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Clintonian Eye Contact

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Transcript

When it comes to delivering presentations, there's basically three types of eye contact. There's the bottom 1% of speakers, they are staring at the floor or reading their notes, completely ignoring you, or looking at their bullet points on a slide completely ignoring the audio. That's the bottom 1% of speakers. Then there is sort of another 98.999% of speakers, they're doing some version of the windshield wiper, they're looking at the room the whole time, it might be fast, going back and forth, it might be slow. They're never really looking at you. They're never really looking at one person at a time.

They're looking at the group. And because of that, the audience feels anonymous. And also means they can pull out their cell phones because they don't feel like you're really looking at them if you're the speaker. That's not what the best speakers in the world Do Have you ever seen Bill Clinton speak in person, that most fair minded observer get the politics and the other stuff most fair minded people would say, of well known figures in the English speaking world in the last 25 years, 30 years. He's one of the best public speakers, even his enemies with concede that. Well, one of my colleagues, one of my trainers used to work with him just as a low level campaign assistant.

They were out together. It was reelection time during the re election campaign if in the end of a long day of campaigning, they're sitting around a table, having a beer sleeves are rolled up, playing some cards. And my guy Andy turned to him said, Mr. President, you nailed that speech today. You had 10,000 people in the palm of your hand. How did you do it? And President Clinton turned to Andy and said, and he's very simple.

I didn't speak to 10,000 people today. I picked one person in the audience. And I had a private one on one conversation with that person for bought. Then I went to another person in the audience. And I really looked at that person in the eyes. Now, it's not a long stare, it's only a couple sentences.

And then I go to another person in the audience and do this. And here's the thing, and you're not doing it in a systematic way. You're mixing it up. But when I look right at someone, they feel like, wow, the President is speaking directly to me. The other thing is, it's easier for me because this is closer to a one on one conversation because I'm now just looking at one person. Now the beauty of this technique is that even people are not looking at over there.

They see me My head is steady. I'm not doing this kind of thing. So I look much steadier. But here's the thing. This works even when I have bright lights. In my eyes, I'm on a stage and I can't see the audience.

I can look 50 feet out that way, at a dark spot and the 15 people in that area will all be like, wow, he's really speaking to me. And that's how you make a much stronger connection. And you're doing the whole group, you're not just doing it friendly faces are the decision makers, you're really mixing it up. And that's how the best speakers use eye contact. This works for anyone you can be in a room of 20 people if it's a five minute conversation, you can look at each person in the eye for six, seven seconds, couple sentences. Every person in the room you can give eye contact several times.

They'll feel like you're caring about them. You're listening to them. So that is how the best speakers use eye contact. Okay, so what did I do there? I'm trying to convey a purely technical speech, three types of eye contact. Bottom 1% is just ignoring the audience.

Next 98.9% windshield wiper, tap point 1% holding eye contact for a full thought for five, six seconds, and then moving on, surely technical information. I illustrated it with a story. And people remember it. Now in this case, it's a secondhand store. I wasn't there. But this was told to me by my colleague, Andy, and he was there so preferably when I tried to do most of the time, what I advise you to do most of the time, tell stories where you're actually there talking to someone, but sometimes there's just something too good you can't pass up.

And you can retell a story secondhand and it's Works

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