Why do I keep a cardboard cutout of King Charles in my studio?

Well, no offense to Chuck, but I shopped around and he was the cheapest life-sized cardboard cutout I could find.

And why do I want a cardboard cutout in my studio?

When I give presentations, my runs through a Black Magic Design camera switcher.

That allows me to switch cameras with the touch of a button, and it also chromakeys my stream. In English, that means it makes everything green transparent so my can show behind me.

One advantage of this is that my computer—the one I broadcast from—sees this whole setup as a . If a client wants me to present on ZOOM or TEAMS or Google MEET or WEBEX, I don't have to worry about whether a particular platform supports backgrounds. My gets superimposed on top of my before the signal ever hits the software.

So back to King Charles…

When I adjust the settings in the switcher control panel—and they're a bit more complex and versatile than the automatic “ backgrounds” you may be used to in ZOOM—I have to make sure the logo on my shirt isn't transparent and that I don't get “green snow” where the machine can't distinguish between the foreground and the background.

That used to mean walking up to the and making sometimes-dozens of adjustments before I was happy with the image.

Now I just put King Charles in front of the . He models for me while I dial my settings in and I no longer have to struggle to be in front of the computer and on the stage at the same .

If you give virtual presentations beyond “plug and play,” a cardboard stand-in can save you and hassle.

Long live the king!