Presentation Feature: Eye contact

What is it?

The presenter looks at the members of the audience, rather than at their slides, the computer screen, their notes or the floor/ceiling.

Why is it important?

The audience is the most important thing in a presentation. Without them, there would be no reason to present. Eye contact shows the presenter’s respect to the audience and makes them the focus of the presentation. The audience feels the presenter is communicating with them, not talking for their own benefit or even ignoring the audience completely.

How is it done?

The presenter looks at the audience while they are talking. If the presenter is describing something commonly known they look at the audience, and move their head slowly from side to side as they speak, to ensure that they make eye contact with as many people in the audience as possible, not just one small section of the audience. Presenters usually look at the audience when they address them directly as ‘you’ or when they pose questions for the audience to consider. Often they will use notes to make sure they give accurate information, but even then a good presenter will glance up at the audience at natural pauses in speech to maintain eye contact.

See Examples