Learn the speech / presentation
You cannot make a proper eye contact until you don’t learn the content of your speech or presentation. Make sure to properly learn the content before facing the audience. If you are a confident mesmerizer than it is well and good otherwise make sure to get a strong grip on the structure of your content, without learning it word-for-word.
Practice the speech / presentation
Once you learn the speech, deliver it without looking into the written material. Secondly, make a small family get-together and deliver it in front of them.
Work on your eye contact
You have learned the speech/ presentation fantastically, now it is the time to work on your eye contact. Stand in front of the large mirror in your house and practice an eye contact while delivering the speech/presentation. Remember that an impressive eye contact should last about as long as the regular hand-shake. Try to add some smile to your eye contact as well. It is a representation of your confidence. Carry out this simple activity until you achieve the desired goal.
Practice, practice and PRACTICE!
“Practice makes a man perfect.” Practice more and deliver the content in front of your family member or friend. BUT, make sure to make eye contact with them which is the main aim of the activity. They are the people known to you and close to you as well, so don’t be nervous and try to cover all the directions of your audience.
Familiarize yourself with the selected location – if possible
Visit the place where you have to deliver the speech or presentation and try to familiarize yourself with it. Stand in the rostrum and imagine a large crowd sitting in front of you. Now start your speech and try to cover the various sections of the location. Start from the back, then left, center, right and front. Practice few times until you feel that you are all set to go.
Talk to your friends
Talk to your friends in advance and ask them to sit on various positions of the venue of the speech/presentation. They would be the ones who are known and close to you and it will be easy for you to make eye contact with them. In this way you would be able to deliver the speech with a good eye contact.
Time to face the audience
Until now you were making an eye contact to yourself and your close ones, now it is the time to practically implement it by facing the audience. Use your nose to breathe in as much air as you can, hold if for 5 seconds and gently release it through mouth. Practice it before proceeding towards the rostrum.
Once you reach the rostrum, identify your friends among the audience and keep them in your mind. Start your speech and with great confidence and deliver it like the way you were presenting it previously.
What if you still find it difficult to make eye contact?
Once you reach the rostrum after great practice sessions and even then find it difficult to make an eye contact with audience, it can simply ruin your efforts and image. But, you cannot afford it at all. The two best things you can do in this regard are as given below:
Pretend: Try to pretend an eye contact by looking into the foreheads and above the heads of the audience. Believe us, it works and your audience could not even notice it that you are pretending an eye contact.
Create Imaginary Setup: Try to create an imaginary world around you. Make up a mind that you are all alone in the room and it your chance to give it a best shot.