Sunday, March 8, 2009

photographer's tips on eye contact & more

TED, the technology/education/design conference, hires a photographer to capture its dynamic speakers, and James Duncan Davidson offers this "dear speakers" essay on everything from taking off your name tag to how to move effectively around the speaking space. Since some of our readers recently asked questions about eye contact and connecting with the audience, take a look at his advice on where to look. He says eye contact will:
...make them feel like you are addressing them. Obviously, there are many people in the audience and you can’t look at all of them at once. The good news is that you don’t have to. If you pick a few people in various places of the audience and lock eye contact with them, everyone else around them will feel that. It works. If it helps, you can lock eyes with friendly people that you know in the audience. Don’t have any friends out there? You can make some talking to a few people before you go up on stage. Then, when you make eye contact with them, you are making eye contact with the audience and connecting with them.

Four talks for International Women's Day

The sun's setting on International Women's Day here on the east coast of the United States, but here's a great collection of speeches by powerful women from around the world to honor the day. These come to us courtesy of the social-media blog Mashable, which pointed me to TED--the technology, education and design conference--for its blog post highlighting speeches by four outstanding women: author and activist Isabel Allende, Nigerian finance minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, scientist Nalini Nadkarni and singer Nellie McKay. What's exciting for speakers hoping to follow in their footsteps: You can see video of each speaker and find what you can borrow from her technique. Want to speak about women's issues? The International Women's Day website offers facts and figures about the state of women's lives around the world.