Making Eye Contact with your audience is one of the non-verbal elements of communication for delivering a great presentation.
Making that connection with individuals in the audience shows “confidence in your competence” and “honesty.”
Find a Friendly Face
There are people watching and listening to your presentation who love the information you’re communicating. They are leaning forward, looking at you, and absorbing as much as they can.
Those folks reinforce the message you are doing a great job and give you energy for your talk.
- Find an individual fitting that description and give them direct eye contact.
- Finish a thought.
- Move on to another friendly face in a different part of the venue.
- Repeat. Repeat. Repeat until end of your presentation.
If You Find an Unfriendly Face
Keep looking until you find a friendly one. There are many in the room!
- People bring all kinds of “stuff” with them to events. Don’t take their unfriendly expression personally because it probably has nothing to do with your talk.
- They may have had a disagreement with a family member, have a deadline on their mind, or someone else made the decision for them to attend.
When Answering Questions
Look Directly at the Person Asking the Question
- Finish a thought.
- Move on to someone else and finish a thought.
- If you only look at the person asking the question, you’re ignoring the rest of your audience.
- Looking only at person who asked could invite another question.
- If that occurs, you may indadvertently wind up in a conversation with only that person, leaving the remainder of your audience out of the discussion.
- Repeat till the question is answered.
- DO look, throughout your talk and Q&A, at the entire audience, including people in the back, sides, and, if people are seated there, balcony areas.
Do NOT Do These
- Do NOT stare at anyone!
- No one likes to be stared at.
- Do NOT move your head like a searchlight, going back and forth over the audience.
- That motion looks weird and you’ll lose credibility.
- Do NOT just move your eyes when looking at individuals.
- Shift your stance and head when looking at people.
- Do NOT roll your eyes if someone asks a strange question or follows up on your answer with a statement you disagree with.
- Non-Verbal communication trumps verbal communication and that expression will not reflect well on you.
Follow these suggestions for Eye Contact in your presentations and they will be absolutely, positively – NO SWEAT!
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