Build Emotional Connection Through Eye Contact
by Patricia Fripp, CSP, CPAE
Eye contact is an important way to emotionally connect with your audience
of any size. Here are some ideas to help you:
- Generally speaking, the longer the eye contact between two people, the greater
the intimacy is developed. In a business, sales and speech situation, look
at members of your audience for a thought, phrase or idea. If you are sitting
at a boardroom table, make sure you share eye contact with everyone.
- Others rarely interrupt two people engaged in a conversation if they have
consistent eye contact. Through observing eye contact, others, well at least
thoughtful ones, can tell if it is okay to join in the conversation.
- Pupils also enlarge when people are talking about things that bring them
joy or happiness. They often contract when discussing issues that bring them
sadness. In a conversation at a networking or social event, I always like
to ask questions of interest to my conversation partner. It helps add to their,
"I enjoyed meeting that person," feeling.
- Eye contact has been shown to be a significant factor in the persuasion
process. Practice across the dinner table with your family or friends.
- The longer your eye contact, the more self-esteem you are perceived to have.
- The more eye contact you can maintain, the higher self esteem you actually
rate yourself on! To be perceived as more likable gives you an edge in business.
Eye contact is an important way to build this emotional bond and likeability.
Are your eyes clear or are they bloodshot? Business contacts and audience
members will notice, and the clearer your eyes the more attractive you will
be perceived. If you wear sunglasses, get ready to take them off. People want
to see what they are getting. They want to see your eyes.
About the Author
Patricia Fripp CSP, CPAE is a San Francisco-based executive
speech coach and award-winnning professional speaker. She is the author of Get
What You Want!, Make
It, So You Don't Have to Fake It!, and Past-President of the National
This article is part of a series that appeared in SpeakerFrippNews. For a
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