Making eye contact can be tricky, especially if you're shy or nervous, but knowing how to do it correctly is important to convey confidence and captivate your audience. If you have trouble maintaining eye contact, all you need is a little practice holding someone's gaze.
Method 1 of 3: Make Eye Contact
Step 1. Turn your shoulders and head into a position that is facing the other person's eyes
By placing yourself in this position, the other person will feel that you are listening to them, you are paying attention to them, and you are ready to start a conversation. It also makes eye contact easier and you can hold it naturally. Stand a few feet from the other person's face.
Step 2. Pick a focus of attention near the eyes
These are usually the other person's eyes, but if you don't feel comfortable, you can look into each other, just below or above their eyes, or look at their earlobe.
Step 3. Make eye contact discreetly
Imagine that you are looking at a painting or a good landscape, that is, that you are not focusing fixedly on their eyes, but are looking at it with discretion. Keep your eyes in this position and avoid looking away. Relax your gaze by breathing slowly while making eye contact and nodding as you listen.
Step 4. Break eye contact briefly every 5 to 15 seconds
Prolonged eye contact can be shocking. Although you don't have to keep track of every second, you do have to look away from time to time for a light and simple conversation, but only for a few seconds. Some casual ways to do it are:
- Laugh, nod your head, and thank the other person.
- Look up to the sky.
- Look to the side briefly, as if you remember something.
- Run your hand through your hair.
Method 2 of 3: Speaking in front of an audience
Step 1. Direct your gaze slightly towards your audience
It is impossible to make eye contact with each person in a large group, so don't even try. Try to keep your gaze 2 to 3 inches (5 to 7 cm) above the heads of the audience without focusing on a single person.
If you are on a podium or standing high in front of an audience, try looking into the middle of the audience without focusing on a single person
Step 2. Change your gaze every so often as you speak
You don't have to look straight ahead all the time while talking. Every now and then, turn your head in a different direction. Try looking at each section of the audience once or twice so that the entire audience feels that you are paying attention to them.
Step 3. Alternatively, choose 4-5 people to watch
It works best if you meet multiple people in the crowd and are comfortable speaking to them, such as a classroom presentation. Just roll your gaze from side to side every 10 to 15 seconds.
Step 4. Turn your gaze from person to person in small groups
If you keep eye contact with one person all the time, the rest of the group may get bored or feel ignored. When you speak, look into each person's eyes for about 5-10 seconds before slowly turning to another person.
Works best with groups of 3 to 5 people
Step 5. Make full eye contact when another person is speaking in a group
This way the speaker will know that you are paying attention to him, you are listening and you are worried about what he has to say. They will most likely make eye contact with you briefly, avoiding an awkward situation.
Method 3 of 3: Practice Good Eye Contact
Step 1. Consciously push yourself to slowly begin making eye contact
Don't make an effort to look into the eyes of every person you meet if you feel uncomfortable. Start slowly, remembering to make eye contact with every conversation.
It is easier to practice while listening than while speaking
Step 2. Establish "full eye contact" to make your gaze feel more natural
Smile and nod your head throughout the conversation, shifting your gaze to both the other person's eyes, nose, and mouth. When you speak, don't think that you have to make eye contact all the time, change your expression or look away to keep the other person's interest.
Step 3. Practice with a TV, webcam, or mirror
If you have trouble doing it with a real audience, you can practice with a screen or mirror. Try to make eye contact with every character you can on television. News channels, where the presenter looks straight into the camera, are a good way to practice comfortably at home.
Step 4. Determine when is a good time to make eye contact
Making eye contact is a sign of trust, trustworthiness, and honesty, and is helpful in a variety of social contexts. However, there are a few scenarios where it is vital to be successful:
Good eye contact tells the boss that they can trust you. Make sure to look into his eyes as you speak, as this will show him that you know what you are talking about.
Eye contact can help you establish an intimate connection, although it can be difficult to look away in a situation like this. Hold your gaze longer than usual to show your attraction.
strong eye contact is a sign of firmness and power. Keep your gaze on your opponent for longer periods of time so you don't look weak or unsure of yourself.
The more trust you have in yourself, the easier it will be for you to practice eye contact.
- Practice makes a master! You could practice with someone you know well and trust to get you used to it. Your parents, siblings or your cat could be of great help
- By making eye contact the other person will feel that you are very attentive and that you are listening carefully.
- Do not exaggerate. Normal eye contact involves looking into the eyes 30 percent of the time and in the general direction of people the rest of the time. Doing it 60 percent of the time means attraction or aggression.