Monday, May 03, 2010
Making Eye Contact the Right Way
Great Bible teachers make eye contact. It's a necessary connection if you are going to see changed lives.
This isn't too difficult in smaller groups. (Usually teachers who struggle to make eye contact in smaller groups are struggling with a fear. See my special report on overcoming fear at http://www.teachtochangelives.com/fear.pdf for the help you need.)
In larger groups you need a *strategy* to make eye contact effectively.
You don't want to just pick three people. You don't want to go from person-to-person-to-person in a sequential pattern. You don't want to spend all your time on one side of the room and ignore the other areas.
Try out this strategy, which works well in groups up to about 120: Pick three or four people in different areas as your anchors. (Be sure to pick people who are making frequent eye contact with you.) Rotate your eye contact to these people every 45 seconds. But as you rotate to the next person, shift to somone who is sitting near them. What happens is you gradually are making eye contact with more and more people who are around your anchor persons.
This strategy takes a little practice, but the payoff is huge. After you do this a few times, it will seem natural to you and to your students.
(By the way, you really can't do this eye contact strategy if you're reading from a prepared script. You need to be very familiar with the text and you main ideas that you want to get across. That kind of preparation is at the heart of great Bible teaching!)