The Importance of Eye Contact in Presentations

Updated: Sep 6

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:


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.


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.


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

next. 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.


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 our Public Speaking and Presentations Coaching Programs.

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