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What NOT to do: Don’t look back over your shoulder

We’ve all seen people look back over their shoulder at their slide when presenting. This is not good form. 

When you look back over your shoulder it causes what’s known as ‘split attention’. Split attention is when your audience don’t know whether to look at you, or at your 

Slides (a bit like a tennis game where they swing their head from side to side. It’s annoying, confusing and reduces your effectiveness in conveying your message.

The other reason you shouldn’t do it, is it looks like you’re cheating off your slides because you are unprepared and can’t remember what’s next.  This is going to reduce your credibility.

What should you do?

If the slide is up and you want your audience to look at it because it’s complex data or a graph or chart: move to the side, look and gesture towards the slide, and don’t move – just let your audience focus on the slide. Then either move to the next slide that’s just a picture so you can stand in from of it,  Or you could blank your slide (‘b’ key on the computer) walk back to the middle and reclaim your audience’s attention.

Remember, don’t look back over your shoulder at your slides. 

Happy presenting!

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