Dan Keldsen is the co-founder and CEO of PlexiCam. PlexiCam is a product that allows you to put your camera at eye level and look professional without taking up a lot of space. You hang it on your screen, connect it to a camera, set it to eye level, and you're done. It is a tripod alternative that is easier to adjust for your virtual presenting. PlexiCam was a sponsor of our debut Present to Succeed Conference.

In this episode with him, we talk about virtual presenting, PlexiCam, the quality of online video presentations, audience engagement, social networks, and professional networking for speakers.

How Dan got into the world of presenting

Dan shared that he has studied Music at Berkeley, but that he had been more interested in its teamwork music more than the performance. He learned then that you have to be engaging and persuasive on stage, or otherwise, nobody will listen to a dull band. After graduating, Dan went to behind the scenes and started his IT career, and in 1994, he founded a company with his current business partner. After seeing business presentations, Dan saw how music has taught him a few things about presenting anything on stage.

PlexiCam was necessary to happen, Dan said. We all need the proper equipment, especially for virtual presentations. When you give presentations in person, it is another person’s problem to have the lights, provide you with the microphone, set up the projection. But when it is only you on the other side of the camera it takes a fair amount of work.

Some world-class speakers dominate on the stage in front of even fifty thousand people, but they do not know anything about virtual presenting. They do not have the equipment, or they do not know what light temperature is, and so on.

How PlexiCam was created

Dan’s business partner, Tom, had always been a futurist and looking ahead at what is coming. He had started to experiment with doing videos online about twelve years ago. Dan says that it was very expensive and difficult back then, so Tom actually created the PlexiCam then and picked it up only in 2019 again. And when the pandemic hit, they founded the company and finished the product.

They have another company that produces virtual events that do not look like every other zoom call you have been to called veventaas. Dan mentioned that our virtual conference Present to Succeed was high-quality and well-designed but that this is still a rare case, even a year and a half after the pandemic.

So when the pandemic hit and through veventaas, they were working with customers – they sent their clients PlexiCam with Logitech camera to beta test for higher-quality video. These speakers appreciated that they set them up for success with this equipment.

Is delivering the presentation the start, middle, or the end

Is a presentation the start, middle, or end of your relationship with your audience? Dan says that no success is overnight, so it takes a lot of time before you even hit the stage. And unless you are a one-hit-wonder you always have more after the presentation is done. There is word-of-mouth marketing after that that if you want you to have to be good.

Dan mentioned a book called “The Referable Speaker: Your Guide to Building a Sustainable Speaking Career” by Michael Port and Andrew Davis. You do not want to be known as someone that can talk about everything. The best way to have word-of-mouth is to be the fill-in-the-blank person in your company or among people.

Dan noted that some people get so worked up with a presentation that they forget that the entire world exists and people talk to other people and that word-of-mouth can become a self-fulfilling agent of growth. When you have a presentation, you should think about what happened before you have gotten to the stage and then what does it move forward after that presentation. It is a chain reaction.

Moreover, you never know how one good presentation can lead you to so many opportunities. So make all of them good.

Social networks, professional networking, and your digital presence

Dan also mentions how he saw how his online presence has led him to one of the biggest consultancy gigs for him. And it all happened from a tweet on Twitter that was not even supposed to be published.

You cannot control the exponential development that is happening online, but online you can plant the seeds to make it possible for people to find you. You can reach out to people based on that past evidence you can find of them on Google. Leave that evidence yourself so that people can see and find you and decide for themselves if they like you.

Dan gave an example with Tom Peters, who is a business management guru. He has always given away his massive decks. He gives away the slides so people can find him and come back to him. If people know you have something to say for presentations, they will reach out to you.

Treating your online presence seriously and use it for professional networking. Do not be paranoid about it, but leverage those outside forces of social media like LinkedIn. People will be googling you and decide to contact you or not based on that. Put it out there and take advantage of it.

And what happens after the presentation is over? You continue that relationship with the audience after that presentation is over. You don’t need to be pushy, but you need to be easy for people to find you again.

Resources

You can connect with Dan Keldsen on his LinkedIn or check out his company PlexiCam here.

Listen to the full episode!