It is a known fact that an impeccable personality, good dressing sense, and impactful voice attracts all. But when we speak with someone or are giving a presentation, we need to connect with the person(s) sitting in front of us. And to connect with our audience, making eye contact is necessary. It can change the way people think about you. In this post, we will talk about the importance of eye contact and will give you some tips on how to make eye contact properly while communicating with someone.
Importance of Eye Contact in Communication
Making good eye contact is no doubt difficult for many, but it is extremely important for good communication. Find out why!
- Eye contact helps you focus and concentrate on the topic of discussion. The moment you break the eye contact, your mind may wander away from the problem, breaking the flow of the conversation.
- When you look directly into the eyes of the people you are addressing, they will show interest in the matter. It will help you create an impression in the minds of your audience regarding a particular message you want to share with them.
- When you make eye contact with people you are addressing, you will appear as a confident and authoritative person. Your audience will also believe you. Try to smile with your eyes; it will make the conversation flow in a positive direction.
- When you maintain proper eye contact while having a conversation with someone, the person listening to you is more likely to buy your message. Inability to maintain eye contact can cause the other person to look elsewhere and even stop listening to you. When you address a group of people, you have to understand them. You should know what to speak and when to speak if you want to be a successful speaker.
- Maintaining eye contact in non-verbal communication is also important. Non-verbal communication involves communicating through gestures, body movements, and facial expressions. Eye contact plays a crucial role in non-verbal communication as it helps you understand a person’s likes and dislikes.
- Maintaining eye contact with your audience will encourage them to engage in active conversation with you. You will also come to know about their reaction to your words by their facial expressions like – a nod, frown, smile, or raising of the eyebrow.
- Eye contact will give you the right signal, and you’ll be able to understand whether the audience concurs with your thoughts or are sceptical about it. It gives you a chance to drive the conversation into your favour by saying reassuring words or stating the facts backed with proof or examples.
- Once you get familiar with the surroundings and connect with your audience by maintaining eye contact, it will help you set the correct pace of your speech and presentation. Using simple language and using words like ‘cool’, ‘awesome’, ‘incredible’, etc. will keep the conversation light.
5 Tips to Make Better Eye Contact
Now we know about the benefits of eye contact, so the next thing that comes up to our mind is how to make eye contact correctly while speaking. Read on the following five tips to help you make eye contact while communicating with people:
1. Connect With Your Audience
Before you even begin discussing the subject matter, pause for a second and make eye contact with the person. If you are addressing a group of people, then scan the audience and try to make eye contact with each of them. Making eye contact even for just five seconds with each person will help you connect with them better.
2. Follow the 50/70 Rule
Continuous eye contact can be misunderstood for staring. To avoid that misunderstanding, maintain eye contact for 50% of the time while you are speaking and 70% of the time while listening. It will show your interest in the subject matter and you will exhibit confidence.
3. Refrain From Looking Away
Maintain the eye contact for at least 4-5 seconds at a stretch before looking somewhere else. Also, be careful while looking away. if you look away too fast, then it can be mistaken as a sign of nervousness or shyness. You can glance sideways before resuming the eye contact.
4. Keep Practising to Get Better
It may seem weird at first, but regular practise will help improve your eye contact while speaking with someone.
5. Avoid Eye Contact in the Following Situation
At many occasions, eye contact may make other people feel vulnerable and disrespectful. In many countries, looking in the eye while communicating with an older adult is a sign of disrespect. So avoid looking in the eyes of a person if he or she feels awkward.
Looking directly in the eyes can make you conscious, but it is important and required to make the other person understand your thoughts and message. With practice and experience, you will easily be able to master the art of maintaining eye contact while communicating.