Eye contact is a small gesture, easily forgotten, but makes a powerful impression. Especially in the business world, making eye contact with co-workers and clients establishes a powerful business persona. The simple act of making eye contact with someone shows that you are interested in what they have to say, that you are paying attention, and have stellar self-confidence.
Believe it or not, eye contact is a method of communication. Different forms of eye contact send different messages so it is very important to know how to make the right one:
*Make eye contact when you are introduced to someone or when someone is talking to you, especially when you are in a one-on-one situation.
*Remember to make eye contact when you say good-bye to someone, it will make a long lasting impression.
*How long to look: Initially, you should look into the other person’s eyes for about 4-5 seconds. During the conversation you should be making eye contact about 80-90% of the time. Briefly glance away for a few seconds every now and then; you don’t want the other person to get creeped out by your constant stare.
*Blink normally and make normal movements by shifting and nodding your head. You don’t want to make it look like you are trying to stare the other person down; you want it to be as natural as possible.
*Try to copy/read the facial expressions of the other person. For example, if they are smiling, you should smile too.
*I know looking someone straight in the eye can be nerve-racking but try not to look over the other persons shoulder when you get nervous or uncomfortable. Why? Because it’s awkward! And can be distracting to the other person.
Eye contact can make or break an interview or first time introduction. It’s simple and sometimes hard to remember because you are so busy worrying about other things such as posture, handshakes, and your please/thank you’s (see previous posts). But whether or not you want to hear it, eye contact is one of the most important body language cues you can send another person. It sends the ultimate message: I am confident, watch out.
Now, go practice your ‘lipstick confidence’!