How to Make Natural Eye Contact With Your Audience

Eye contact may outweigh “ear contact.”

Pro tip:

Make real eye contact with individuals in your audience as if you’re talking one on one with each person in the room for three to five seconds.

When I worked on the public seminar circuit, we would have surprise auditors. One auditor showed up unannounced at a seminar I was conducting in San Antonio, Texas. (You always knew an auditor when you saw one. They would walk into the meeting venue three minutes before starting time and sit on the front row with a big clipboard and checklist in hand. I’m sweating just thinking about it again.)

At the end of the afternoon, the auditor and I debriefed. He said, “Mandi, do you realize you spent at least 90 percent of your time standing on the left-hand side of the stage talking to the people on that side of the room? You rarely even glanced at those of us seated to your right. I’ll bet if we check your evaluations, those of us on the right rated you lower than people seated on the left.”

He was correct. What an eye opener! (Pun intended.) Half of my audience that day may have felt ignored, simply because of my lazy eye contact habits. That’s when I became more cognizant of the importance of real eye contact and nonverbal know-how.



To customize a keynote or professional development session that will have your audience laughing and learning, contact Mandi Stanley.


Certified Speaking Professional Mandi Stanley works with business leaders who want to boost their professional image by becoming better speakers and writers through interactive high-content keynotes, breakout sessions, workshops, technical writing seminars, and fun proofreading classes. 


Photo source