The Importance of the Eye-line

In a television interview keep your eye-line to the interviewer, as you want to look focused, not shifty – this is really key to the impression you create. Many people look up or down when they are trying think about what they want to say. However, if you do not appear to be looking the interviewer in the eye, you arouse suspicion that you are not telling the truth – body language experts can read quite a lot into exactly how you react when you are answering a question truthfully, as opposed to when you may be trying to hide something. If, as sometimes happens in a studio debate, you are asked questions by more than one person, deliver your answer to the person who asked the question, so any eye-line movement will tend to occur while you are listening, rather than while you are speaking. With a down-the-line interview, where you are in a remote studio, you will hear the questions through an earpiece or small loudspeaker – in these circumstances you have to look directly into the camera, treating it as if it were a person. Many people find this awkward at first, so really benefit from practice during a TV media training session. Try not to be self-conscious, chat into the camera as normally as you can – it will probably look better to the viewer than it feels to you at the time!   (taken from the book The M-Factor by Tom Maddocks)