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How to Look and Sound Compelling Online

Updated: Jun 29


It can be challenging to exude executive presence in a virtual world. Here are some ways to seem more commanding when you’re on a computer screen.

  • Sit as far back in the seat as possible. Keep a straight and strong back and rest your arms on the chair’s arms. Keep your shoulders open and squared to the screen.

  • Place a cushion in the small of your back to keep a strong upright sitting posture. Ensure you lock your chair to prevent rocking back and forth when you lean back.

  • After the initial greetings, open your conversation confidently with your prepared message.

  • Your audience will appreciate you getting down to business.

  • Speak to the camera, not your screen. This is the toughest thing to do, and it takes conscious practice. If you look at the person’s image on your screen, your eyes will seem as though you’re looking down. When you look straight into the camera, the other party perceives you’re making eye contact with them.

  • Gesture above the table but below your chin. Use hand gestures to support and animate your message delivery while keeping your listeners engaged.

  • Similarly, use your voice to good effect. Articulate your words fully and use appropriate vocal variety to keep your listeners’ attention.

  • Keep your message short and sharp. Video calls are much more mentally draining than in-person encounters, so remind yourself: less is more.

  • Smile 20% more than you would normally do. A smile builds rapport and helps you sell your ideas.

  • Keep an attentive expression through the call, especially when you’re not speaking.

Bring your best self into every situation. Red Shoe coaches executives to be conscious of and deliberate in their choices when communicating their messages.

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