The Norfolk Island Country Music Festival programme included a gospel hour at the beautiful All Saints Church in Kingston. It is a fantastic 90 minutes in a beautiful setting, and the music is completely unplugged – no microphones, no amplifiers – just the artists and their acoustic instrument backing.
It’s a pity that only three of the nine artists performing were schooled in a basic rule of any stage to ensure that the audience feels included in their presentation. When you stand in front of me and have something to say or sing, I want to feel as if you are talking or singing to me. How do you achieve that? Simple – make eye contact – look at me!
I know that you can’t necessarily look at everybody in the audience, but there is an art when making any presentation. You can scan the audience left and right, you can fix eye contact with one person, or a group of people momentarily, or if you are uncomfortable with that, you can fix your eyes on something at the back of the room, and scan left and right occasionally.
Our daughter-in-law Lisa Lorrell, a trained singer and performer, has completely mastered the art of making eye contact. I have been in several of her audiences and I always have the feeling that she is singing to me - and I would bet most of the audience feel the same – because she looks straight at me or to somebody sitting close to me, momentarily in all of her performances.
So this is no different than if you are making a presentation to your target market. Don’t look at the ceiling, or your slide presentation. Make eye contact with everybody in the room so that they feel that you are truly talking to them.
And if you feel that you need help with that, give me a call.