Why Your Audience Needs to See You During a Presentation

A presenter only has a matter of seconds to capture the attention of their audience. Within the first few moments of the presentation, the audience decides whether or not they trust the speaker. With so much at stake, presenters need to make the most of this precious time. If they fail to connect with the audience, the rest of the presentation becomes meaningless. For this reason, it is critical that your audience can see you throughout the presentation. Your body language, stance, and eye contact has the power to either push your audience away or win them over. Delivering a great presentation is about more than interesting content and a flashy slideshow. The key to a successful presentation is building a connection with the audience, and this can only take place when the audience sees you. 


Establish a Connection with the Audience

Meaningful eye contact is one of the most powerful ways a presenter can connect with and persuade their audience. It is necessary to build a rapport with the audience and engage them in the presentation. When the audience can see the presenter and the presenter can see them, it creates a bond between the speaker and the listener and this makes for a more personal connection. When a presenter looks the audience in the eye, they are more likely to buy into the message. 


It Improves Concentration

It can be difficult for audience members to concentrate on the presentation if they can’t see the speaker. A room full of people, the echo of a microphone, and the various sounds in the room can be distracting. Focusing their attention on the speaker and making eye contact with them can help them to concentrate on the message. 


Projects Confidence and Credibility

When your audience cannot see you, you appear less confident and your message immediately becomes less believable. A speaker’s body language has the power to project authority and convey confidence. When you can look your audience in the eye, it gives you power and demonstrates that you are knowledgeable and credible. Eye contact is also one of the most powerful ways to communicate conviction and passion about what you are saying. 


Engages with Your Audience

When your listeners can see your eyes scanning their faces, they feel invited to engage with you and become involved in the presentation. They are encouraged to show their feelings by nodding in agreement, smiling,  or skeptically raising their eyebrows. As a result, your listeners become participants in the dialogue and the presentation suddenly becomes more like a conversation. 


In order to deliver a meaningful presentation, the audience must be able to see the presenter. By looking into the eyes of the audience, the speaker is showing assertion, building a rapport, transforming the listeners into participants, and creating a two-way dialogue that will resonate with the audience.