Public speaking delivery is important and eye contact is a huge part of that.

The eyes are the windows to the soul

The way you use your eyes when you are speaking can make all the difference in how your message is received. It might sound minor but it is the little things that make a difference. Two little things that are so critical when you speak are your eyes and how you use them.

Eye contact is part of your public speaking toolkit

We communicate to our audience with our words and our body language. Both are equally important to your public speaking delivery. When you see and hear a skilled speaker they use their eyes to communicate.

Eye contact is part of your public speaking toolkit, learn to use eye contact effectively. It’s a way of showing the audience how you feel, a way of keeping them with you and most importantly a way of letting them know that you are there for them – as it’s all about the audience right?

Our eyes give away so much about how we are feeling. The movement of our facial muscles is intricately linked to our eye movements. The eyes, the body language and the words you use have to align. Otherwise, you will look fake.

Our words might be saying one thing, but there is the real possibility that our eyes might be saying what we are really feeling. Your audience is going to be looking for that message.

It’s going to be your eyes along with your face that will be telling your audience the story.

The emotions that you are currently feeling during your speech will be communicated to your audience via your eyes. If you are surprised, then your eyes are going to become larger. If you are sad, then your eyes will appear to become smaller. Make sure your eyes match what you are saying.

Public speaking delivery – The power of eye contact

The reason that we need eye contact is that it allows us to build a connection with our audience. It’s this connection that will allow our audience to understand that we can be trusted and we are sincere in what we are telling them.

So what’s the best way to incorporate effective eye contact into your public speaking delivery? The one thing that you don’t want to do is stand and look like one of those laughing clown games that you see at the fair with the oscillating heads.  This happens when you make up your mind to have eye contact with everyone in your audience, and so you start on one side and you proceed to stare into the eyes of each and every person in your audience in a slow sweeping movement. This looks weird and it can be quite distracting for your audience.

A much better way to go about using eye contact in your next speech is while you are speaking, look into your audience. Pick an area in your audience and then look into that group while you cover a point in your speech.

When you are ready to move to the next point, move your eyes to another group in your audience and deliver the next point while looking at that group. This technique is effective if you have a large audience everyone in the group will feel as though you are looking at them.

When we give a speech, we tend to worry about what we will say,  the slides that we show and even what we will wear. Remember the critical part of your speech is what you are doing with your eyes.

As with everything, there is a trick here. If you make eye contact with anyone in your audience for too long, then they are going to start to feel as though you are staring at them and that will end up making them feel uncomfortable.

Instead, make eye contact with a member of your audience for between 3-5 seconds and then move on and make eye contact with someone else. This way you’ll be able to make a great deal of your audience feel as though you are talking directly to them. They will feel included and you will form a connection with them.

Start looking and you will see the benefits

As the poets said, our eyes are the window to our souls. When you are giving a speech your eyes are one more way that you can connect with your audience and enjoy the benefits of public speaking.

Knowing what to do with your eyes is the first step in becoming a better speaker. Taking the time to focus on one person in your audience at a time and that will allow you to create a bond with them. Make sure that you don’t spend all of your time looking at just the smilers  – you need to look at every one.

Your public speaking delivery, the way you deliver your message, is important. In order to make sure that your audience stays with you and is able to be affected by your words, use your eyes.

As a storytelling expert, known as The Story Midwife, I help leaders to create compelling presentations through business storytelling.

Before becoming a Professional Speaker, I worked for over twenty years as a midwife.

I now live and breathe stories as a speaker, trainer, performer and coach.

As a World Class Speaking & Storytelling Coach, I’ll help you mine, refine and deliver a captivating story for your business or brand. Whether it is the boardroom, podium or stage; I can show you how to develop a persuasive presentation with a compelling story that will be hard to forget by anyone who gets to experience it.

If you would like to find out about training for your team, I’d love to hear from you.  Contact me lisa@speakingsavvy.com.au or call +61 (0)438 902042.