How to Increase Your Communication Effectiveness with Eye Contact.
There Are Three Levels of Eye Contact. First is "None at all", the second is "Scanning" – artificially making contact with listeners. The third is remarkably rare – it is Authentic, Fully Functioning Eye Communication.
The Five Secrets to Authentic Eye Communication.
1. Silence Is Your Friend.
Remember that all verbal communication begins in silence – the entire atmosphere of your meeting or presentation will change when you make sincere eye contact with everyone before you beg.
2. It's Got to Be Real.
Do not follow the advice of "experts" – who recommend that you look at individuals for two or three seconds and then move on to another listener. This is "pretend eye contact" – audiences can tell – and chances you will feel even more self conscious. Don't settle for anything less than your natural ability to pay very close attention to people.
3. Attitude Can Change Everything.
You may not be comfortable with eye contact in a professional setting, but most speakers, addressing more than eight or 10 people, fail to use authentic eye contact. Even a slight improvement will make you better than average.
Stop thinking about using eye communication as a huge challenge; rather think of it as an amazingly powerful tool which will immediately make you a far better speaker.
4. The Master Technique.
Share your first thought with an individual in the group - and look at their face for a reaction – and then move on to the next thought and share it with another listener. After an important statement, look at several people, one at a time, in silence. It emphasizes your point more effectively than speaking loudly.
When speakers do that – when they are truly in the moment and making continuous eye contact – in order to read our response – the effect is transformational.
5. You Were Born with This Skill.
The reason that so many people can master eye communication so quickly – and why it is so transformational – is that authentic eye communication is something that you have been doing since before you could speak! "Reading" your listeners' responses from moment to moment is a skill that every child is born with – and which precedes verbal communication.
I hope you will experiment with this, beginning in "safe" presentations. When you fully experience the benefits, your use of eye contact will make you a more comfortable, more effective and trustworthy speaker.
For more training on developing a Commanding Presence and becoming a Natural Speaker, managing anxiety, and increasing your speaking skills to the same high level as your writing skills then you should attend one of our Commanding Presence Advanced Communication and Presentation Skills Two-Day workshops.
The workshop is designed to improve every aspect of personal communication skills, from strategy and text preparation to establishing rapport and overcoming speaking anxiety.
Participants are recorded 4 times with feedback from the other participants and personal coaching from the workshop coach. Each receive a USB of their video clips along with a letter of analysis from the workshop coach.
Learn more about our in-person training here