Neutral, the Honorable Winifred Y. Smith (Ret.), former Presiding Judge for the Alameda County Superior Court, discusses her Gerrel 1 Button experience with founder Langston Johnson. She uses Gerrel 1 Button Home/Office Video Studio extensively for Mediations, Arbitrations, and Webinars. In an age of Zoom and Teams mediation, the Gerrel 1 Button restores Judicial Command Presence giving arbitrators that back in chambers optimal judicial context starting with the physical backdrop seen behind Judge Winifred Smith.

Focus group data has shown that the referral rate for a physical “back in chambers” background is 50% greater than the commonly used digital “blur-the-background” offered on Zoom.

Neutral, The Hon. Winifred Y. Smith (Ret.) speaks with Langston Johnson

Here is a transcript of the Judge Smith interview with our Gerrel 1 Button founder Langston Johnson:

Langston Johnson: Judge Smith, thank you again for agreeing to speak with me today and sharing your experience with using the Gerrel 1 Button.

Judge Smith: Absolutely. I’m happy to do that.

Langston Johnson: Thanks again. Before experiencing that Gerrel 1 Button, what was your setup for mediation on Zoom?

Judge Smith: Well, my setup was oriented with the desk toward the wall so that my bookcase was behind me, and then I would use the screen on my computer, which I think has a 15 or 14-inch screen.

Langston Johnson: What bothered you about your original setup?

Judge Smith: The lighting can vary in the room depending on what kind of day it is, and then the lighting is fixed in a room, and it is not designed for a sort of studio performance, so to speak. I found that when I used the backgrounds supplied, I looked like a disembodied ghost, and so did other people on Zoom. The thing that was difficult was that my eyes would get really tired. When you have a very small image of the people, you’re talking to. You know, a lot of what you do is you gauge responses, you gauge demeanor that affects that sort of thing. It’s a little harder when you’re looking at a small screen.

Langston Johnson: You mentioned Zoom fatigue a bit earlier in our conversation. Has that been something that’s gone away when using the Gerrel 1 Button?

Judge Smith: My eyes are less fatigued using the Gerrel 1 Button. I have a much larger screen. I feel like I’m physically in the same space with the parties I’m talking to, which makes it a lot easier, I feel, to communicate for me to read their expressions, for them to read my expressions and to understand and basically connect over the issues that we need to resolve.

Langston Johnson: Right. Are you able just to look at the monitor as if you’re having that across-the-table conversation? And I’m guessing it’s also helpful because you’re not having to do the ping pong eyes or looking up at the camera, then looking back down at your monitor to look him in the face and then looking back up, you’re able to avoid the ping-ponging up and down.

Judge Smith: Now that you mentioned it, I forgot that I ever did it, which is really wonderful because you can just focus on the things you need to do, which is communicate with whoever you’re talking to. And also, because there are multiple parties on the same side in a breakout room, you have more than one image. So also, it’s for ease of communication. You’re right. I’m not doing this and this and moving my head because I can see everything pretty much in my line of sight.

Langston Johnson: It’s called the Gerrel 1 Button. Have you found it to be easy to use that one button to do your mediation session?

Judge Smith: Absolutely. It really does allow me to sort of forget about everything else and just focus on the work I’m doing.

Langston Johnson: Thank you again, Judge Smith, for taking the time to speak with me and discuss your personal experience with using the Gerrel 1 Button office video conferencing studio. We really appreciate it. And yeah, thanks again for joining us today.

Judge Smith: Oh, you were very welcome. More than happy to do it. I’m enjoying this just a lot.

The Gerrel 1 Button Home/Office Mini TV Studio is purpose-built to place Neutrals in a context that maximizes their ability to look great, connect and establish Judicial Command Presence, Trust and Empathy with a TV production quality camera (embedded skin-smoothing algorithm), two professional lights tuned to your unique skin tone, physical background that establishes Judicial Command Presence, a 43” 4K monitor that reduces Zoom eye fatigue, and a professional broadcast quality microphone that capture your natural tone an resonance, all controlled with 1 Button.

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