1 Minute with Yourself 619: Eye Contact

“He’s some speaker,” Yonah said, “Besides content his delivery engrossed me throughout.”

“I told you that’s one shiur you wouldn’t want to miss,” Meyer said. “I try to attend every time he speaks in our area.”

“You know, I felt like he was speaking directly to me,” Yonah said, “I had the feeling the talk was intended for me alone.”

“I once felt as you do until Rabbi Weisel explained to me that he makes eye contact with people in the audience which makes everyone feel personally connected,” Meyer explained. “In fact, even though I’m aware of his technique I’m still drawn into his spell.”

“I’m really glad you told me that,” Yonah said. “I not only learned a lot of Torah tonight, but I also learned a good lesson in public speaking.”

Many think that effective communication depends on the right choice of words. Others believe it takes a good story or humorous incident to grab a crowd’s interest. Professionals fine-tune their delivery by raising and lowering their tone of voice to heighten attentiveness. All of these devices make for a successful speech. However, without eye contact with members of the audience there’s a good chance the listeners will be detached from the speaker. By picking different people in various sections of the crowd to “speak to,” the presenter makes everyone feel involved in his presentation. Then the other elements that make for a good class hit home.

This valuable tool is even more important in conversation with another person. When you want to convey an idea to someone, it’s important to make eye contact. At a meeting, if you fail to look the other person in the eye he/she may get the impression that what they are saying is unimportant to you. If you should look at your mobile device or your watch you’ll lose their respect. Look and listen. Look and speak. Successful communication will result.

One More Second — Another Thought for the Day

Even humility, the crown prince of all traits, can be transformed into a negative trait. If a person is excessively submissive, he will be influenced by wicked people to do evil (Michtav Me’Eliyahu, Vol. 3, p. 340).