Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Where exactly should we be diverting our eyes to?

I've just come back from a charity fashion show which fascinated me both from the perspective of listening to the stye of the compere, but moreso watching the models, who, were just regular people like you and I. What was interesting was where they all, without exception averted their gaze, right to the back so they did'nt have to interact with the people at the front.
Theres been a lot said about where presenters should look, with popular models being the W (imagine a W placed across your audience and then look at each point in turn) or the lighthouse effect, sweeping left then right etc etc. What happens in reality is that presenters more often than not fixate on a friendly face at the front and then spend the entire presentation talking to just one person (who smiles and nods as they feel uncomfortable with all the attention given to them). So where exactly should we look and how can we plan to make it seem natural, the answer lies in the environment; it will depend on the size of the audience and the room you are presenting in. As part of your planning process, think how you intend to interact using just your eyes, imagine where you will be looking when you pose direct questions or make key statements, but above all, don't forget the people in the back, they may be in the least illuminated part of the audience, but don't leave them in the dark.