I’m not talking about saliva. I’m talking about eye contact.A common mistake of speakers in front of large audiences is to “spray” their eye contact back and forth — passing over their audience instead of connecting. Many also let that head movement translate to their whole body and sway back and forth. In many cases, I’ve seen speakers take a 180-degree path of vision in less than a second, and then continue to oscillate at that pace. The speaker thinks they’re connecting with everybody — in reality, they are connecting with nobody (at least based on eye contact).In a large group (hundreds and more), it is impossible to catch every single soul with direct eye contact. But it’s possible to make them all think you did. As you connect and stick with specific areas, individuals think you’re talking directly to them. Find and stick with an attentive soul for a few seconds. Then pick a completely different area of the audience (not the next section over every time) and repeat. Pause, turn, and repeat. Ready, aim, fire. Pause. Repeat. The goal is get them engaged. If you skim by them, they know you’re not talking to them, but rather moving over them. The result is disinterest and disengagement.This skill is related to movement, but can be done well standing still.

Connect with your entire audience — no matter how large — with good eye contact.

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