Eye contact for more effective communication skills

Public Speaking Skills and Your Eye Contact

Want to Be Better at Public Speaking?

Awesome public speaking also means great eye contact
Public Speaking
Eye Contact

If you want to have better public speaking skills, one of the ways to begin is to have great eye contact.

For many, that is easier said than done.

Here is an easy exercise to quickly help you develop better eye contact.

Identify someone you feel close to who will do a harmless eye contact exercise with you three times a day, for a minute each time.

Select a spouse, significant other, friend or co-worker.  For the purposes of this exercise, we’ll call this person your partner.

How to Do the Eye Contact Excercise

  1. Your partner puts a Post-it note on their forehead with the words written “LOOK HERE” on it.
  2. Next, you pick out a topic to discuss. The topic can be about the weather; the Chicago Cubs winning the World Series (guess where I grew up!). If you can’t think of a topic, turn on the radio or television or pick up a newspaper. Whatever is the topic at hand is what you will discuss with your partner.
  3. Comfortably sit down or stand up looking directly at your partner who is wearing a Post-it on their forehead which says “LOOK HERE.”
  4. Look at your partner and talk about the selected topic. Be aware that you are to be looking at them as you speak. It will be easy to remember that you are supposed to be doing that because they are wearing a sign on their forehead that says “LOOK HERE.”
  5. Remember, to do this exercise three times a day until you become more comfortable with your eye contact.

Even with their partner wearing “LOOK HERE” on their forehead, people typically break eye contact within seconds. At that point, the partner takes his or her forefinger and points at the “LOOK HERE” as a reminder to look back at the partner.

One of my first clients came back to see me in a follow-up session very excited. He eagerly exclaimed: “That exercise is great. Wait till you see how good my eye contact is. And, that’s not even the best part. You know, I chose my wife to be my partner. And she says she doesn’t remember me spending so much one-on-one time with her in years or looking at her so deeply into her eyes!” Who knew that a simple 3-minute a day eye-contact exercise would help improve a presentation as well as a relationship?

Learn more about the author of this blog post and how you can become a better speaker!