Archive for the ‘Face to Face’ Category

Service of Eye Contact: 60% of the Time Has Impact

Thursday, July 25th, 2013


A client’s first radio interview took place at a tiny station without an engineer so after saying “hello, have a seat,” the host/acting engineer apologized, turned her back on my client and conducted the interview without once turning around to face her because she was also operating the equipment behind the desk. That was an unnerving and extreme example of no eye contact.

Who thinks much about eye contact unless someone exhibits unusual behavior? A former client had the attention span of a gnat that his roving eye gave away. I never met with him unless I could spit out my question or comment in few words as his eye would soon wander to others in a room filled with people. If we met in his office he’d be distracted by whomever was walking down the hall.

We worked together long before smartphones and “FOMO” that Sue Shellenbarger described in “Just Look Me in the Eye Already,” in The Wall Street Journal or he, too, might have been diagnosed with Fear of Missing Out, one of the reasons people are glued to their phones. Staring so long at a device makes it uncomfortable for some to look at another human, much less in the eye.

Quoting Quantified Impressions she noted people should make eye contact 60 to 70 percent of the time, but that on average adults do so from 30 to 60 percent.

See eye to eye 3“Yet eye contact can be a tool for influencing others. Looking at a colleague when speaking conveys confidence and respect. Prolonged eye contact during a debate or disagreement can signal you’re standing your ground. It also points to your place on the food chain: People who are high-status tend to look longer at people they’re talking to, compared with others, says a 2009 research review in Image and Vision Computing.”

Wrote Shellenbarger quoting Ben Decker of Decker Communications: “People who avert their gaze too soon, or avoid eye contact altogether, are often seen as ‘untrustworthy, unknowledgeable and nervous.'” Decker also remarked that “Too much eye contact can cause problems, too. At work, holding eye contact for more than 10 seconds can seem aggressive, empty or inauthentic.”

In captions the writer describes “The Table Talker,” “The Laser Gazer,” “The Drifter” and “The Faker” and what impressions others get from each,

Have you been flummoxed by awkward or nonexistent eye contact? Does it ever occur to you that a person may have vision issues? Do you think a parent or guardian teaches, “Look Mrs. X in the eye when you shake her hand,” or is it something humans pick up naturally by imitating others?

See Eye to Eye




Service of Face-to-Face II

Monday, April 15th, 2013


Something is often better than nothing but not always.

Take mentoring. No amount of online contact–even if you use Skype–takes the place of face-to-face meetings, at least to start off a relationship. There are companies that help facilitate online liaisons but I don’t think the outcome is effective. I’m a longtime mentor. It takes face time for a mentee to trust a mentor. To provide more than superficial guidance a mentor needs to get to know the mentee.

Bird on a bookLaura Moser might disagree with me. She wrote “Tweet Any Good Books Lately?” in The Wall Street Journal’s “The Digital Life” column. Her schedule doesn’t permit her to attend a traditional book club so she researched and addressed her opinions of a few Twitter clubs. She wrote: “If there’s one thing I like more than reading books, it’s sharing my opinions about them.” A statistic in her article tells the story: Of 84,000+ followers of a prominent club a handful actively participate.

I’ve been a book club member. One of the objectives is to meet people who share similar interests and expand your circle of friends. A clever Tweet doesn’t hack it.

Ida Cheinman, Substance151

Ida Cheinman, Substance151

Last week I heard Ida Cheinman speak in New York at the Society for Marketing Professional Services–SMPS. The principal and creative director of Substance151 gave a presentation, “Brand Engagement: Today’s Hottest Marketing Currency.” She generously shared resources and highlights of her advice to clients. Early on she recommended that we watch Simon Sinek’s video “How Great Leaders Inspire Action.” It was very good and took 18 minutes but wasn’t as valuable to me as attending her talk.Why? We all got to meet her as she introduced herself to the groups of people chatting together beforehand. We could ask questions during or after the event as we felt connected to her. A bonus: The SMPS members were welcoming to this newcomer. The outcome: An inspirational evening well worth the expense and time.

Do you believe that videos, Tweet book clubs and online mentoring are adequate substitutes for face-to-face contact?


Service of Face to Face Experience

Monday, February 20th, 2012


The sales results of this year’s online VIP Art Fair were lackluster according to what I read in and Forbes online–unrelated to the economy.

While the fair producers report that worldwide visibility for the artworks was excellent, in her analysis, “VIP Artfair Bombs Again: A Lesson in Art Marketing and Online Sales,” Abigail R. Esman puts her finger on some reasons why collectors and art lovers didn’t open their wallets: “People go to art fairs to see the art they don’t get to see in their own backyards, works they are only otherwise able to see virtually on gallery web sites and the apps of various collections,” she wrote.  “They go to art fairs for the buzz, which is as tangible as impasto as collectors roam aisles……..visit and revisit paintings they can actually touch and witness in real light, at all angles, the glistening of oil paint and flat saturation of acrylic into canvas a feast of visual wealth.”

eiffel-towerIt’s exhilarating to see or hear something in person, whether it’s a landmark such as the Statue of Liberty, Windsor Castle or Eiffel Tower, an actor in a play, a conductor, orchestra and/or singer in a concert hall. Coffee table books and travel websites with magnificent photos of architectural or historic wonders, a sitcom or PBS concert aren’t the same. Neither is the delectable looking food made by master TV chefs the same as tasting toothsome recipes.

contemporary-art-fair-logoI represent the Contemporary Art Fair NYC. If people felt comfortable buying art online that would benefit my client’s exhibitors and American Art Marketing could add that option to help sell sculpture, paintings, photography and mixed media works over the fair’s October 19 weekend. Then the thousands of visitors to the show’s website, who couldn’t make it to the Javits, would also have a chance to buy. Richard and Joanna Rothbard, who produce the fair, own every tech gizmo available and use social media and cutting edge marketing techniques to bring audiences to their events. Even so, they attend countless fairs and shows to see the works in person and to meet–and select–the artists who exhibit.

I buy books and clothing, shoes, cosmetics and small appliances online but art is another matter. I love going to concerts but have no patience watching them on TV. I do watch cooking shows. What do you think the difference is?



Mike Colameco

Mike Colameco





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