Audiences pay close attention to your body language and facial expressions. Therefore, you should aim to provide them with a sense of trust, friendliness, and candour, and not come off dominant, overpowering, or distrustful.
When speaking to others, you should not avert your eyes by looking at the ceiling, floor, or walls, for example. You should, in fact, maintain eye contact at all times.
Eye contact is a form of body language, and is important during communication. 55% of communication is nonverbal with our eyes telling much about us and how we communicate than we think they do.
The old adage is ‘eyes are a reflection of your inner self.’ When you withhold eye-contact in your communications, whether as part of a friendly conversation, a lecture, speech, or even an interview, it may indicate that you are fearful, anxious, have trust issues, bored, or a combination of them.
Notice how video news releases that feature interviews, speeches, or events emphasise eye contact. Look no further for evidence than the choice of the camera operators and directors to take close-ups of speakers’ faces, and when their speech becomes heated, confrontational, or enthused, the focus will shift to their eyes; This helps establish a relation between the speaker and the audiences at home.
But can maintaining eye contact be deciphered differently? Are there layers to the act that takes place on a subconscious level?
Here are some tips on implementing effective eye contact without ‘over-doing it.’
As per the old saying, practice makes perfect. When rehearsing for a speech, make use of your family and friends; consider them your audience. If you live alone, there are a couple of simple tricks you can employ:
Body language and psychology are broad fields, and this blog is just the tip of the iceberg.
Antoine Boghos is Account Executive at Cicero & Bernay Public Relations, an independent PR agency headquartered in Dubai offering new-age public relations consultancy to the UAE and across the MENA region. | www.cbpr.me