Acceptance and believability are the foundation of success in public speaking, and they begin with eye contact.
Begin making eye contact with members of your audience before you present and you will reduce anxiety dramatically, appear less mysterious, and build trust faster to have them engage with you more.
Crowd behavior is contagious, so positive interactions resulting from this warm-up step can rub off on others. When speaking, don’t speak to “the masses.” Instead, continue making eye contact with individuals to enhance your authenticity.
And here’s a tip: When speaking, “smile with your eyes.” This practice engages your whole face and makes it light up. You will appear more inviting from the podium and draw your audience emotionally toward you. The technique of smiling with your eyes is easier than “remembering to smile,” which can create an off-putting forced grin. Test this notion this with a friend and you’ll adopt it as a personal secret to a great presentation.
Source: UTEAP FrontLine Employee