Giving Too Much Eye Contact

Written by Pam Chambers

Imagine that you are speaking to a group of people and Mr. Lau raises his hand to ask a question. If you were trained, as I was, to give eye contact to the person with whom you are speaking, you will likely make this mistake: You will give too much eye contact to Mr. Lau.

Mr. Lau will become uncomfortable with all of this attention, and may glance away. You should notice this and spread your eye contact among others in the group.

If you don’t, people may conclude two things:

1) This topic involves only Mr. Lau.

2) Therefore, I can tune out, look at my phone, or chat with my neighbor.

Here is the proper procedure for answering questions:

  1. Repeat the question for all to hear.
  2. Respond by making eye contact with several people in the room.
  3. Thank the person for his/her question, being specific about how the question added value.
  4. Know exactly how you will move on.