As a politician delivers his speech, he scans the faces of his supporters in the crowd.
A presentation is being given by a college student who emphasizes her points to her classmates and professor.
Striding down the sidewalk, a young professional casually smiles to colleagues on the way home.
“What do these three people have in common?” you ask.
They’re proficient at making eye contact, and as a result, they emit confidence.
Body language expert and author of The Body Language Advantage, Lillian Glass, says that intense eye contact is the best indicator of someone’s confidence.
According to Glass, those who are confident don’t look at their feet, the ground, or the table; they’re always looking up. She explains, “Whether in conversation or just walking in the office hallway, they’re looking at other people. They’re engaging them through their eye contact.”
Making and having eye contact builds a connection, displays sincerity, and helps to produce a sense of trust, linking people.
A study administered at the University of Leuven in Belgium resolved that individuals with greater self-esteem are more likely to keep eye contact than their less confident peers, whose low self-esteem was linked with darting looks. Researchers at King’s College also discovered that we connect higher levels of eye contact with stronger leadership skills, greater aggression and power, and higher intelligence.
However, for many, looking another in the eye — and holding that gaze — can be tough.
If this is something you have a hard time with, try staring at the other person’s eyes for a few seconds, looking at their nose for a few seconds, looking at their mouth for a few seconds, and then staring at their face as a whole for a few seconds.
Continue this rotation during your discussion.
Glass explains that if you use this method, the other person won’t be able to know that you’re not looking straight at their eyes the whole time.
Make a habit of practicing eye contact in your day-to-day life, whether it be on the subway on your way to work, walking outside on your lunch break, and in conversations at the office and with colleagues. You’ll be shocked by how much the perception of your confidence levels increases, once you get better at locking eyes.