Eye contact

Eye contact synchronization

The way we look at members of the audience, reviles to the audience many things about us. From all the body-language gestures that we make while speaking to an audience, eye-contact is probably the most revealing gesture. It is the biggest window we open to the audience, to assess what do we feel about the words that we say. It is not so easy to “act” eye-contact, as it is with other body-language gestures.

As we engage with the audience, we should try and talk to individual members of the audience, not to the audience as a whole. We should speak to one person at a time, a sentence or phrase and then shift our eye-contact to another person. WE TALK EYE TO EYE.

When we shift our eyes from one person to another, we need to make sure that this action is well synchronized with our other body-language gestures and to the words that we say. Otherwise, we may lose presence-points in our score.

Talking to someone and not looking at that person, is considered to be unpolite. This is valid, even if it is done during a fraction of a second. We need to make sure that we get to a full-stop or a comma and then add a transition pause, before shifting eye contact form one person to another.

It gets more complicated… we also “talk” with our body (other gestures that we make) and would like to make sure that we don’t continue ”saying“ too much with our body, while we shift eye contact, just as we do with the words.

I mentioned in the introduction, the 6 key body-language gestures that we REST when making a complete 3 stage Yogic inhale. When it comes to eye-contact, the procedure is that we shift our eyes from one person to another only after we start to inhale. To be precise, we shift the eyes after we have completed inflating our stomach (1st beat of a complete 3-stage Yogic inhale). This way we make sure we don’t break eye-contact before we finish the sentence. After making eye contact to the next person, there should be a “hand-shake” OR “eye-shake” pause. This eye-shake is done, as we finish inhaling into the upper part of the lungs (2nd beat of a complete 3-stage Yogic inhale).

Once we start shifting eye-contact from one person to another, we can’t be sure that the person is available for eye-contact. It may also happen that we make initial eye contact but after a while contact is broken. The person spoken to, may shift the eyes away. Being unavailable for eye contact and breaking eye contact can be a result of a distraction or an uncomfortable feeling from the side of the person spoken to. In any case, once we shift eye contact from one person to another, we should continue taking to the eyes of the person even though there is no real eye-contact. Members of the audience can’t see that there is no contact and they assume that contact is established. Once finishing a sentence, we continue to the next person.

We can exercise eye-contact synchronization by speaking to a dotted-audience on a wall (round or eye printed stickers).