We all know that eye-contact helps make an effective communicator, but just looking is not sufficient.
When you look into the eyes of those to whom you are speaking, they will give you all sorts of information vital to your vocal performance; too fast, too slow, too loud, too quiet, not clear enough, whatever, it’s all there in their eyes. To be a really effective speaker, use eye contact to monitor your delivery and to respond to your audience. Act on what you see.
Get familiar with the room
If speaking in a space new to you, go in before speaking and have a really good look at the whole room. That process will help you and your voice sound and feel more at home.
The Eyes and the Voice
The voice will go where the eyes tell it to. Remember this when you are worried your voice won’t carry to the back of the room. You only need speak to the furthest ears. Look and the voice will follow.
Be methodical and use the eyes to keep control
Make sure that you look at everyone, or at least every part of the audience. Be aware of blind spots, such as those close, or to the side of you. If you miss people/parts of the audience out, they will feel unwanted and disengage.
Use direct eye–contact as you speak, to ensure that you remain the lead communicator.
Prior to speech, look and breathe in the audience – even it’s just an audience of one.