Public Speaking Secrets: How to Overcome Eye Contact Problems

Public Speaking Secrets

In the previous blog post entitled 9 Tips on Using Eye Contact to Deliver Great Speeches, we discussed the value of making eye contact and even shared some tips on how you can use it to make your talks and public speeches even more powerful. However, along the way of mastering the technique, you may still find that some problems are unavoidable. This time, we listed them all down so that you are aware, and try to give some very helpful tricks on what you can do to solve or lessen the possibility.

Problem #1: You may end up staring.. awkwardly.

This is one of the most common, if not the number one, problem that one may experience when making eye contact. It’s a good thing that you’re doing it, but be careful not to overdo it! Staring too much will make your audience uncomfortable. And rather than encouraging them to be open about what you’re saying, they may find that you’re just forcing them to absorb your message unwillingly.

💡 What you can do: Practice making brief eye contacts that lasts between 3-5 seconds. You may also try this trick: once you’ve finished a sentence, head on to the next person.

Problem #2: Seeing unpleasant reactions form the audience.

It’s only natural that people will react to you while you give your speech. You can’t control how they will react. It’s unavoidable that you get a few frowns here and there.

💡 What you can do: Simply, move on to the next! You can’t please everyone. You may have just caught that person at a part of your speech that they had a hard time understanding. People will take in your ideas differently. However, it should be noted that if the majority of the audience is frowning, then my good friend, the problem is you. Take a short pause to see what is wrong with the way you’re delivering your speech.

Problem #3: Audience is looking somewhere else.

Another common problem is when you tend to not do the eye contact technique at all. We bet you’ve done it by looking at the ceiling, at the floor, or maybe even sideways—anywhere just to avoid the eyes of your audience. It has been said that we do this because looking at people’s faces require a more complex way of processing things as compared to looking away when you are able to free up some processing space in your mind. This is just way easier when you want to look for the next word to say.

💡 What you can do: Practice looking between heads instead of looking up, down, or sideways. Have a well-thought out plan so that you won’t stumble during your speech.

Always remember that when you do a speech, all eyes are on you. You might as well return the favour by giving some eye back. Not only would you be able to establish a connection with them, but you are also getting a glimpse of their reactions and find out if they actually get what you are saying. Eye contact is a powerful tool that you can do when speaking in public. It may be a difficult technique to master, but when you get the hang of it, you can dominate the stage and take the crowd by storm.

Liked this nugget? Keen for a one-on-one coaching session to improve your public speaking skills ever more? Drop us a line at hello@speechionizers.com.