There is no doubt that eye contact is one of the most crucial aspects when it comes to public speaking. It may be important for you to understand that when the mouth ceases, your eyes choose to do the talking! It wouldn’t be long before your eyes reveal the truth. Whether you admire it or not, your eyes can give you away over time.
An eye-to-eye connection gives the audience an insight into your thoughts as well as your feelings. Besides, it can also be an empowering tool to establish a connection as well as credibility with your audience. Because people communicate daily, eye contact has become so natural that nobody bothers to think how empowering it can be as a tool! However, one bothers about this connection when speaking publicly.
When delivering a speech, people can become conscious of where their eyes loiter. Some examples of poor eye contact are constantly looking down or looking up at the road or anywhere except for the audience’s eyes. If you wish to make your speech worth listening to, you can enroll in public speaking courses.
How Can You Improve Your Eye Contact When Speaking In Public
Mentioned below are a few types of eye contact that you can incorporate to make your speech sound confident and great! Apart from that, you will also be able to make this contact more natural and effective.
1. Consider Focusing On People, And Not On Spaces
If you are nervous, you can choose a few individuals sitting in the venue and begin a conversation with them. And when you have to deliver a speech, you can establish eye contact with the chosen individuals seated at different locations. Eventually, the people sitting around this individual will also feel included and interested.
Initially, it may be a bit difficult to incorporate this strategy into your speech since it can get tempting to look at empty spaces after a while. It is usually best to avoid eye contact with chairs that are empty, and spaces without people.
2. Focus On The Audience, And They Will Pay Attention
When you establish eye contact with an individual, the scenario almost becomes personal. The individual might feel more entitled to the conversation since he is noticed. The person sitting next to this individual might feel like they are next, and hence, they would naturally be drawn to your conversation. This way, you will realize that focusing on the audience can trigger their attention span throughout the speech.
3. Get Your Eyes To Engage With The Audience
When you speak confidently and maintain the connection through eye contact, your audience will feel more interested and remain engaged. They might also consider penning down notes to get a better insight into your thoughts. When the audience is small, one might find it easier to maintain eye contact. However, it can get a bit difficult when the audience is large. In such situations, establishing steady eye contact can keep your listeners hooked on your speech!
4. Alter The Effect Of Eye Contact According To The Size Of Your Audience
The power of eye contact can sometimes depend on the overall size of your audience. When it is a large audience, you cannot simply focus on a few individuals. However, when it is a small audience, establishing this connection is relatively easy. Therefore, when it comes to a big audience, it may be advantageous to tailor your speech and mutual gaze accordingly. This way, you can deliver your thoughts more effortlessly!
5. Share Your Eye Contact Evenly
You may want to avoid focusing on one area of the room since this can come out as a poor means of eye contact. The people you establish this connection with will admire you. However, the ones you neglect will most probably zone out mentally. Therefore, it becomes crucial to sweep mutual gaze evenly in the venue!
6. You Might Want To Not Read From A Notepad
Many speakers usually make use of notes to prompt the next point. However, constantly staring at your notes and reading from them might make your speech look less confident and duller. Initially, you will have to put in the effort to make sure that people remain hooked on your speech, but with time, it will be worth it!
A few tips which you can use are giving a pause at the end of the deliverance of a thought. You can take a quick look through your notes during this pause. However, make sure to reconnect with your audience as you speak again.
7. Keep The Connection Natural
One cannot simply blink at a particular person and call it eye contact. It is best to look into someone’s eyes until they reciprocate it. Sometimes, you can use a natural pause or even a change of ideas to shift your eye contact onto a different location or an individual.
8. Make Sure Your Eyes Give Out A Smile
When You smile, your eyes look happier. The delivery of your speech and the feedback from people becomes positive when happy eyes exhibit the thoughts. Therefore, make sure to look as relaxed as possible. You can begin your speech with a joke or on a funny note, and when you smile, your eye contact will also come out naturally.
Although eye contact can do great wonders for your speech, practice, as well as preparation, can be a game changer. Lack of preparation can make you feel more nervous, with unpreparedness projecting from your eyes. Thus, in such situations, the best you can do is to not think about your eye contact and live in the present surprising moment.
Do not plan your schedules to shift your focus, but keep it more aligned with the present aura, and you will be able to shift your eye contact more naturally! There isn’t any formula to find out the time of this connection. The thumb rule worth following is to establish mutual gaze long enough to pass off as a connection and not as an alarm.