Lesson 19º








Eye Contact

When you are talking in public, eye contact plays a fundamental part.

It is an excellent way to connect with the audience.

The public likes that the person that is speaking gives them some eye contact.

A speaker that does not look at the audience gives the impression that he/she is scared or lacks interest.

When you look at the public you need to try and give an open, pleasant, optimistic, smiling image.

Being friendly will win you the audience.

When you go up on to the stage the first thing you have to do is greet the audience and look at them.

You need to try and and look at the whole room, focusing on the different areas (but avoid a "sweeping" effect as if you were a spotlight).

Instead of looking at the mass, try to look at individual faces, moving your eye contact between the public and looking at determined people, trying to cover the whole audience.

Sometimes, not knowing you do it, you will commit the typical error of looking at one deterined area in the room (for example, at the people that are sitting in the front rows, or the right part of the auditorium).

The rest of the people might think that you are not paying them enough attention.

The advantage of improvising the speech, using support notes instead of reading it, is that it is a lot easier to look at the public.

Anyway, although the speech is being read you have to try and maintain visual contact with the audience (you can not bury yourself in reading it and not look up from the paper; this is not very elegant and the audience will disconnect).

When there are moments of silence you need to look at the public.

Try to instensify the connexion between "speaker-audience".

When someone is thinking up a question you should look at them, however when you respond glance at the whole audience (everyone might be interested in knowing the answer).