Eye Contact Part II: Intensity of gaze

Last month I mentioned how important it was to hold eye contact with your audience for 2-3 seconds or a complete thought in order to establish trustworthiness.  If you missed it you can read it along with all previous newsletters on my website blog.

Another vital component of effective eye contact that I work with clients on is gaze.  If it is too intense, it can make your audience uncomfortable.  If it lacks any intensity, you may fail to connect with your audience and will likely be perceived as unconfident.

Ideally you want a warm, inviting and approachable gaze.  Soft eyes rather than piercing ones.

Are you unsure whether your gaze is drawing others in or pushing them away?  The simplest option is to present to a group of colleagues and ask them to rate the approachability, warmth, and confidence of your gaze on a scale of 1-10.  10 being most effective, 1 being least.  Let them tell you what they saw and how they felt.