom call, and all of a sudden, that's the experience they have, they're going to be coming away going. I can't believe this. This guy just did all this, and he brought this on screen, and he made music appear.

Ian Altman:

And the idea is that all of these things were showing, get surfaced through natively into Zoom. So that when I'm doing things via Zoom, what people will often say to me is they say, well, but you can't do that on Zoom, how are you doing that because I saw that you had this show up or you had that show up? So, for example, in my Same Side Selling Academy, we will often share different questions that people have. So someone will have a question and what we do is we bring it up on screen. So it can be something like this, so you'll see the question on the screen for those of you watching, but it's how do I manage a meeting and stay focused on the same side quadrants when I have a large audience of 12 plus people? And keep in mind, it's like, and I'm just pulling up things on the fly and just having things show up or disappear. But the idea is that I can do that. And people say, Well, wait a minute, you didn't share your screen? How did that show up? And sometimes I'll have it so that slides are behind me, or I'm in the slide or things like that. It’s just all about visual interest. And it's not for the gimmick of it but instead, what we have to think about is how are we keeping people engaged in our conversation? Because if they're distracted because your image is coming in and out, if they can't see what's on the screen, if they're going from full screen to not full screen, and back and forth, those are all distractions that can take away from your message. If if you're on the call, you're on a video chat, and their first thought is, the person really needs to trim their nose hairs, then you probably have that nostril cam looking up. If they say, hey, you should probably paint your ceiling, that tells you that it's not the right angle. Because right now, Adrian and I can have a conversation where we're looking face to face and see each other. In fact, there are ways that I can make it so that Adrian's on screen. So very often, we'll bring people on in Zoom side by side. In this environment, if we wanted to, I could have Adrian come in green screen and be sitting next to me, and it just it would have looked like oh like now they're in the same place. And not to say that you're gonna want to use that in every scenario, but instead, what I want you to realize is that with this Ecamm Live platform, it's something that I use in all of my Zoom meetings and all of my recordings. So everything we do in the Same Side Selling Academy we record in the same environment. The idea is that we get that interactive experience of dropping in other graphics of really engaging people that we can't do otherwise. And I will tell you that the next Coach's Corner that we, so we do a Coach's Corner in our academy the first Wednesday of every month until you showed me oh and here's the way to bring the chat in, I had forgot about doing that, which is just another example of the kinds of things that you share and teach people that we might overlook otherwise and all of a sudden I was like ah, such a fool. I should do that.

Adrian Saulsbury:

The only caution with that am before you go doing it is to know that that chat window there includes public and personal chat. So if you've got someone reach out to you and goes, that Brian's really annoying, kick him off, or something, it’s going to appear right there in front of you. So, either disable the private chat side of it. I just want to spell that one out. I don't when you can put that on.

Ian Altman:

I appreciate you sharing that. So, Adrian, what, what's the best way for people to connect with you to learn more about whether it's the Ecamm Academy or the Pro Video Academy, there are a lot of great resources you have. I want people to be able to reach out and learn more from you. Because I will tell you that if you search, if you Google just about anything related to video, Ecamm anything else, you're going to see one of hundreds of videos that Adrian generously shares freely out there, beyond his training. So, just so you know, the man is a legend in this space, but how can people find you?

Adrian Saulsbury:

Yeah, and if people are like, Why is he making all these different courses? Where's the logic in that? How can you look that good on camera, and I went? Well, to me, it's pretty straightforward. So we built this academy very much to say, this is how you get going with this equipment. I think if someone's reached out to me and said, I want to look like that, then why show four different camera options and a multitude of lighting options? So my academy is very much, here's my equipment. Here are a set of videos to show you how to do it. And now I've got a community space where you can come in, and we will tweak the lighting, and we'll get rid of you know if you're getting colored hair come through and things like that will sort that out in our community. So it started in that Pro Video Academy. And then I realized I've got an audience of people here that are then saying, oh, you know, now what do I do with it. You should be using Ecamm to make videos. So that's why we started an Ecamm Academy, and we do a YouTube Academy and a Kajabi Academy, all really around that person who we've just helped get going on camera. So any of those, they all fit under the umbrella of Adrian Salisbury Training. And adriansalisbury.com is our website where you can find all of those individual academies. The thing to say is Pro Video, you can join at any time. But the Ecamm Academy and the YouTube Academy, they both only appear twice a year. So we're about to open the doors, as you mentioned to run that for two weeks, and then it won't be up again until October. You mentioned it earlier, but that community is really powerful. I think if you'd have just downloaded my course watched the videos, that's only half of it really. It's then having a space to commit to and go it’s the kind of accountability and challenge to do it. Let's have a go at doing that and bring in some scenes. Let's go interviewing somebody. And so that's why we've kept it in that. Yeah, cohort course that you were working through together

Ian Altman:

Now, you know, and I love it because even as somebody who is a professional and considers myself a professional in terms of video presentation, I love the fact that I'd connect with a handful of people and say, Okay, we're gonna do a session tonight. We're going to do a Zoom session. We're going to play with this feature or that feature. We're gonna do a Facebook Live, and we're gonna play with these different features. And it's things that we're not for the structure in the program I would have said, Oh, cool, I can do that. And I never would have done it instead of Yeah. Now if someone says, Hey, can you go live with this, of course, because I did it half a dozen times as part of the course. Now it's comfortable for me. So and, and if you charge five times what you charge, it would still be a good value. So it's something that, you know, if I recall correctly, it's at least twice, if not three times that I've gone through the program and use this tool every day. But it's just it's a matter of I always hear or learn something new that didn't pick up, pick up on before. So I encourage people to check it out. Adrian Salisbury Training. We'll have a link in the show notes as well. But always just great information. So when this question was coming up, and people said, “How do I make it so my Zoom is not generic?” “How do I stand out these digital communications?” there was only one person to talk to you, and you were it. So, thanks so much for coming on, Adrian.

Adrian Saulsbury:

Thank you very much. I think really just as a final thing, you know, the what you don't want people to do when they come on to your Zoom call is going Oh, really? He looks an amateur. You know, she didn't look great. You know, that's what you don't want that foundation really, I really would encourage people to consider getting this camera, a microphone, lights, you know, or whatever it may it doesn't have to be mine, but this setup and really just invest in this because if you're on here, how much better for you to show up on the other end of a Zoom call and people go oh, wow, you look like a professional. So yeah, thank you, Ian.

Ian Altman:

Thank you, Adrian. Let me give people a quick 30-second recap. What I think are key pieces of information that you can use and apply to your business. First, focus on the camera because many people, me included, might focus on the lighting or other things. But the right camera, other than just a webcam, could make the difference. And Adrian’s got a lot of suggestions and guidance on where you go and what type of equipment you can get without breaking the bank. Second, make sure from a microphone standpoint, you're not just going with the lowest common denominator. For not a lot of money, you can add a microphone that's going to add good sound quality for your interactions. And then look at using other tools to better enhance the experience and engage your audience. If you're someone who's a Mac user, Ecamm live is something that I endorse incredibly. It’s what shifted me to the Mac world because when I saw this, I said, okay, I guess I'm getting a Mac now, and now I've got multiple Mac machines. So this is almost a commercial for Apple and Ecamm all at once. And of course, if you want to learn how to do all these things, visit Adrian Salisbury Training. And if you search for Adrian Salisbury, if you search for Ecamm, he'll probably come up, and he's a great resource to help you get there. So thanks again for joining me, Adrian. Thank all of you for joining me as well. And we will see you on the next Same Side Selling podcast.