Where should our eyes be .... when we are presenting, that is?
Imagine you are talking to someone, and the person you are talking to does not look at you directly, and keeps wandering his or her eyes away from you. What would you feel? Awkward? Uncomfortable? Do not feel trusted?
You are right. In fact, it is a basic courtesy to look at someone when we speak. The same philosophy goes to when we are giving a speech or presentation.
Our eyes should be targeted at the most important direction - our audience! By looking directly at our audience, it shows our commitment and sincerity in our speeches. The audience will then be glued to us.
Here are two Pitfalls of Eye Contacts that you should avoid when presenting:
1) Random Eyes - When you are presenting, avoid glancing or darting or eyes away from the audience. You will not look confident.
2) Abandon Eyes - Do not desert your eyes from the audience by mostly looking at your notes or looking at the powerpoint slides. The audience will feel disconnected and you will lose your audience instantly.
Here are 3 Eye Connection methods to strive for:
1) Friendly Eyes - Start with a smile and look at each audience at least 2-3 seconds before moving on to the next one
2) Look at EVERY person! - Yes. Everyone counts. Strive to look at every person in the room. Audience will feel connected if you connect with them
3) Prepared with content - It is okay to glance your slides or notes once in awhile but by being prepared with your content, you do not have to rely on the notes to speak, so you can focus on looking at the audience.
Give it a try and share your experiences.
Till then, thank you for your readership. Towards communication excellence - create a presence, make a difference.
Founder, The Speaking Factory Pte Ltd
Author, The Stage Fright Antidote!
From the Editor
The Speaking Factory is founded by Hazriq Idrus, Asia's Trusted Workplace Creativity, Creative Leadership and Public Speaking Strategist, with a mission to help organisations enhance people potential and organisational performance. Hazriq is the author of The Stage Fright Antidote and co-authored eight other books.
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