When I was competing on the speech team in high school, one of the fellow contestants gave his entire speech to the black board … his back to the rest of us in the room. Obviously, he was having some eye contact issues … there was none. Hopefully, you won’t […]
Category Archives: The Power of Eye Contact
By Featured Speaker Arvee Robinson
1. Getting there late.
Walking frantically into a room full of people who have been waiting for you to arrive can be an embarrassing situation. Unless you are a magician, you might as well turn around and leave. It would take a miracle to get this audience to forget the inconvenience you have caused them. They probably have already passed judgment on you, deciding you’re an inconsiderate speaker rather than a viable expert in your field. Make the extra effort to arrive at least 1/2 hour before the event begins.
2. Apologizing before you start.
Starting off your presentation with “Uh, I’m sorry that I . . .” is the quickest, most assured way to lose your audience’s attention and leave them cold. Remember, YOU are the expert and true experts have nothing to be sorry for. The audience doesn’t care if you have a cold, woke up late, got caught in traffic, or tripped on a banana skin. All they care about is what information you’re going to give them that will benefit them in the shortest amount of time. Remember Love Story-“Love means never having to say you’re sorry.”
When I was competing in speech in high school I remember one speech very clearly: The young man got up in front of the room, faced the chalk board with his back to us and gave his entire speech in that position.
I remember being shocked. He was in a competition. What was he doing?
I believe he was not looking at us to help him deal with his nerves.
But I can tell you another thing he was doing … he was making his speech very forgettable. I have no recollection what his topic was. All I remember was spending 10 to 15 minutes looking at the back of his suit.
Eye contact helps bring your audience into your presentation. It helps make them feel engaged and, for some, validated. It helps your audience root for you and the success of your presentation.
There will be times that you have to read a speech from a document. In this week’s video I give you a few pointers on how to do it while still maintaining a connection with your audience. Print the text large enough so you can read it without leaning […]