originally published on
    By Daria Tsvenger
    Okay, we watched it. The first debate is over. You've probably already formed your opinion about which candidate did best. Apart from supporting either candidate, there are some undeniable psychological tools in Joe Biden's arsenal. In fact, despite decades of public speaking experience, it's surprising that Trump didn't use the psychology trick which Biden seems to know so well.

    Look directly into the camera ???? = speak directly to the person (or as in this case, millions of people).

    Every single time Joe Biden answered a question, he was looking directly into the camera. It made us feel like he is talking directly to us, and not just answering the moderator's question or trying to prove his point to an opponent.

    This single skill makes a huge difference in terms of creating a trusting relationship between you and your audience. It's a well-known fact that eye contact boosts oxytocin (a social bonding chemical) as well as helps you sound more confident and persuasive. Joe Biden knows it. Because it's actually NOT a natural thing to speak directly into a black hole of the camera, instead of looking at the people you're speaking with in the room. It's a learned skill — and one which Joe Biden used masterfully in this debate.

    By looking directly into the camera Biden nailed his chance to address millions of voters, came across confident, articulate, less defensive and generally more authentic and convincing.

    Donald Trump is obviously less experienced in politics than Joe Biden, but much more savvy in the world of business deals. Instead of learning to address millions of people from a politician's podium as Biden has done for years (although he recently picked up this skill in his rallies), Trump is still more comfortable speaking directly with his opponents — so he was always looking either at the moderator or at Joe Biden when he answered questions or tried to make a point. He never looked directly into the camera and didn't use his chance to address the American people "directly", rather than fighting off his opponent.

    Politics aside, many of us get a chance to address other people — whether as leaders in our community, in our family or in our business. Especially in the mostly remote post-COVID world of virtual Zoom meetings. So what can we learn from Joe Biden?

    Look directly into the camera. Learn to do it. It can be uncomfortable at first, but a highly effective way to have your point heard, build rapport, or simply connect with other people on the line.

    If you find yourself grappling with fear or discomfort, especially when it's time to lead or perform at your peak — lets work on it together. Apply for a 1–1 coaching with me here: