And more so than many people realise. We’re all becoming more aware of psychology and the way our subconscious decides stuff for us. This makes us aware of many things without us consciously realising it. One excellent example of this is where a photo of a person is associated with text. To engage with the viewer you need eye contact!
Firstly the person in the photo needs to be looking straight into the camera. Otherwise there is no eye contact and therefore no engagement. Have you ever tried to have a conversation with a person who doesn’t want to make eye contact?
We’ve all seen countless social media posts on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter etc. That little photo to the left of a comment. But can you see the person clearly? Can you see their eyes? Are they looking at you? Is that photo inviting you to read their comment? Or is it pointing the wrong way – are the person’s shoulders leading you away from the comments?
If you want your avatar to maximise your engagement with your audience then it must do three things:
Have eye contact – look into the camera lens
Be lit from the front so your eyes are clear and bright
Lead people to your comments – angle those shoulders to your left
These are three really simple things to do. They cost absolutely nothing to so. You just need to know about them. I’ll be doing another post about finding the best light for social media avatars.
OK, so that’s social media. What about other applications?
Well, the same rule applies really. Your photo still needs to steer people towards the content. In this example from Dr Jo Baldwin’s presentation about overwhelm and burnout, Jo has placed her headshot at the bottom right of the PowerPoint presentation window. It draws the viewer’s eye to the slide content.