- Say ‘Hello’ with expressive eyes
You’ve got that great start figured out (You *think*). You walk into a room with your head held high, step on to the stage and see 200 unknown, unsmiling faces looking back at you, as they wait for precious pearls of wisdom to drop from your mouth. At that exact moment, the butterflies in your stomach transform to monster-sized raccoons and run wild. Your throat is dry, you’ve forgotten your opening line, and you can actually hear your own heartbeat – oh wait, was that thunder in your head?
There! We’ve laid out your worst public speaking nightmare. This image is what puts most people off public speaking opportunities!
There’s good news. You can beat even this utterly terrifying scene, by simply meeting their eyes.
Greet your audience as you say ‘Hello’ with expressive eyes. Turn right and express “Hey there”; turn left, “Hello to you too”. Reach out to the person in the last row and greet him with your eyes. Come back to the front row and repeat. Greet every corner of your audience with friendly, smiling eyes.
You may wonder what the big deal is here: you’re only making eye contact. Right?
You haven’t spoken a word yet, but you’ve said a lot with your eyes.
- I’m glad to make your acquaintance.
- I appreciate you being here, thank you.
- I’m here to talk to YOU. (And you, and you too.)
- I respect your presence and your time.
This profound exercise should take no more than 20 seconds (anything more is you dawdling) but can create a sense of camaraderie with your audience. You’ve heard the old adage on our eyes being the luminous window to our soul; so use this powerful tool to connect and make friends with your audience. This will set the stage for a harmonious session.
When you put it all together giving a great program with outstanding content backed by a PowerPoint or visual for confirmation is what any audience is hoping for. To know that your time and or money was well spent by listening to your words as a front of the room speaker.
By doing such a great job be ready for a interactive question and answer period where you can go into more detail about parts of your speech to the people in the audience and that is always a good thing.
Make it a champion day!