Project managers are on stage and under the spotlight from the moment the project curtain opens until the project curtain closes. Successful project managers receive rave reviews from the crowd and cheers of “Encore!” when stakeholders want more. Do you have what it takes to be an award-winning project manager?
Before you accept your award, are you ready to deliver a spell-binding acceptance speech? A critical competency for all successful project managers is the ability to make successful presentations. Successful presentations start with establishing an emotional connection with your audience. Emotional connections begin with keen eye contact.
Generally speaking, eye contact between individuals establishes intimacy. In business, be sure to look at your audience when delivering a thought, idea, or issue. If you are sitting in the boardroom while speaking, be sure your eyes travel to as many individuals sitting around the table. Your eyes will establish credibility with your audience members — even before any words are spoken.
Eye contact has been shown to be a significant factor in the persuasion process. Remember to maintain direct eye contact with those audience members who make the decisions or influence others.
The longer your eye contact with audience members, the more self-esteem you are perceived to have. This is particularly important if you are addressing an audience to address project issues or to explain project delays.
The more eye contact you can maintain during presentations, the higher self esteem you actually acquire, projecting confidence and authority to your audience members. Eye contact is an important way to build emotional bond and likeability.
So, take those Hollywood shades off. Your audience wants to see what they are getting. They want to see your eyes.
Lisa DiTullio, Founder, Your Project Office, www.yourprojectoffice.com