Does eye contact increase your jitters?

Eye Contact by Ruben Joye

Q.Some people say that when you make eye contact with people it increases your anxiety. Others have said to pick a point around the room and focus on it instead of the people. Which do you think works best for decreasing anxiety?

A. Different people are anxious for different reasons. Eye contact works the same way. For some people, making eye contact can escalate their anxiety. For others (like me), eye contact aids relaxation and focus.

However, one thing is true no matter what your situation. Eye contact is key to good presentation. Never just pick a point. It makes you look nervous, or fake. Or both.

So what do you do if eye contact does make you less assured? Practice! Practice making eye contact in nonthreatening situations first, in conversations with friends and family. Then move on to keeping eye contact with coworkers and bosses.

Next time you speak, you'll be ready to look your audience members straight in the eye!



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