13 Secrets of Effective Presentation Skills – Secret #11

Secret #11 – Look at everyone

This is one the most powerful Secrets of all. It is so obvious, yet few do this well. What are the typical traps?

One of the biggest mistakes is to look too much at your screen or slides. Far too many people use the slides as their notes. In fact the way they prepare is to create a host of slides, then wonder how to talk round them.


Get your ideas, the start, the message/AIM and content headings together first on paper. Decide what these are and THEN make your notes. LAST of all, create your slides.

Other pitfalls include finding a friendly face and dwelling too long on them, failing to look at those on either side of you, being buried in or worse reading your notes. When presenting sitting across a table or to a small group, there is often a strong temptation just to focus on the senior person there.


By all means give them good eye contact, but ALWAYS look at every one else round the table as well. If they are part of the audience, then they are almost sure to be part of the decision making. You are most unlikely to know the true dynamics across the table. If you avoid looking at someone, they are going to feel unengaged, ignored or both. When you leave the room and they talk and decide, if you haven’t looked at them, they are going to make negative comments and judgements – and lessen the chance of you securing or keeping the business.



Best wishes