Here at Waima, we run training that’s aimed at improving your self-confidence and your powers of persuasion through conviction speaking.

This is a rich seam of knowledge and techniques we’d like to share with you. There’s just far too much to incorporate in a blog but at times we’ll pick out one tiny theme and say a few words on it. Here, we’ll talk about the use of eyes when speaking to people and trying to be taken seriously.

Animal backgrounds

A lot of how we interact initially as human beings has its origins in our purely animal background. That’s certainly true for how we use our eyes and interpret the eyes of others too.

There are two general points worth keeping in mind:

  • maintaining eye contact with others when speaking is essential – it conveys a message of confidence in yourself and the message you’re delivering;
  • excessive avoidance of eye contact (e.g. looking at the table when speaking to someone) is typically taken, even if subconsciously, by others to mean you’re uncertain about your position or perhaps even being “economical with the truth”.

Some subtleties

Now there’s a fair chance that your parents or teachers told you the same things years ago. However, it’s not quite as simple as that because:

  • direct ‘hard’ eye contact can play a role in physical challenges and aggression;
  • obsessive staring at others while speaking to them might arguably make you look disturbed and others feel uncomfortable;
  • constant eye contact can play a part in (or be misconstrued as) early stage sexual behaviour.

In a formal speaking environment, these are likely to be interpretations you’ll want to avoid!

Techniques

As you might imagine, here at WAIMA our leadership development programme professionals know all about eye contact techniques and public speaking.

For example, we can help train you on how to maintain good eye contact with a group of people you’re speaking to by sharing your attention between them equally.  Even when speaking to only one or two others, it’s possible to maintain eye contact without it appearing challenging or questionable (glances down to your notes, directing attention to other things in the room for a few seconds etc.).

Why not come along to find out more?