You know how animals can smell fear? Well, we humans may not have canine noses, but we have very sharp eyes and excellent mental capacity for reading faces. Especially eyes!
So, having the right kind of eye contact can make you seem more confident on stage. And even better than that, it can make you BE more confident.
When you boil it down, there are only two kinds of eye contact: Fearful eye contact, and Confident eye contact.
Fearful eye contact comes from those singers who are hoping to receive something from the audience in order to feel validated. They look at an audience member, hoping to find approval or acceptance. They look unsure. If you were to imagine a flow of personal energy related to the eyes, these singers would have little baggage escalators running toward themselves, empty, waiting for the audience to put positive wishes and energetic gift baskets on the escalator.
Confident eye contact comes from those singers who – no matter what emotion they are expressing – express a sense of, “Here, let me share this with you, this thing I believe in.” Their energy flow begins with the concept of no-strings-attached giving. Their eyes radiate outward. They send out their gifts first, without expectation of return. They give for the joy of giving – even if the emotion being given is negative, such as anger, melancholy, or sadness.
The next time you have the opportunity to make eye contact with a human being (which I hope is soon, unless you are a hermit), imagine that whatever you are saying, you are giving with no expectation. You give your thoughts, your words, and your emotions through your eyes, without strings attached. Without fear. With confidence.
(c) 2010 Adrienne Osborn