She had finally said “Yes” to meeting me for a coffee. She was a new intern at work, and I’ve been pursuing her for the last 3 weekly office meetings. Now we had a date.
That evening I got all dressed up, put on my most expensive cologne that I use once a month for special occasions, and met her at a Moroccan Speciality Coffee place.
I’ve been telling myself all day that this time, once and for all, I HAVE TO nail the eye contact.
I’ve read so much about how when Bill Clinton used to look into women’s eyes, they used to feel an extremely powerful intimate connection, like they were the only two people in the room. Or when Steve Jobs used to look anyone in the eyes, he used to influence them into doing anything. The ultimate reality distortion field.
Today was my turn to both develop an intimate connection and influence her into taking the ‘next step’.
However, as the aroma of a $22 per cup speciality coffee filled up the air, and she started feeling more comfortable, I found myself sitting there, right across her, but completely failing to maintain the eye contact. I could only do ONE thing at a time: either maintain an eye contact or have a conversation.
Since I was trying too hard to consciously focus my mind into looking directly into her eyes, I was doing a miserable job at speaking in a well-structured and intelligent way. And when she was speaking and I was listening, I can either have my mind comprehend what she was telling me, or focus all my energy into looking at her in the eyes.
You guessed it, right? Neither the intimate connection got developed, nor I had any success in any other way. If anything, I wasted $50 (did I mention there was a 10% service charge as well for serving a stupid coffee?!)
You are reading this because you have been there. Many times.
You have struggled to make eye contact as well.
- You have been in that job interview for which you prepared for weeks, and you googled everything about ‘How to ace a job interview’, only to find out that every article on the planet google asks you to maintain an eye contact but you suck at it.
- You have been on dates and in meetings, in which you completely failed to maintain an eye contact, even when you know that’s the number 1 rule for having a meaningful conversation.
Or the most common situation:
- When talking to friends or strangers, you tend to focus your gaze between their eyes or forehead (or on the nose) while speaking to them to give an illusion of looking at them (sorry, it doesn’t work. You look funny!)
In this article, I’m going to show you Step-by-Step how I went from being a total noob to routinely receiving remarks like, “Dude, your eyes are your biggest strength”, and so can you.
Over my many experiences, I’ve realised that there are just two key elements of being a great talker: voice tonality (we’ll get into this some other time) and eyes.
- When you become good at it, your dates (guy or girl) will get completely immersed in your aura when you are talking to them. They will feel special about themselves and often times they won’t even know what is it about you that makes them so attracted towards you.
- When you become good at it, you will sit in job interviews or client meetings, and you will influence the other person into accepting your offer on your terms.
- When you become good at it, your public speaking and audience performances will get the crowd hooked.
- When you become good at it, it’s like a superpower that you unlock within. And the best part is, we all already have this superpower. It just needs to be unleashed.
5 Step-by-Step Exercises To Become An Absolute Superstar With Your Eye Contact
1. Notice the Eye Colour of 10 People You Meet this Week
I want you to start at the very basic, just to get comfortable.
For the first few days (or a week), all you have to do is notice the eye colour of 10 people you meet outside your friend circle.
These people could be a person walking towards you on a street, your boss, colleague, waiter taking your order, barista serving you coffee, or someone on the road you stop and ask for directions.
You don’t even need to have the rest of the conversation by looking at them in the eye. Just for a split second, look and observe the eye colour.
The task is to notice the eye colour, remember it, and write it in your notes / checklist.
It is extremely simple (and you might even be thinking that it’s useless) but you have my word, after completing it 10 times, you will already be feeling at least 50% more confident. It will rewire you psychologically.
Since you have never done this before, just doing this, will make you feel good about your abilities. And this would prepare you for the Step 2.
2. Maintain Eye Contact with Low-stake Strangers, such as Shopkeepers, Waiters, or Baristas
Your task 2 is that when you order your caramel latte next time, or your beef steak, or while in a clothing store you ask the shopkeeper for that particular faded jeans, you will have to do the entire conversation by looking at them in the eyes.
Most of the time, the person you are talking to won’t be looking back at you because they will be busy taking your order or giving you directions, but that is fine. There will be moments when you will have eye contact. And I intentionally want it to be brief at this stage.
What is happening behind the scenes here? In this stage, you are training your mind to keep thinking clearly while you are looking at the other person directly into the eyes. And this is a very low-stake situation to develop it.
Do it 5 times, and then move onto Step 3 (or you can start Step 3 simultaneously with Step 2).
3. Shift to Video Whatsapp Messages Instead of Texting with Your Friends
This is the single biggest hack that has helped me develop not just the eye contact, but also the subtle eye movement required in creating an even more influencing aura.
We are living in wonderful times. Whatsapp messages have made it free to communicate via text, audio or video. Just click on the camera icon on the right side of your text area, and send an instant video message to a friend.
I first started doing it to save time (because a one minute video message saves me five minutes of writing out the similar message), but soon I realised it is much more than that.
In a text message, we only use content to get our message across. In an audio message, we use content + tonality. This already increases our message’s influence by 2x. And in a video message, we use content + tonality + eyes, which makes our message’s influence 4x for a similar text message.
Fun fact: I’ve been using video messages to routinely talk to girls I match on Tinder. While other guys are busy using plain text content to win her, I’m using 4 times the power of influence and rigging the game in my favour 😉
When you will first start sending video messages to your friends, you will realise that you are looking at yourself in the camera and you are too conscious of how you look.
Your task is to start looking directly in the camera while recording your message.
When you will first do this, you will realise that your mind is going blank and you are not able to think fast and clear.
But if you continue doing it for a week, or even better for 30 Days, you will see such a tremendous progression in you that you will look back at your Day 1 video, and you will laugh at yourself.
That’s the beauty of this technique. It helps your mind think fast and clear, while looking in the camera (or in other person’s eyes while talking) and because you will always playback your video message after sending, you will have a real-time feedback on what to improve on.
At the end of this step, you will already be a better conversationalist than 90% of the people.
I’m attaching a small video clip below on how you might initially look and where you want to reach (or become even better).
P.S. You will hate your voice initially. Ignore it. Even the best speakers in the world hate the sound of their own voice. You will get used to it so ignore it. Just focus on your eye positioning for now.
4. Start Talking to Your Friends and Family Members by Looking Directly into Their Eyes
Which eye you might be wondering? Left or right? Any ONE.
Choose any one that seems more natural. For me, I used to go for right, but now I keep changing between eyes during a conversation. For the start, you can go with right.
Would the other person notice that you are fixated on one eye? No! Because he/she is also looking at you in one eye and wouldn’t see the difference.
Humans can’t look at the other person in both eyes at the same time, so you don’t have to worry about being a creep.
Again there will be a growth curve here. You will first realise that your mind is blanking a bit or you are feeling shy, but it would be much easier to do it now than if you’d directly jump to this step without doing most of the above steps.
As you get comfortable talking to your friends and family members by looking directly into their eyes, very soon you will become a natural at it. And now you are ready to go ALL IN: Step 5.
5. Eye Contact with Everyone
This isn’t a new step, this is just a conclusion.
Now that you have already mastered the techniques of developing an influencing eye contact, just go all in.
From interviews, client meetings, colleagues, to dates, just make it a habit to look in the eyes while speaking.
You will also realise that in your public speeches or stage performances, you will naturally be doing more talking with your eyes than your content. Even though you won’t be looking at any one person in the audience, your eyes will be conveying your body language in a way that you will see the crowd being hooked to your presence.
Once confident, start experimenting with using eye movement to create even more gripping influence. You can use techniques such as squinting eyes while emphasising on a certain word, or opening eyes big when complimenting a girl on how good she is looking.
Remember: Your eyes are your most natural superpower waiting to be unleashed.
Email me at [email protected] when you try it the first time.
I love reading awesome stories! 🙂