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See what Neutral, the Honorable Winifred Y. Smith (Ret.), former Presiding Judge for the Alameda County Superior Court, has to say about her experience with Gerrel 1 Button. She uses Gerrel 1 Button Mini TV Studio extensively for Mediations, Arbitrations, and Webinars. In an age of Zoom Arbitration and Teams mediation, the Gerrel 1 Button restores Judicial Command Presence giving arbitrators that back in chambers optimal judicial context starting with the physical ‘law library’ backdrop seen behind Judge Winifred Smith.

Not quite convinced?

Why Does Your Background Matter? Even More for Neutrals!

What is the first thing we all do when visiting somebody’s office or home? We look at how the room is decorated and don’t just casually notice. We critically JUDGE the style of furniture, the layout of the room, coordination of color scheme, pictures on the wall, lighting fixtures, professional or non-professional ambiance, status, and wealth. We are looking for symbols, signs, and landmarks that help us orient ourselves within that location. Then, we assign these values to that individual regarding competence, intelligence, wealth, and professional level before even a single word has been spoken. This all happens within the first 7 seconds, according to neuroscience. Simply put, we are all a bit nosey.

First Impressions Matter

Neurologically, this is called the power of recency. First impressions are remembered longer and are given greater weight than subsequent impressions. Your background is the first non-verbal statement you have chosen to frame who you are and what you stand for. Your background stays the same during your Zoom (or Teams or Meets) call. 

Judicial Command Presence. Does Your Background Have It?

Backgrounds are either an enhancement or detraction for the person in front of the neutral. You have long realized how important it is to have a “Judicial Command Presence “when you are communicating in person,” i.e., you “own the room.” Your sheer physical stature and the physical aspects of the conference room, wood-paneled walls, the conference table, and executive chairs all frame the conversation’s professionalism, competence, and seriousness.  

In the virtual world, all participants have no unique physical presence, and everyone is the same size on the screen. It is impossible to tell if someone is 6ft. 9 inches or 4ft 9 inches. The net result is an exponential increase in the importance of your background’s power to frame your professionalism and exhibit your Judicial Command Presence. 

Wait – Aren’t My Words Important?

Less important than you may think. 93% of the time, people determine whether you connect with them in Trust and Creditability based on how you look (55% -visual/facial cues) and how you sound (38% – voice/tone and resonance). Words (literal meaning) only account for 7% of the decision-making process. This is based on published studies by UCLA Psychology Professor Emeritus Albert Mehrabian.

Why Should I Care? Only if You Want to Increase your Referral Rate.

Either you own and control what your background says about you, or your background will frame you so poorly that it could be sabotaging your referrals.  

7 Types of Backgrounds – Which One Is Best for My Business? 

The purpose of your background is to either hide the room and maintain your privacy or to help you promote your brand and establish trust.

1. Home Office in front of a bookcase full of impressive novels or your kitchen with a cake on the counter. Admit it; people are nosy and judgmental and can’t help themselves. They will spend more time looking at your home than listening to you. There are no signs, symbols, or landmarks of Judicial Command Presence.

2. A Green Screen: The purpose of a green screen is to allow you the flexibility to utilize any digital background you like, yet turn your head, and you will lose half of your face. The awkward glow around your head can be very distracting. Have you noticed that you blended into the background? It’s a pervasive problem with Zoom (Microsoft Teams, Google Meets, or Webex backgrounds). In a recent discussion with a Gerrel 1 Button customer, she referred to herself as looking like a ‘disembodied ghost’ when utilizing her virtual background. There are no signs, symbols, or landmarks of Judicial Command Presence. 

3. A White Wall: When your background is just a white wall, you look like you are in a hostage video. Or worse yet, this is an interrogation room. It’s what your background isn’t saying as much as what it is saying that genuinely matters for neutrals.

4. Bright Window Behind You: With a light source behind you, it is impossible to see your face. You look like you are part of the witness protection program. If those before you can’t see your face clearly, they can’t read your facial expression. It is hard to recommend someone they felt they couldn’t connect with.

5. Bright, Elaborate Artwork or sculpture – When your background is overwhelming, everyone focuses on the complicated background instead of the discussions. Have you ever found yourself hyper-fixated on what’s behind the person speaking and lost track of what they have said? We all have.

6. Blur-the-Background- This immediately tells whoever is viewing you that you are hiding where you are. It also says wherever you are may not be the professional type of location where they would expect to find someone of your caliber. Finally, this background has eliminated all the signs and symbols that indicate your professional competence, knowledge, trust, and wisdom. There are no signs, symbols, or landmarks of that back in chambers look.

7. Gerrel 1 Button: Physical Background – The only authentic and credible option. The Gerrel 1 Button physical background provides the signs, symbols, or landmarks of Judicial Command Presence. If you have seen the error message ‘Your Computer doesn’t meet the minimum requirements to use this feature without a green screen background,’ you understand why the Gerrel 1 Button comes with a physical background. 

Visit our portfolio showing just a sample of our physical background images.