Confidence Tip #2: the Cigarette Man and Digital Presence

Tips from our confidence building classes for adults:

The Executive Presence Training.

Ever notice how video meetings show every stray hair?! Yikes. We get it. And, video meetings aren’t just for the Jetsons anymore. Video meetings are here to stay.

But, here’s the good news: Never before have you had the opportunity for such one-on-one interactions. Zoom, Meet, Teams – they bring you up front and personal to key stakeholders, your colleagues, your team.

Video meetings are essentially face-to-face meetings. You have the absolute presence of your key stakeholder! Treat it as such. How would you prepare for a face to face meeting? Do the same level of prep in your video meetings.​

Here are 4 specific tips to boost your perceived confidence and digital presence during video meetings:

  1. Adjust the view of your head.

Monitor: Adjust your monitor so that the top of your head is aligned with the top of the computer screen. It’s worth the hassle. 2 crucial benefits:

– This aligns your eyes with your camera – and naturally gives the impression that you are looking into your stakeholders’ eyes (you don’t want to look meek, right?)

It makes you look BIG. Credible. Weighty (in a good way!).

Riser: If your camera is embedded in your laptop, use a riser to raise your laptop so that your eyes are at the same level as your video cam. Laundry hamper, cardboard box, we’ve seen it all, and they’re all great. Digital meetings are not going away: take some time to get yourself set up for success.

  1. Evaluate your lighting source:

– Unless you want to match the riveting, mysterious persona of X-File’s Cigarette Man (and who here would not love this?) make sure your lighting source – such as a window – is not in back of you; if so, your face will be shadowed or obscured. All kidding aside, shadowing makes it hard for others to connect with you – and it makes you look as if you lack…well, um, let me see…oh yes: confidence. Shadowing makes you appear as if you’re frightened and hiding. Confidence Tip straight from our Executive Presence Training: Come up front; claim your space. OWN it: you’ll look more confident.

– Similarly, if a light is above you, make sure it’s at least 4 feet above to avoid odd shadows and light patterns on your face.

  1. Clean up your background. I know, you’ve heard this before. But, do it. In our post-COVID world, you’ll get lots of mileage from this spot.

– A cluttered background makes you look scattered.

– A fresh background makes you look fresh. Find a painting, photo or virtual background that gives you a breath of fresh air; after all, you’ll be seeing this image behind you via Zoom often.

– Omit beds or other bedroom vibes (a little creepy); this is true even if your home office is in the bedroom or if you’re connecting via a hotel room

  1. Before the call, do a dry run:
  • Turn off the volume on your phone and laptop notifications
  • Prepare how you’ll create warm rapport before you get down to business (we teach how)
  • Make sure your video software is installed and up-to-date
  • Check your video appearance before the call begins

Time to get your game on: the Jetsons await!


p.s. You can get personalized feedback about how YOU come across. In a safe atmosphere, in our confidence building classes for adults we will help you identify and clear away your insecurity ‘tells’ (we all have them). Many employers reimburse for these leadership webinars.

2 options to receive The Executive Presence Training and our confidence building classes for adults


  • Only 12 seats – RESERVE YOUR SEAT NOW (single-seat options are rare)
  • Live Facilitation via Zoom (facilitated by Founder Sioux Messinger)
  • 90% interactive
  • Personalized feedback for each participant
  • 12 SHRM + HRCI Credits
  • Reviews | Course Content
  • Exciting and Empowering
  • Many employers reimburse for our management training webinars


Option 2: Workplace or Groups’ confidence building classes for adults, The Executive Presence Training.

  • Live Facilitation via Zoom with Founder Sioux Messinger, the same facilitator who’ve powered up leaders from Facebook, HP and more.
  • Reviews | Course Content
  • 90% interactive. HUGE ROI. Immensely team building.

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