Had a chance to sit in the rear of a large crowd today. And it just underscored the need to have constant and deliberate eye contact no matter what the size of the audience. In this case, the presenter’s eyes rarely reached halfway back, and with the stage lighting, shadows made it seem as though there was little or no glance to the audience. The problem was further exacerbated by the presenter’s need to wear glasses. Now I’m all for being able to see while on the podium, so I’ve never advocated a person who is near-sighted to skip the glasses to speak, but it just makes it all that much more important to connect with the audience through the eyes.In a large audience, the presenter must make sure that their eyes are constantly looking at the audience, and that there is a concerted effort to connect with all corners, especially those who are far away. The presenter could easily look at the first three rows and see those folks, but from the back, it looks like… he is looking down. And there’s a corollary to Rule #1 floating around, yet again.
Constantly promote eye contact with your audience.