How to make Eye Contact during Presentations?
Have you ever told someone that you love them, without locking eyes with them? Chances are if you did, the other person wouldn’t have believed you.
Eye contact is a very important form of body language which can help build trust and conviction towards the speaker in the minds of the audience. If a speaker looks at his audience members in the eye – it shows sincerity, conviction, and confidence. There are several easy tips and tricks which successful speakers use to build rapport with the audience members.
Imagine a smaller group:
Imagine the room to be much smaller than it actually is and as if you are having a conversation with just one person. This makes your tone conversational and puts the audience at ease.
Random eye contact:
In my opinion, the technique which works best is when you start your presentation, pick a person you are going to speak to and complete a sentence or thought before gradually moving on to another person in the audience, in a random pattern.
Don’t be a lighthouse:
Some speakers prefer to use an eye contact technique in which they move their gaze from one side of the room to other and then back to where they started and so on. This becomes predictable after a while and is not as well received by the audience.
Duration of eye contact:
Instead of a fleeting eye contact, aim to achieve a connection with the audience member using your eyes. The recommended ideal duration to maintain eye contact is around 3 to 5 seconds. If you spend less time than that, you may come off as untrustworthy or unconfident. Make it too long, and you can make the person feel uncomfortable.
Help bring back attention:
A good eye contact can also help bring back attention and interest level of the audience members who might be less attentive to your talk. If you spot someone playing with their cell phone or engaging in a side chat with their neighbors – just look at them for a few seconds and it will bring their focus back.
Eye Contact with a large group:
Attempt to make eye contact with the back of the room as much as the front of the room. In case there is a huge group of people you are speaking to; making eye contact with one person is usually enough to give his neighbors a feeling that you are making eyecontact with them since they are closely huddled together.
About the Author
Puneet Wadhwa, the author of this blog – Speak to Succeed! is an IT Business Executive by profession, and a Public Speaker and Leadership trainer by passion. He has been professionally speaking for many years and has won several awards for his public speaking engagements. He presents corporate trainings and seminars to corporations and associations whose people want to speak and lead effectively. To contact Puneet, email him at email@example.com or fill out the contact form at http://www.speaktosucceed.in/about-me/.