By Susan Tomai
There once was a time when a person’s integrity rested on strong eye contact. But now that we spend most of our time looking down at our smart phones, we’re losing the art of paying attention and showing respect by looking our listeners in the eye. This is important in conversation and in formal presentations alike.
Three tips to get your eye contact mojo back:
- Look people in the eye, not over their heads or to either side of them. If this is uncomfortable for you, look at the bridges of their noses.
- Make an effort to spread your eye contact to everyone in your audience. To boost your self-confidence, start with the friendliest faces, then establish eye contact with individuals around the room in a varied and unpredictable way. Don’t make it a back-and-forth as if you’re watching a tennis match.
- Hold each person’s gaze for about ten seconds before moving to the next person.
If you do this, your audience will perceive that you’re talking to them, not at them.