Do you want to engage your audiences? Of course, you do! And this QuickBites episode will help you increase the level of engagement — for your audiences and you!
Eye contact is one of the most important and powerful tools when it comes to engaging your audience. A form of communication unto itself, it provides many benefits. Following are some of the more significant ones.
Your audience members consciously or unconsciously look for you to demonstrate self-confidence, often within the initial three seconds of your presentation. Making eye contact is one way — if not the best way — to exhibit belief in yourself.
Audiences want to know if they can trust you so they can trust the information that you share with them. Looking your audience members in the eyes helps establish trust, just like in a one-on-one conversation. Similarly, your audience will be less likely to trust you if you don’t look them in the eye.
Confirms that the audience matters
Making eye contact confirms that you want to engage your audience members and that each of them matters to you. Let’s look at this on a small scale. Imagine I’m speaking with you and several of your colleagues at a table. Soon, you notice that I look each person in the eye but not you. How would you feel?
Keeps your audience engaged
The more you look into the eyes of your audience members, the more they’ll look at you, keeping them engaged and making it less likely that they’ll lose interest and turn to their phones or otherwise zone out.
While you’re speaking, your audience members will respond in various ways, including smiling, nodding their heads, cocking their heads if they don’t understand, etc. This feedback can help build your confidence, let you know that the audience is engaged, or indicate that you’ve confused them.
You just heard several reasons why you want to employ eye contact. In the next QuickBites episode, you’ll learn a few techniques to help you do it well.
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