Proper and right contact with your eyes establishes trust, opens communication channels and opens doors of success for you.
Eye contact is a difficult skill to master, but vital to effective conversation.
It is an overlooked skill, often not even thought of.
Great salesmen and public speakers are masters, watch them and learn.
If you make too much contact you can come across as being aggressive, too little contact is construed as lack of interest.
Salesmen know that their sales prospect is really interested if their eyes dilate.
This is a huge clue.
We use eye contact daily so it is wise to learn proper techniques just as you learn public speaking or sales.
Different situations require different eye contact techniques.
For example if you are angry and involved in an argument a steady stare makes you seem strong.
However, if you are being deferential it is normal to lower your eyes.
5 Ways to Improve Your Eye Contact Skills:
- Public Speaking: It is important to keep eye contact with your audience, whether your audience is 5 or 500.
Take care not to look at only one or two people because the rest of the audience will feel disconnected and stop listening.
To avoid that make eye contact with different people in different parts of the audience with each new sentence.
This makes everyone feel connected, as if you are speaking to them personally.
- Listening: When you are listening to someone a direct stare can seem intimidating.
Eye contact is vital but focus on different parts of the speaker's face every few seconds.
This indicates your interest with what they are saying, but not trying to overpower them.
Also important is body language.
Nod your head from time to time; agree by saying "yes", or "hmm" or some other sound.
- Talking to one person: Maintain eye contact with the person you are conversing with, but avoid staring, as that can be very uncomfortable.
Break contact by looking up or to the side from time to time.
Lowering your eyes gives the impression that the conversation is over.
- Disagreeing: Disagreeing or arguing is an art in itself.
Most often maintaining a steady stare indicates the victor.
Often the first to look down is conceding defeat.
- Gaining someone's attention: When you want someone's attention, giving them your full attention and gently staring into their whole face will show interest.
Smile perhaps raise your eyebrows.
Focusing on different parts of their face and being fully engaged in their every word shows your interest without being intimidating.
Practice by talking into a mirror and monitoring your expression.
Your self-confidence will soar as you master these skills.