Auditions are scary. It's walking into an unknown evironment with only yourself as a tool. Putting it all out there on the line and saying, "This is me!"
While there are many ways to prepare before the audition, once you're in the room it's just you, the producers, the director, casting and your point of human contact: The reader.
The reader can be a scary entity. If he/she is good, giving and taking, moving along with you, the audition can be elevated. However, as more often the case, you are paired with a flat, monotone reader who is just feeding you lines with no give.
In either case (especially the 2nd scenario) it is imparative that you use your reader. Engage them, make strong eye contact. The relationship you established in your head (husband, wife, friend, sister) is now this person. The oweness is on YOU to make that connection.
If the reader laughs, work it into the scene! If they cough, incorporate it. THEY are your scene partner, living breathing and real. Little ways to bring the scene to life utilitzing this stranger will go a long way.
Do not, touch them or encroach upon their space unless you ask at the beginning of the read:
"Is it ok it I touch your shoulder?" However, be mindful of the space and the room. Often times coming too close to your reader will move you out of frame. If the camera cannot see you, the producers cannot see you when they review tapes.
This person is your greatest asset in the room. Good, bad, indiferent you must find a way to work with them.