When you are appearing on television, your eyes are often the most visible element on the screen. This can work for or against you, depending on what you do with your eyes.
For starters, where should you look? The vast majority of the time, you are better off looking at the reporter or host who is talking to you. Don't look at the camera. You have a lifetime of experience looking at people when you talk to them and you have very little experience ignoring people and staring at a piece of machinery across the room and talk to it.
When appearing on TV you want to keep a steady gaze in one direction while blinking at your normal rate, every 4-5 seconds.
Here are the things you don't want to do with your eyes:
Stare upward when you are trying to think of what to say. This is a normal thing to do when you are thinking, but on TV you will look like you are making stuff up.
Glance sideways to look at yourself on the TV monitor. If you do this, you will look shift-eyed and untrustworthy.
Look downward often. While it is OK to look down occasionally, if you do it too often, you will seem like you are reading from notes or lacking in confidence.
Look quickly around a TV set at other panelists or guests. Better to look at one person for an entire thought, otherwise you will look shifty and scared.
Narrow your eyes to show intensity. This will make you look scared and nervous. You don't want to have a blank look, but avoid the eye narrowing
The whites of your eyes are often the brightest thing on a TV screen, so you want to use them in a purposeful manner and avoid unnecessary distractions. Maintaining a natural, steady and conversational look and manner will make your eyes enhance your message, not distract.
No matter how nervous or uncomfortable you are, if you keep a steady confident gaze at all times, the TV audience will think you are a true media pro every time.
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