Mar 1, 2015

Posted in News, Quotes

March 2015 Power Quote


PERFORMANCE TIP: Eye Contact is Everything

You’ve prepared for weeks (if not months) practicing, memorizing, and preparing your performance but it all comes down to the minutes you spend delivering it to your audience. When that audience is live, sitting just feet from you, it’s imperative to make a real connection with them. One of the most important delivery tools to make that connection is eye-contact.

Have you ever spoken to someone who looks right through you, as if you don’t exist, or continues to look the other way? You would know how quickly you lose interest, respect and patience with that human being.

If we as performers treat our audiences the same, making little or no attempt to connect with their eyes, the audience too will feel as if they’re not important or that they don’t exist.

Why Bother?

Eye Contact Builds Rapport – in other words, the audience will like you more. Great performances are like one-on-one conversations with each audience member. When you make eye contact, you are connecting to your audience, making them feel special and that they are important.

Eye Contact Gives Immediate Feedback: The other reason to make eye contact it gives you immediate feedback. You can see if people are listening, if they are interested, worried, excited, bored or delighted. You can then change and modify your performance – your dynamic, tone or posture so as to meet the requirements of the moment.

How to Use Eye Contact

Try to reach your entire audience. The eye contact can be done in an irregular and unpredictable “Z” formation – looking at one person for three to five seconds and then moving across the room and settling on another face.

If you are performing to a large audience, obviously you will not connect with everyone, however when you look directly at one person, the people around them and behind them – the group in that area – actually feel like you have acknowledged them.

Problems Using Eye Contact

Finding Frowns & Furrows: As a performer, there will be many times when you spot a frown or a “funny face” in your audience. Smile and move onto another more accepting face. Otherwise you may lose your concentration, energy or confidence trying to convince the owner of that face to be agreeable!

Being Brave Enough: Yes, making eye contact can be challenging – even with small audiences. We can feel exposed and vulnerable. The way to overcome this is practice and we’ll be doing some of that in your lessons this month!

The Beauty

To develop better eye contact skills, the best advice I’ve found is, forget yourself and see the beauty of your audience.”
“Develop interest in life as you see it: in people, things, literature, music – the world is so rich, simple throbbing with rich treasures, 
beautiful souls and interesting people.
Forget yourself.”

Henry Miller


With practice, you will master this important skill and turn it into a behavior that will serve you well in all areas of your life!


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