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Why Eye Contact Is So Important In Public Speaking

Why Eye Contact Is So Important In Public Speaking

There are a lot of things that can make someone an effective public speaker. They can play to their audience, speak clearly with an authoritative tone, or even simply possess natural charisma like Steve Jobs or Richard Branson. One thing that is universal is eye contact. All of the best public speakers use eye contact for a myriad of reasons and we’ll go over some of those now.

1. Eye contact helps you concentrate

When your eyes are just scanning a room you end up taking in a lot of imagery. All those colors and shapes actually slow your brain down because it’s trying to concentrate on what you’re saying and also on all of this other stuff that your eyes graze over. By making eye contact every now and then, it allows your brain to focus on just one thing which clears it out to focus on what you’re trying to say.

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2. It helps others pay attention

Making eye contact with somebody is a good way to get them to pay attention to you. These days with smartphones, readily available WiFi for laptops, and other distractions, it’s really easy for a crowd to start to lose focus. You can help restore this focus by making eye contact with people. If you look at them they will also look at you. This is especially effective for smaller crowds. It’s a simple formula. If you look at them then they will look at you and if you cannot then they probably won’t.

3. It gives you authority

This one is easy to understand once you’ve seen an example. Parents and police officers especially know this. If your child can’t look at you in the face when they tell you something, chances are they are lying or are ashamed about what they’ve done. The same can be said for public speaking with small variations. If you can’t make eye contact with your listeners, your listeners will subconsciously lose faith that you know what you’re talking about. This is why tech companies typically find the most charismatic person to give presentations instead of the nerdy guys with stage fright. A lot of your authority comes from looking someone dead in the eyes and telling them what is what.

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4. Sustained eye contact can give you confidence

eye contact

    In the movies, you’ll see something akin to this in action. The man and the woman stare at each other for about 30 seconds and then they start kissing uncontrollably. Now we’re not saying that people are going to rush the stage and kiss you because that’s absurd. However, when you have eye contact with an individual you can give yourself more confidence.

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    5. It turns your listeners into participants

    When your audience notices that you’re look at them, it encourages them to respond using facial gestures. If you’re speaking and you look at someone who then frowns then you know something isn’t going right. This gives you a chance to change tactics. Looking at people, reading their expressions, and adapting after the fact turns your speech into a conversation with your audience. This can be the difference between a successful and enjoyable speech and a total flop.

    6. It will help you talk at a more pleasing pace

    When you look someone in the eyes for about three to five seconds it will actually slow your speech down. This helps you talk at a more natural pace and makes it easier for others to understand you. It may even help you pause entirely which is a popular tactic used by a lot of leaders and speakers.

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    When you combine all of these things into a single package you end up with a pretty significant difference in your speech giving. You’ll be more confident and talk at a better pace with more concentration. It can be the difference in convincing the audience and not convincing an audience. Need proof? Every time Steve Jobs took the stage at Apple’s yearly event, Apple’s stock went up.

    Featured photo credit: Carbonated via media.carbonated.tv

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    Joseph Hindy

    A writer, editor, and YouTuber who likes to share about technology and lifestyle tips.

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    Last Updated on November 12, 2020

    Learn How to Be Productive and Happy With These 11 Tips

    Learn How to Be Productive and Happy With These 11 Tips

    A lack of productivity leads to a lack of happiness. When you can’t see yourself making progress or getting things done, you get anxious and become stressful. That’s why it’s so important to learn how to be productive.

    There are also many things that contribute to unhappiness here: Facebook notifications, emails, texts, and chatty co-workers are just a small fraction of the disruptions we’re bombarded with. These “little things” can stack up fast and lead to hampering your happiness and productivity levels.

    Learn how to be productive with the 11 tips below and reclaim your everyday productivity and your happiness, once and for all.

    1. Be Happy Now

    Life is too short. No matter what you’re doing or where you are, be happy now. Start by finding something to be grateful for; everyone has at least one good thing in their life, and most have many more.

    Most of the world still has trouble getting access to clean drinking water…that means you can even be grateful for that bottle of Aquafina you’ve got on your desk right now.

    2. Finish Your Day Before It Starts

    Proper planning is the secret to peak productivity, and it’s also a good idea to set important goals daily. Get yourself a planning tool and prioritize your daily tasks with it in order to spend your time on important tasks.

    If you know exactly what you have to do and the timeframe you want to complete it in, you’ll be well on your way to learning how to be productive.

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    Here’s a smart technique on planning and prioritization: How to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster

    3. Celebrate the Small Wins

    Every time you check off a task from your to-do list, you release a “happy chemical” in your brain called dopamine. This gives you the motivation to move forward and do even more.

    For example, after I finish writing this article, and I’ve crossed it off my list of things to do today, I’ll get a nice burst of “happy chemicals” releasing in my brain. The best part? Zero side effects!

    4. Leverage Like There’s No Tomorrow

    Look for ways to use the 80/20 rule by identifying tasks that you might be able to outsource or leverage out to a virtual assistant.

    Stop wasting time doing things that don’t challenge you or ignite your passion. Hire out or automate anything and everything within your means.

    Don’t be afraid to trust others with tasks you believe they can do. They’ll likely be happy for the opportunity, and you’ll feel better about lowering the amount of work you have to get done.

    5. Recharge Your Batteries

    Figure out how many hours of sleep your body needs and make sure you get it. Take time to stretch, walk, or relax in order to recharge throughout the day and after work.

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    One study found that the best way to ensure consistent productivity throughout the day is to work for about 50 minutes, followed by a 15-20 minute break[1]. As you’re trying to learn how to be productive, follow this pattern to get started[2].

    Take breaks to be more productive

      Here are some simple ways to relax completely and get rid of stress.

      6. Become an Early Riser

      This is one of the most underused productivity “hacks” on the planet. Ever since I decided to start waking up at 5am every day, my productivity levels and happiness have gone up dramatically.

      Most people aren’t up that early, so no one can bother you or disrupt you from what you want to do. A productive person will use this time to exercise, meditate, or get a head start on their day.

      7. Do Work You’re Passionate About

      Make it your goal to blur the line between work and play by doing more things you’re passionate about. This promotes happiness both inside and outside of the workplace.

      Find what you’re passionate about and do it, even if it’s just through a hobby. Make time for the things you love and learn how to be productive more easily.

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      8. Use Time Blocks

      When I wrote this article, I gave myself a one hour time block. This prevents unnecessary dilly-dallying, like updating your social media and checking email. Instead, start developing better work habits and manage your time for a more productive day.

      There are plenty of apps that can help you do this, or you can simply set an alarm on your phone so you know when you can take a break and enjoy some free time. During your set time block[3], do your best to eliminate distractions. Find a quiet space, declutter your desk, and create a short to-do list to keep you on track.

      Time Blocking for Productivity

        9. Avoid Interruptions

        Interruptions are among the biggest barriers to both productivity and happiness. Every time you’re interrupted in the middle of a task, your level of productivity takes a hit.

        We’ve all been there: you’re fully immersed in an important project until all of a sudden the workplace chatterbox appears out of nowhere and starts talking the crazy night they had last weekend. By the time s/he’s gone, you’ve already forgotten where you were, and it takes 30 minutes to get back on track.

        Avoid this by letting people know that you’ve got important work that’s got to be done.

        Learn more about how to stay focus in this guide: How to Focus and Maximize Your Productivity (the Definitive Guide)

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        10. Shut Down the Digital Disruptions

        iPhones, mailbox notifications, Twitter, Facebook, and everything that pops, slides, or fades in and out of your screen has got to go. Shut them down and focus when you want to learn how to be productive.

        It’s as easy as turning off the notifications or scheduling only a specific time to check all these notifications and texts.

        11. Measure Your Success

        Every now and then, it’s a good idea to measure your results and see how things are coming along.

        How’s your progress? Are you moving in the right direction? It’s always a good idea to track your progress regularly.

        Of course, in order to track you progress, you need to set specific milestones so you know that you’re on your way to achieving any big or small goal.

        The Bottom Line

        With these 11 effective tips, you’ll learn how to be productive and find more time to do the things that make you happy.

        Start small and take up each suggestion one-by-one. That way, you can boost your productivity, and create joy along the way.

        More to Boost Productivity

        Featured photo credit: Emma Dau via unsplash.com

        Reference

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