Look Them in the Eye!

InTouch - Newsletter - #64

Welcome to the sixty-fourth edition of “In-Touch”. As always, I would love to continue the conversation so please hit reply and let me know what you think.

Story of the Week: "Look Them in the Eye!"

Recently, a good friend of mine asked me to provide guidance to a member of his team, who was struggling with an upcoming presentation, the success of which would likely bring enormous benefits for the company.

After attending one of the speaker’s rehearsals, a couple of days before the crucial day, I immediately noticed a few aspects that could be improved but, since time was of the essence, I focused on the one thing that could immediately make a huge, positive impact on the presentation and, by extension, on its audience. 

What was wrong? It was the fact that the presenter's gaze was almost constantly fixed on the slides he was using as a visual accompaniment to his address. He lacked any real passion or conviction and gave the impression that he was merely reading an old, familiar script. This robbed him of the chance to truly connect with his audience. So, I immediately instructed him to stop staring at the screen and reading off his slides and, instead, fix his gaze upon his audience. According to research, it is only when you make eye contact with your audience that meaningful communication can be established. 

Eye contact with ‘the audience’ is not limited to public speaking. It applies to virtually every conversation we have with one or more people, whether we are parents, teachers, salespeople or even lovers. For example:

  • A parent's distracted gaze can dim a child's enthusiasm and weaken the bond they share.
  • Avoiding eye contact during a sales pitch can erode an investor's confidence and hinder potential partnerships.
  • When a teacher fails to make eye contact, a student's enthusiasm wanes, stifling their potential to learn and grow.
  • A lack of eye contact in a romantic setting can dampen the chemistry and erode the intimacy between possible partners.

By looking your audience in the eye, you will ignite a spark and build a bridge that connects you with their hearts and minds, creating an unforgettable experience for them and for you too.

I’m happy to report that, after the presentation, my friend called me, elated with his team-member’s amazing performance, during which, he said, there was eye contact almost all the way!

Words of Wisdom

Accessible & Interested

“As any speaker will tell you, when you address a large number of people from a stage, you try to make eye contact with people in the audience to communicate that you're accessible and interested in them.”

Simon Mainwaring

A Question to Ponder, dear friend.

“How important is it to you that someone makes eye contact with you, either in a one-to-one situation or when you are a member of a large audience?”