The Importance of Eye Contact in PresentationsJul 27, 2022
A good presentation can help you convince a client to seal a deal. Strong presentation skills can lead you to success by impressing the audience, standing out from the competition, and connecting with stakeholders. This is why Business News Daily states that a weak presentation can be the difference between success and failure. In fact, 1 in 25 people have reported walking out of a presentation that lasted too long and 25% admitted to having been so uninterested in the material that they fell asleep. Poor presentation skills can cost both you and your clients time, opportunity, and money. So aside from having organized slides and a good flow, presentation skills must be sharpened. One of these is eye contact, which many may not give much importance to compared to other presentation elements like their script. However, eye contact is vital in presentations and here are the reasons why:
It Displays Confidence
Psychology Today notes that direct eye contact has been researched to be associated with confidence and interest. As the presenter, you want to establish your confidence — it shows your expertise regarding the topic at hand. This way, your audience will be convinced that you’re trustworthy enough for them to sign an agreement or invest in your company, for example. Eye contact also expresses interest in your audience. With it, you can gauge their reactions. For example, if they look confused, perhaps it’s the perfect time to ask if they have any questions or clarifications. It displays the fact that you want them to understand what you’re saying, which can be beneficial towards the end of your presentation as it can end with you entering into an agreement.
It Increases Engagement
Keeping the audience engaged during the presentation is essential in making an impact. By pulling them in and gaining their full attention, they’ll have a better understanding of the topic at hand. Having the audience participate by giving answers or asking questions is beneficial, as it will naturally allow them to engage and show interest in the meeting. LHH explains that eye contact is the most effective way to engage the audience. This turns the presentation into a conversation rather than a performance, which is what you want. This way, everyone is involved in the conversation, instead of you doing all the talking and them being listeners only.
It Helps You Concentrate
When your eyes pan to different people or things at once, you can get easily distracted. For instance, turning your attention toward something on the wall could make you lose track and lead you to forgetting what you have to say Focusing your eyes on someone for 5 to 6 seconds will improve your concentration, as it will slow down your speech. An added bonus of this is that will lessen any anxiety you may feel. A good tip to maintain eye contact is to think of the audience as a group of individuals.
It Builds a Connection
Building a connection with the audience is beneficial for both parties. When they feel this connection through eye contact, they are more likely to listen to you. In turn, this benefits you because you’re sure that they are listening intently to what you are saying. It will also hold their attention and as a presenter, this ensures that none of your hard work goes to waste. Lastly, this connection assures them that you’re not only presenting to gain something — you’re also paying attention to their reactions and thoughts.
Eye contact is not something that should be overlooked, because it’s just as important as other elements of a presentation. For further assistance, do check out Powerhouse Motivations' Public Speaking and Presentations Coaching Programs.
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