The Importance of Eye contact in Public Speaking

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In order to effectively undertake the tricky task of public speaking, there are many factors you have to work on, but one of the most essential tools you can use is that of eye contact. Your eye contact can make or break your speech, and by using it in a positive way you can keep your audience more involved and interested in what you have to say.

Think of it this way – you are attending two speeches in the day, both about the same topics. The first speaker fails to make eye contact with the audience, his eyes are often darting all over the place, with no real strong looks towards the audience. The second speaker always makes sure his eyes are up. He makes eye contact with various members of the audience and keeps his eye contact strong and steady at all time. Which person do you think has the most effective public speaking skills? The second speaker of course. By using eye contact he is keeping the audience interested in what he is saying. Making eye contact with people creates a bond between speaker and audience. Whereas by making your eyes wander all over the place as the first speaker did, you may come across as being nervous and having a lack of confidence.
By looking at your audience you can also keep note of their reactions to your speech. Once you realize what parts they like, you can build on those areas and use tools you know they will like and react to. This will also let you know if your message is being heard.
In order to have effective presentation skills and ensure you message is really being received by your audience then you must maintain good eye-contact. By doing this you create a rapport with the audience as well as establishing trust and credibility. It’s also a way of saying ‘thanks’ to your audience for taking the time to listen to what you have to say. After all no one wants to listen to a speech by someone who looks like they don’t want to be there or are not interested in what they are saying.
By maintaining eye contact with the audience you will also help rid yourself of any public speaking fears you may have. It will make you feel more sure of yourself and boost your confidence, helping improve your speech making skills and have you talking publicly like a professional in not time.