When you speak to an audience, where and who do you look at? That is a question that is asked of many speaking coaches. It is important for any speaker to look and establish eye contact with your audience. If you are speaking to a small group whether in a classroom or in a small conference room, it is very easy to establish eye contact in those type of situations. It is simply looking at few individuals and establishing eye contact for 2 or 3 seconds to help form a bond. The difficulty comes when you are in a large room in front of 300-500 people. Where do you look? My experience has been to divide your audience into 5 sections. Two sections on the left and 2 sections on the right side of the room with one section in the middle. Find a friendly face to look at in each of these 5 sections. As you give your speech seek out these faces and establish eye contact and form a bond. Obviously in a large room each of your audience members will assume you are looking at them. However a bit of advice, don’t treat the room as a ping-pong table. Try not to establish a pattern of moving you back and forth like a ping-pong game.
Try to seek those faces and enjoy yourself!