Episode 167

Why Mastering Eye Contact is Crucial for Storytellers

I’m on a Zoom call rehearsing with a group of speakers who are getting ready for an upcoming TEDx event. Yet something’s off.

After finishing her run, one speaker admits, “I don’t really feel like I’m connected.” 

And that’s when I realize something. She’s scanning the room and not really seeing anyone. It’s like she’s talking into the void.

So I say, “Try focusing on one person at a time, like you’re talking directly to that particular person. Then focus on the next person, and then the next.”

I have everybody take a turn at this. They’re hesitant at first. Yet over the next few weeks, they start making genuine connections with their audience even though it’s through the screen.

It’s incredible to see and just another powerful reminder of the magic of eye contact. In this episode of the Storytelling School Podcast, we continue our Storytelling Seven series where you’ll learn why mastering eye contact is such a crucial element in storytelling and public speaking. In the process, you’ll also find out:

Why can eye contact make or break your presentation? What specific considerations should you keep in mind for eye contact in virtual presentations? And how can you practice making eye contact in your speech or story?

What you will learn in this episode:

  • How eye contact helps you as the speaker or storyteller
  • How eye contact serves as a bridge between you and your audience
  • How to overcome the challenges of mastering eye contact

A little bit about me.

Hi there. I’m Kymberlee.

As a Speaking Strategist and founder of Storytelling School, I’ve had the pleasure of working with over 500 speakers, business leaders, and entrepreneurs worldwide for over a decade. No matter if those folks were getting ready to take the TED or TEDx stage or preparing for a high-stakes presentation with everything on the line, my specialty is High Stakes Short Form Communication. I’ve seen what works when influencing change and what doesn’t. It turns out storytelling is one of the most powerful tools you can have in your arsenal. That’s why I’m building a movement of master storytellers to affect change in the world on a global scale to help people tell real stories that have influence and impact. With effective storytelling, you change people’s lives.

Since competition for potential client attention is fierce, a story can make the difference between being memorable or irrelevant. You’ll find me sharing my matcha tea mishap to discuss perfectionism, my quest for Bruce Lee and Hello Kitty art to explore kindness, or the six months of live blade training I underwent to illustrate presence. I spend my days showing the power of using stories to help cement ideas and bring lessons to life and teach my clients to do the same.

If you think business owners can’t tell stories or don’t have stories to share with their clients, staff, donors, followers, or investors, I invite you to reconsider your perspective. There’s no better place than in business to tell your stories so audiences, no matter how big or small, can understand how you think and what you value.

Now it’s your turn… If you’re ready to become a master storyteller and effect change in our world, you’ve come to the right place.

Want to take your storytelling skills to the next level?

I've got your back!

Learn how to craft a story that will make your brand unforgettable

The Proven 5-step process to captivate any audience


my proven 5-step process for short-form storytelling that you can apply to your stories forever


and craft your own Spotlight Story that you can use in a plethora of scenarios


on where and why to use storytelling in a variety of business situations to become unforgettable


clarity on the most common mistakes storytellers make and learn how to avoid those

...and so much more!

I want to stand out!

The best storytellers are memorable for a reason.

Traver Boehm

2-time TEDx Speaker, Author, Coach, and Founder of the Uncivilized Movement

Mo Barrett

TEDx Speaker, Anecdotist, Connector, Mischief-maker, Retired Military Commander, Keynote Speaker

Katy Stevens

Musician, Performer, Recording Artist, Voice Teacher

Greg Smith

TEDx Youngstown Organizer and Voice Coach, Chairman and CCO of Compco

Than Baardson

Entrepreneur, Speaker, Connector, CEO of Unseen, Humanitarian

Cathy Sommerville

TEDx Speaker, Coach, Advisor, Leader, Author, Vice President


I'm ready to stand out!