Nervous? Why is looking at the back of the room when presenting is a really really bad idea?

When people in your audience, regardless of size feel that you are talking directly to each of them, they feel connected to you as a speaker or presenter. They tend to value what you are saying more highly, and tend to pay more attention and become less bored. There are a number of ways to get connected, but perhaps the most important involves eye contact.

Many books and trainers intending to help you get over nervousness suggest that when you present you should look at a point above the audience’s heads — somewhere at the back wall. Their assumption is that the audience will not notice or be affected negatively. They are dead wrong.

They will notice, either consciously or unconsciously. You may appear odd, spacy or inattentive to them as you talk and avoid looking at them. Even if they do not come away with any overtly negative perceptions of you as a speaker or person, they will not get the feeling of personal contact that you want to create.

You’re going to have to get over your nervousness related to public speaking eventually, if you have to do it fairly often, and the little trick of looking at the back of the room isn’t really all that helpful anyway. Lose it.

Views: 6

Leave a Reply