How to make a public speech – Eye contact
The second article in the series speaks about the eye contact. You have probably heard before, that 'the eyes are the window of the soul'. I do not believe in souls, but that doesn't believe that I do not believe into eye contact. And I do. Extremely actually.
Well lets see why. One of the most important things again is, that people hear, what we have to tell them, and that they believe us that.
Well, if you have been a small child (and I presume you have), probably not only once, you heard from your parents "Look me in the eyes and tell me…". Obviously we believe, that if people look us in the essay , they are more sincere to us than if they don't. And you should really give your audience a feeling, that you are as sincere as possible. Of course you should be, you shouldn't lie to your audience, and because you don't, make it obvious to them.
The next thing that you are going to achieve if you maintain good eye contact is, that everyone in the audience will feel personally involved into your speech. You can achieve that with looking everyone in the eyes. If you go from one person to the other and tell them a sentence or two, they will feel, if only for a second, that they are important to you and that you are telling all that stuff only for them. This way they will pay more attention to your speech and the chance that their brain wanders off is smaller.
But if it does, you can get them back to listen to you with the eye contact. If you have someone in the audience, that is disturbing your speech/lecture, you can use the eye contact, to make him/her to shut up or even to listen to what you are saying. You just need to stare into the person for a while. The person will feel, that you are looking at her and he will feel bad about disturbing, and maybe at least try to be less disturbing. Hopefully. Of course this little trick does not work always, but it works most of the time.
At the end I need to answer a question, what is a 'good eye contact'. Well, while you speak, you should not look into the wall behind the class, or to the floor in front of you. If you are nervous and not really sure what you should speak about this can happen to you, but you need to control that. A lot of people look outside thought a window while they speak. Don't do that, because you give a 'I don't care about what I'm saying' attitude. What you should be doing is slowly wander from one person to the other in the audience. As I previously mentioned, tell a sentence or two to each person in the room, and move on. If your audience is too big and you are not able to do that, don't worry, all you need to do is sort of scan through the audience, and every person will fill as if you are looking straight at them, even if you are looking a group of 4, 5 at once.
So to sum up. Look at the people while you speak and they will listen to you instead of doing other things and they will believe you more.
Hey, my name is Peter and I’m the author of this website and all the content on this page. I have been a debater, a debate trainer, debate tournament organizer and everything else with a debate prefix for more than 10 years and I’ve seen it all. I want to help everyone to be a better debater and if you want to help too, please let me know. Keep on debating!