Look into my eyes and I will tell you who you are. Have you ever heard that statement? Me too. Is eye contact really important in communication? Where should you look when you have a discussion with someone? Why are you afraid of keeping it? If you want to know the answers to those questions, keep reading.
“Don’t look at her eyes. They told me it can kill you. They told me that she will read your soul and you won’t forget her till your last days” – could tell your mind when someone is trying to reach you.
Eye contact is very problematic, and writing this article, I’ve done research, which ends up with some weird option about what to do when you don’t want to keep it. But I still think eye contact is crucial in conversation, and it is really useful to master it just to show respect to the other person. Your contact will be different when you are in a face-to-face conversation compared to speech for audience.
Let me focus and share a few ideas for the first one. It is not recommended to check your shoes or ceiling when you have a chat with someone. You shouldn’t look at your caller lips, ears, cleavage, or directly into the eyes (it is not related to love relationships). You shouldn’t use your phone or sit in the position when your caller will see the back of your head. Remember, you are in a conversation, so treat the other person as you want to be. So what should you do? I don’t know if you’ve ever heard about the third eye? It is placed on your forehead between your eyes, and it is the best point to look at. This is because you pay attention and you won’t make your caller uncomfortable since you don’t look directly into their eyes.
A different story is when you are with a bigger audience. Most speakers do make a really unprofessional mistake: they choose few people and they try to keep eye contact just with them, they forget why all people are at the event. It is obvious that if you are an audience, you want to feel that the speaker is talking directly to you, that you are important, am I right? So how can you do that? Interact, scan all audience, move your eye contact from the left-hand side to the right, try to catch eye contact every time with a different person. It will help you to better understand if your speech is going in the right direction.
In both situations, there is just one thing that I want you to remember: you need to make people feel special and important when you have a conversation with them. As soon as you master it, your way of communication will be very different.
What can you do to practice? There are a few options. You can walk around your city and try to keep eye contact with as many people as possible (remember about the third eye!). You can practice on youtube.com – there are plenty of videos when you need to keep contact for a few minutes with a random person. Or you can practice it in every meeting that you have planned for the following weeks. This skill is not natural for everybody, so don’t be afraid if on beginning you feel weird, but with time, it will become everyday life.