Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Week 6: how do I work on eye contact?

Here's Stephanie Benoit talking about eye contact, her second priority for stepping up her speaking. Eye contact's basic and essential for good speaking: You can't succeed without it. Yet for many speakers, it's tough to focus on the audience. Why? Eye contact:

  1. May distract you.
  2. Means you have to confront your audience, directly.
  3. May show you an awkward or awful reaction.
  4. May give away what you're thinking or forgetting.

In my experience,all of those are valid concerns--but no reason to stop making eye contact! I'll be posting some coaching tips for Stephanie this week. But in the meantime, if you dread eye contact or have concerns about it, post them in the comments so we can broaden this coaching session with real-life experiences.

Speaking science: Why bullets don't work

A hat tip to Olivia Mitchell, who's taken the time to review cognitive psychology research that shows what I've long suspected: Slides full of bullet points don't help your audience to follow--or absorb--what you're trying to put across. If you're a user of slides for presentations, meetings, webinars or other purposes, be sure to read this useful post!

Related posts: How to use PowerPoint in 2009

Handling webinars & conference calls: When the audience isn't visible